Friday, July 30, 2010

The Three 'R's of Educational Leadership

For the fourth time, Scott McLeod is calling on bloggers to help support administrators in becoming effective school technology leaders through Leadership Day.

There are hundreds of things I'd love to share with administrators and classroom leaders, but let me boil it down to 3 R's to replace Readin', Ritin', and 'Rithmatic.

1. Take Risks
There are many things we do in school, for no other reason, than we've always done things a particular way. Consider the use of chalk; the alignment of desks in rows; the use of written tests; or the opening of the school day to fit with bus-schedules instead of the needs of growing brains.

We can continue to do things the way we've always done them, or, we can recognize the folly in some of our practices, and can strive to find better ways. In your own work as an administrator, don't be afraid to take risks and to encourage others to do the same. Two important questions to consider any day; Why? and Why not?

2. Conduct Research

Whether encouraging leaders to pilot new technologies, or asking peers to consider novel practices, work with colleagues to discover the best ways to engage today's learners. Celebrate exemplary achievements, and gather evidence to support the expansion of successful strategies.

The craft of teaching should be one of continual evolution. Through collegial discussion, educators can examine local teaching practices, and with the support of a networked leader, can share their professional learning with a global audience.

3. Build Relationships
You don't have to go it alone. Network with colleagues near and far, to keep abreast of emerging trends. Share your challenges, questions, and ideas, and learn through shared experiences. We may not be with you in person, but we'll have your back should you require resources, ideas, or other forms of support.

In modeling the collaborative skills of a 21st century educator, your experiences are sure to bring a sense of wonder to your professional life. Once you see the potential of networked learning, it will be natural for you to advocate for the modern learning needs of teachers and students alike.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Social Network

'The Social Network' is one of those trailers that seems to work one its own as a short subject movie. At the opening, the words of the choir over the computer screen close-ups are ethereal, intimate, and sad all at the same time.

Do you yearn to fit in? Do you need a digital channel to enhance your sense of belonging? Many of the quotes within this trailer help me to understand how individuals may be inclined to value their online social connections above all else.

While hundreds of millions engage in social experiences through Facebook and other social media channels, I wonder how many will engage in online conversations about this movie, rather than experiencing it first hand with real friends? The film opens in October... How many educators will see it as a piece of media worthy of consideration?


A number of days ago, I came across this explanation of Facebook that might be worth considering as a teaching tool, especially when it comes to privacy settings and terms of use agreements.

A Movie for Anyone On FaceBook from Casey Neistat on Vimeo.