Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Sense of Urgency: A Good Reason to Retreat

I have been busily planning a retreat for our administration so that we can discuss and workshop our proposed plan for e-Learning. This is a big step forward for Qatar Academy and involves a willingness to want to get to the bottom of what it means to be an educational leader in the 21st century. Well, that is what I am hoping it is all about.

I have been browsing some older blog posts from the blog and from my
school Ning where my team contributed their thoughts and posts re the ASB Unplugged conference attended recently.

I am very inspired by the words of
Scott McLeod in his leadership and change keynote. Here are some of his words:

"If leaders don't get it, it isn't going to happen"
"For success teach stuents how to 'learn to learn'"
"Ubiquitous computing...what do students still need to memorize when information is at their fingertips?"

Post conference I wrote a blog post called A Sense of Urgency. I am sharing this now as I prepare to speak about leadership and managing change at our retreat.

ASB UnpluggedASB Unplugged

[With special thanks and acknowledgment to the E-Learning for Life team (Sam, Beverley, Mike B) who worked so hard at the conference in Mumbai and who are instrumental in helping move Qatar Academy into the 21st century. I am honored to be part of such a dedicated and dynamic team]

After having reviewed all notes, blog posts and photos, and after having discussed at length the plans for mobile computing and online learning as they can apply to Qatar Academy I am left with this overwhelming feeling of 'A Sense of Urgency'.

This is not an original phrase, this term was used extensively throughout the ASB Unplugged conference. Let me try to define it more clearly in terms of Qatar Academy.

1. It is with a 'sense of urgency' that we now need to plan for the next phase in QA's life as a PreK-12 school that includes embracing a shift in thinking. It is no longer an option for teachers to bury their head in the sand (slight pun there....aka Kim Cofino) and think this is not going to affect them. Everything we do as an educational institution includes using technology tools (administration, curriculum delivery, assessment, professional development and more), there is no way out.
2. It is with a 'sense of urgency' that we need to move into the next stage of planning for growth that embraces educational technology and move towards being a school that has a significant contribution to make in this region of the world.
3. It is with a 'sense of urgency' that structures are put into place that support learning in the classroom, rather than prevent it. This includes reliable and adequate infrastructure, just-in-time professional development, and authentic integration of technology into the curriculum at ALL levels.
4. It is with a 'sense of urgency' that the mobile, ubiquitous computing plans be finalised and support for this be determined. Sam has already shared his thoughts in this area.
5. It is with a 'sense of urgency' that all educators embrace opportunities for 'powerful learning practice' that Web 2.0 and e-learning can offer and set personal goals for growth, support of course by QA. This includes adopting online learning modes with mobile computing.

It is with a 'sense of urgency' that I communicate this message and final thoughts post ASB Unplugged as I believe Qatar Academy has enormous potential and an inner strength supported by excellence in staff and approach. Now is the time to plan and implement programs that will support even more powerful learning experiences for all.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Educators are always lagging behind technology. What is needed is innovation in learning,Educate and collaborate should be the motto in 21st century.