Here are a few topics from an upcoming Ed Tech Leadership Conference:
Teacher Observations with iPod touch
Productivity Tools for Administrators
Internet Awareness, Safety and Ethics for Administrators
Visit to the School of Tomorrow, Today!
Walk the Walk: Using Technology to Lead Others
Podcasting for Administrators: From Storyboarding to Publishing
Leading with Movies: Using Video Clips to Inspire and Motivate
Students, Parents, Teachers and Administrators: Communicating and Collaborating Through Technology
Leading the Charge to 21st Century Skills
Enticing Administrators to Enhance Their Technology Skills
Using Technology to Streamline Administrative Tasks and Enhance Collaboration
I respectfully submit that, by themselves, the breakout topics from the Ed Tech Leadership Conference miss the mark.
If I am an administrator that is a control freak; or a micro-manager, or just the opposite ( I never followup); if I am a an administrator that doesn’t take responsibility when things aren’t going well; but takes all the accolades when things do go well; if I am afraid to take risks; or if I am a political animal that wants to look good above all; if I am someone who is super judgmental and negative about the people I work with; if I talk behind people’s backs; if I am not organized; if I don’t listen well; if I am motivated only by my own agenda; if I say one thing and do another; if I am easily thrown into overwhelm and panic…(the list goes on)
If the staff distrusts administrators; or there is an “us and them” feeling; if there is a destructive ‘triangulation’ present and people don’t talk candidly with one another, if teachers are overwhelmed, if there is a confusing mix of ‘important’ priorities; if the Teachers’ Association is at odds with any new initiatives; if people are satisfied with the status quo…(the list goes on)
An ineffective leader using the latest tools will remain an ineffective leader.
In my experience developing leaders and transforming organizations requires developing people.
If we are going to transform teaching and learning, we need a new generation of innovative and transformative leaders who can make it happen.
I realize it’s not an either-or issue. We need leaders who understand and use technology AND we need real leadership development. But where can an administrator go to develop their own leadership skills? Where are these innovative and transformative leaders that we need going to come from? Is it any wonder that without them major educational change is so slow in coming?
Will we ever transform education if we keep focusing on the ‘bright, shiny things’ and keep ignoring the difficult task of developing leaders? Not managers. Not supervisors. Not administrators; but Leaders.
It’s time for us to get serious.
Effective leadership is very rare. It doesn’t have to be.