Saturday, July 08, 2006

Technology Leadership Forum

Tim Lauer has blogged the basics to this forum here. Tim is also a panel member this morning.
I am pleased to see at least one other international participant here. However, by reading the attendees list you would not know I was from Bangladesh as once again the UK address is printed, but in this case only half of it so even the 'UK' is missing.........

What can technology leaders do to support their teachers??

What are some of the obstacles that confront us in our attempts to implement systemic change?
What key elements that must be in place to support the change process?
Panel responses:
  • Need to develop a shared vision
  • Need time for reflection and tools to deal with this
  • Build a sense of cultural agility and have processes in place in order to effectgively adopt innovations and changes
  • Support for classroom teachers needed: pressure to cover content as well as implement new techniques etc
  • Create an atmosphere where it is OK for teachers to take risks
  • Students as tech leaders e.g GenY model (Dennis Harper)
  • Who are our customers and what is important to them?
How do we engage the entire educational community in sharing the vision for change and keep the group moving in the same direction?
What strategies can be employed to build connections between groups?
Panel reponses:
  • Ongoing problems with shared vision.....need to do a lot of ground work and PD over time
  • Ongoing problems with contractual issues: tenure or not, charter schools
  • Point Loma Charter School meets 3 times per week for PD including department and other staff meetings: This interaction helps keep people on the same page
  • Many tech leaders are at the point of needing to get that vision out there, how do you get consensus on what it is and how to spread it?
  • Staff study groups: meetings organised based on current needs e.g. tech integration
  • Difficult making the practice reflect the vision: say one thing and do another
  • Problem with economic segregation (have and have nots), building in digital equity is an issue
How do we sustain the movement towards meaningful change practice? How do we develop a foundation of visionary leadership?
If the vision and culture of change relies on individuals rather than shared ideas, the momentum can be lost when key personnel move on.
Panel responses:
  • Tragedy for change to center around individuals
  • Need to adopt a roadmap for change that does not rely on individuals
  • Leadership styles e.g. charismatic, can be an impediment to change
  • Encourage people to experiment and try different things within the vision
Five years needed to see the benefits of change [international persepective...most international schools have 2 year, renewable contracts with a higher than normal staff turnover. Over a 4 year period the entire staff could have changed. In fact, at ISD in Dhaka after 3 years I have spent in the school there are only 2 teachers left amongst expat staff who had survived 4 years, out of a total of about 35-40 teachers. Therefore we have incredible issues with sustaining programs and creating a shared vision amongst itinerent educators. Leadership is the key! and careful documented planning]

Doug Otto, from Plano, TX: In Texas, if it moves test it....... Setting our kids up for failure....."educate the best and shoot the rest", we are fighting this attitude.

More info from the wiki for this session.

Postscript..written later
I must admit I did not stay for the entire leadership session as I had other priorities this morning. Thanks to Tim for correcting me on a mis-attribution in this blog posting. I appreciate the process set up for this forum and will take ideas back to other international venues in terms of process and content. I found the session I attended useful in terms of being able to identify similar problems to my own reality in an international school.

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Tim said...

Hi Julie,
Sorry we didn't get a chance to talk... Wanted to note that the quote you attributed to me is from Doug Otto...

Tim Lauer

Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Tim
Apologies for incorrect attribution....will fix. Thanks for your input during the session.