Characteristics of tech-rich schools

Last week I had a vir­tual book study on Lead­ing Technology-Rich Schools by authors Bar­bara Levin and Lynne Schrum.  We were for­tu­nate to have Dr. Schrum join us for the con­ver­sa­tion to give us addi­tional insight into the book.  The book included mul­ti­ple case stud­ies of schools that had suc­cess­fully inte­grated tech­nol­ogy into the learn­ing envi­ron­ment, and most of the schools were 1:1 schools.  If you’d like, you can view the entire video by click­ing here.  There were some things that Dr. Schrum said that really stood out to me.  Those points included the impor­tance of:

  • Effec­tive leadership
    • Dr. Schrum stressed how lead­er­ship was key to sys­tem­atic change.
  • A clear vision
    • I have fre­quently observed the lack of vision as one of the most com­mon flaws with schools that imple­ment 1:1.  The school lead­ers in the book estab­lished a clear vision for their school.
  • Risk tak­ing
    • Dr. Schrum talked about how teach­ers were able to be risk tak­ers and were not afraid.  Does your school encour­age that type of behavior?
  • Chang­ing teach­ing practices
    • A big focus of many of the schools was project based learn­ing.  She also talked about how many of the suc­cess­ful teach­ers focused on stu­dents “show­ing” their knowl­edge.  One exam­ple she used was of stu­dents who were able to choose the for­mat they would use to present information.
    • Teach­ers also used tech­nol­ogy to eas­ily col­lect and sort data so that they could adjust instruction.
It may be inter­est­ing for you, or your lead­er­ship team, to con­sider where you fall in regards to each of these items.  Can you improve the effec­tive­ness of your 1:1 ini­tia­tive by focus­ing on one of these things?
Nick Sauers

 

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