I’ve recently given a couple of presentations on the ways school leaders can enhance their skills through the use of technology. During these presentations, I’m very deliberate about not just showing a cool tool. Instead, I begin by focusing on some skills that are important to effective school leaders. For example, rather than just sharing a social bookmarking site, we discuss ways it could be used to support teachers. Although those categories vary a bit depending on the group, I typically include the categories that are described below. I also try to highlight each tool with an example from a school or leader who is using the tool effectively.
Communicating with Stakeholders–Whether it is through a newsletter, face-to-face, or a host of other ways, communicating with stakeholders may be the most important job of school leaders.
Blogs-I recognize the time constraints of most administrators. With that in mind, I tell administrators they need to be very deliberate if they decide to begin a blog. My recommendation for most is to start a group blog for the school with shared responsibility between many individuals. This is one example of a school that has done just that.
YouTube-As we know, our students and communities are extremely active on YouTube. I encourage schools to create YouTube channels for their schools that serve a variety of purposes. Here is one example of an international school and their YouTube Channel.
Creating a Personal Learning Network–Continuously learning is one of the most important jobs of a school leader who wants to stay relevant.
Twitter-Many educators are fearful of twitter and don’t see the purpose. I try to share examples of administrators who are using twitter in powerful ways. I also discuss how twitter chats are a great way to jump into the twitter world.
Supporting Teachers–Research has indicated the importance that classroom teachers have on student learning. School leaders can greatly impact student learning by supporting teachers.
Diigo-After explaining the basics of what Diigo can do, I like to share examples of schools who are using diigo to support professional learning communities. This example is from a 1:1 school who has created groups for different content areas.
Google forms-As simple as they are, google forms are a great way to create a walk-through form that can be personalized for your school. Here is an example of a very simple one that I have created.
The things that I shared certainly aren’t overly complicated, and many of you who read this blog are probably using many of these tools. Unfortunately, it seems fairly apparent that most school leaders aren’t embracing most of these tools.