When does having an answer become counterproductive?
If you are a tech savvy leader, which you probably are since you read blogs, do you find yourself constantly running across tools and ideas that would be great for your teachers? Do you get excited, like I do, about new discoveries that you find in networking with other educators through twitter and other sites? Do you occasionally feel that the information flow is so fast and furious you can't keep up let alone pass all the pertinent information along. I am always on the lookout for subject specific ideas that I think the teachers can use or that would encourage good conversations. A great example of the latter is the recent LeaderTalk post about at "Mathematics: The Language of Life"- What a great resource for the math department and what a great discussion starter! There are enough links and good questions in that post to keep me thinking for quite a while. All of this keeps my perspective fresh and makes the work of school administration exciting.
However, as this new year gets underway, I have been thinking about my role as a conduit of what is happening in the world of technology integration and innovations in teaching and learning. It is important that as a leader we help build a vision for technology integration. It is important that we initiate discussions about revamping teaching and learning. It is also important that we provide support by having a go to person for just in time learning for new tools. However, in doing all of this it is also possible to create a dependency that undermines the personal responsibility of the staff. It seems that as we embrace change that it is important for the staff to own the process and the learning involved in redefining teaching and learning in a connected environment.
So what will be different this year? I am hoping to create a sense of empowerment by taking a more constructivist approach with the staff. An approach that encourages them to build knowledge and seek answers rather than having me supply those answers. It seems that taking the initial step of personal discovery is critical to building a sustainable program. For us, that will mean, that before I make a suggestion I will encourage the teachers to take their questions to the online educational community through an interface like Classroom2.0 or twitter to gather ideas. Then we will discuss what will work for our community.
( Barbara Barreda)