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Things Every Principal and Administrator Must

Know To Be a Digital Leader


INSIGHT
Prasanna Bharti
14 July 2014
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Eric Sheninger- author of Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times says, "Leadership is no
different today than it was years ago. The only difference is that style and focus need to change with the times
if we are to accomplish the lofty task of preparing students for a dynamic world that is more social and
connected as a result of technology.
Leading in a way that supports the status quo, standardization, outdated practices, and misconceptions
related to technology, not only does a disservice to our students, but also renders our schools and profession as
irrelevant. Leading in education becomes exponentially powerful when using technology to your
advantage."
Yes! Digital leadership is crucial for educational leaders today, but what are the roles and responsibilities of
a digital leader?

Digital leaders carry specific responsibility of understanding the tech integration and implementation
in their education institutions rather than simply depending upon tech staff and teachers.
Technology integration is highest in buildings in which the principal is involved and excited about
technology and its possibilities and is lowest in buildings in which the principal doesn't
demonstrate technology use while encouraging others to use it too. The most effective way school
administrators can promote technology use is to themselves be knowledgeable and effective users
of technology.
Leaders must encourage teachers' curiosity about what can be done using technology, provide
incentives for teachers to attend workshops and conferences, persuade teachers who use technology
in the classroom to model that use for others, set up a mentoring system so teachers have someone
to go to for help and ideas, and provide time for teachers to experiment with technology.
Leaders should be providing opportunities for staff development is an important part of the
administrator's role,There must be a strong focus on staff development, on helping teachers learn to
use technology as a tool for teaching and learning.
School leaders must blog their ideas, share reflective thoughts, pass on resources from their learning
network, or simply verbalize their learning journey through story telling, to encourage those around
them to reflect and do the same. This communication and professional reflection promotes team
growth and a mindset of continuous improvement.
Digital Leaders must be those with a PLN personal learning network that connect globally to
share resources, collaborate on best practices, challenge thinking, all for the purpose of improving
craft for the kids and families they serve. Digital leaders must understand the importance of
plugging into networks and learning communities on Twitter, Google Plus, and other social forums,
where professional growth can occur at any time. -Tom Murray
Implementation of any latest technology requires full planning and multiple levels of experience. Here are
some important insights and ideas every educational leader must know about edtech integration and
digital leadership.

Visionary Leadership
Educational leaders must have vision in their leadership, to move the technology plan in the right direction.
With technology being easily accessible and more user-friendly, teachers and students believe that they can use
technology perfectly like they do at home, this makes digital leadership has become complex. This is because
the teachers and student do not have much understanding of the large educational system. And the fact is,
larger the district, the more complicated is its technology plan.

Digital leaders must provide regular direction to their teachers. Digital leaders with proactivetechnology
plan and visionary leadership can do this effectively. Visionary leadership is necessary for effective tech
integration.

Learning Culture in Digital Age


Concept of teaching has been changed a lot since the integration of the technology in education industry. A lot
of information is easily available on the web, which means teachers are not the sole providers of knowledge.
Therefore, it is important to cultivate a digital learning culture, where teachers are capable of using
technology to engage their students, and in order to support teachers to engage students in the digital learning
culture, digital leaders should seriously examine the amount of technology student should access and how
often.

Systemic Improvement
Digital leaders must follow a systemic improvement approach for tech integration meanwhile should know the
long term consequence of their decisions. They should keep a track of the gap that emerges in tech integration
and vision.
Your strategy should reflect the present reality as well as the future plans. When technology is a priority in
your education system then digital leaders must evaluate if all teachers are skilled enough to use technology in
the classroom effectively or do they need more resources for teaching with technology as a tool. For systemic
improvement, it is important to help teachers both in technology and curriculum.

Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship is one of the areas that a lot of digital leaders overlook. Usually, they ask users to sign up
and accept certain policies, however, forget to mention how to use of technology appropriately. Digital leaders
must go for open discussion with their teachers, faculties and technical staff. In this era, where technology is
easily accessible, digital citizenship has huge importance and every student and teachers must know it.
Technology has added a new level of responsibility for educators. Some consider themselves unprepared due
to the inability to identify the best practice and integration of the technology. Therefore, digital leaders carry
huge responsibility. Leaders must model their expectations, lead by example and with integrity, help foster
environments of innovation and trust. The best digital leaders understand that its not about the technology. Its
about the learning and opportunities that occur through meaningful technology infusion. It is time for digital
leaders to discussion and focus how to fit technology within the classroom to meet students need perfectly.
References -

http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/1317-things-every-principal-andadministrator-must-know-to-be-a-digital-leader

The Administrator's Role in Technology Integration

Teachers often come under fire for their failure to fully integrate technology
into their classrooms. Until recently, however, very little has been said about
the role of school administrators in technology integration. This month, the
Education World Tech Team discusses how they think principals and other
administrators can optimize technology use in their schools.

"The most effective way school administrators can promote technology use is to themselves be knowledgeable and effective
users of technology," says Betty Kistler, computer technology coordinator at Tuckahoe School in Southampton, New York.
"Principals play a big role in setting the climate of a building," agrees Cathy Chamberlain, a technology consultant in the
Oswego (New York) City School District. "Teachers who are on the fence -- or think they don't have time to get involved with
technology -- think twice when they sense a positive attitude on the part of the administration.
"I work in five elementary schools," Chamberlain explains. "In my experience, technology integration is highest in buildings in
which the principal is involved and excited about technology and its possibilities and is lowest in buildings in which the
principal doesn't demonstrate technology use while encouraging others to use it too. Modeling technology usage is key if
administrators want teachers to play an active role in technology integration."
John Simeone, Webmaster at Beach Street Middle School in West Islip, New York, adds, "Staff members are more apt to
use technology if administrators feel strongly about technology use for reasons that are based in fact -- not merely on the
assumption that they need to 'keep up' with other schools or districts."

MODEL! MODEL! MODEL!


"Administrators need to model, model, model," stresses Marcia Reed, media center coordinator at St. Pius X School in
Toledo, Ohio. "They can do that by using technology for administrative functions and by knowing how to use the hardware
and software they expect teachers to use."
Mary Kreul, a technology specialist at Richards Elementary School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, agrees. "Weekly memos to
staff members, schedule changes, meeting minutes, and so on, can all be handled via e-mail. School news can be
broadcast over the school cable system. Attendance records, grading, and reporting can be technology-based -- with a
system that's intuitive, practical, and accessible. A school Web page can feature administrators providing brief descriptions
of the school and its mission, school highlights, or upcoming events."
"Principals can encourage the use of technology in their schools in other ways as well," says Caroline Salerno, a fifth-grade
teacher and Internet trainer at Bretton Woods Elementary School in Hauppauge, New York. "They can

support and encourage teachers who want to go to conferences and participate in staff development.

e-mail notices and agendas to staff, rather than printing and distributing them.

ask that lesson plans be submitted through e-mail or on disk.

foster technology growth by asking parents to write e-mail addresses on medical forms.

insist that all teachers create a class Web page.

attend technology conferences to see what other schools are doing, what other teachers are doing to integrate
technology, and what principals are doing to encourage the use of technology in their schools and classrooms.
"District administrators need to do their jobs as well," Salerno adds, "by providing technology training for principals!"

ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT!


School administrators, according to Fred Holmes, Webmaster at Osceola (Nebraska) Public Schools, can easily promote
technology integration. They can encourage teachers' curiosity about what can be done using technology, provide incentives
for teachers to attend workshops and conferences, persuade teachers who use technology in the classroom to model that
use for others, set up a mentoring system so teachers have someone to go to for help and ideas, and provide time for
teachers to experiment with technology. "Administrators can't give teachers computers a week before school starts and say,
'Here they are. Use them!'" Holmes says.
Providing opportunities for staff development is an important part of the administrator's role, agrees Patrick Greene, a
professor of education at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. "There's a two-step process to integrating
technology into the curriculum," Greene explains. "First, teachers must learn the hardware and software; then they must
learn to integrate it. Administrators should institute weekly training sessions for all teachers. The training should inculcate an
understanding level for each piece of software in a teacher's virtual toolkit, including a word processor; spreadsheet,
database, and presentation software; organization software; a Web editor; and Internet tools. The culminating activity should
be the development of a comprehensive plan that each teacher writes for implementing technology-enhanced lessons in his
or her own classroom. When the training is complete, then -- and only then -- should teachers be given computers for their
classroom."
"There must be a strong focus on staff development, on helping teachers learn to use technology as a tool for teaching and
learning," agrees Mary Kreul. "Technology courses should not simply provide hardware or software training, but should help
teachers learn how to use technology in the classroom to support students and extend learning opportunities. A technology
integrator should be available in each building to train and support teachers as they learn to use technology effectively in the
classrooms."
In addition, Kreul notes, "administrators should make budget and personnel decisions that ensure that the school's
technology is up-to-date and in good working condition. They should make sure that the focus of technology is to enhance
student learning and that technology decisions are made by teachers who use technology, know the curriculum, and are
cognizant of the needs of the students."
"Assuming hardware, software, networking, and training needs have been met," adds Art Lader, Webmaster at Aiken (South
Carolina) High School, "principals can promote technology integration by providing time for planning, collaboration, and
implementation of technology-based activities. In the end, it's often a lack of time that prevents good ideas from being
realized as valuable activities," Lader notes.

SUMMING IT UP
Jennifer Wagner, technology coordinator at Crossroads Christian School in Corona, California, best summed up the
comments of all the Tech Team members. In response to the question, "What do school administrators need to know, do,
and provide to promote technology integration among their staff and students?" Wagner replies
What do they need to know?

How to use word processing.

How to use the Internet.

How to use e-mail.

The status of technology on their campus.

Which teachers are -- and are not -- using technology.


What they need to do?

Support the technology coordinator.

Reward teachers using technology.

Encourage teachers who are not using technology.

Visit classrooms to see computer use.

Take an active role in using technology.


What do they need to provide?

Opportunities for staff development.

Sufficient up-to-date, workable computer equipment.

Funds for computer improvements.

Time and resources for troubleshooting programs and future planning.

Internet access.
The Education World Tech Team includes 40 dedicated and knowledgeable educational-technology professionals who have
volunteered to contribute to occasional articles that draw on their varied expertise and experience. Stay tuned in the months
ahead as members of the Tech Team share their thoughts on a wide variety of topics.

Article by Linda Starr


Education World
Copyright 2009 Education World

Updated 09/23/2009

- See more at: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech087.shtml#sthash.WQMK0CBk.dpuf


http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech087.shtml

Digital leadership for administrators


By Tom

Murray on September 18th, 2013 | Comments(13)

46

inShare

Year after year, hundreds of millions of dollars are funneled into


technology initiatives and resources in school districts throughout the country. From
hardware and software, to infrastructure and one-to-one devices, money is flowing into
programs and tools for schools like never before, but are these technology devices and tools
making a worthwhile impact considering the cost? Whos leading such implementation and
reform? As these tools become more prevalent in schools, its school leaders that will make
or break the success of such innovative programs and ultimately help determine if the
monetary investments were worthwhile. Administrators that exhibit digital leadership will
undoubtedly have a higher return on such investments in technology. Schools without such
leaders face an uphill battle.
How can administrators exhibit such digital leadership?
1. Foster a culture of innovation and risk taking. Some administrators rule with a
heavy hand, causing staff to be fearful of making mistakes, which in turn inhibits risk-taking
and classroom innovation. Others promote such innovation and understand the need for a
school culture to be based on trust. High expectations for student engagement are evident
and teachers are challenged to move outside of their own comfort zone. Leaders in these
schools create a safe environment for teachers to learn, grow and push the digital envelope.
2. Cultivate digital teacher leadership. Simply put, the best schools are run by
administrators that allow teachers to take on leadership roles; not ones that micromanage
their every move. Its not feasible for a building administrator to be the expert on every
digital tool, system, program, etc. Digital leaders cultivate teacher leadership, abdicate some
control, and understand that allowing teachers to lead, mentor and inspire their colleagues
will promote positive digital outcomes.
3. Utilize technology for improved communication. Technology enables leaders to
communicate in a variety of facets. From social media outlets like school Facebook pages
and Twitter accounts to YouTube channels and interactive school websites, various modes
of communication allow leaders to utilize a multi-pronged strategy; vastly improving

communication to those they serve. School and district mobile apps provide real-time
information, grade reporting, attendance information, etc. No longer is the monthly
newsletter stuffed in a backpack or the communication of student progress a handful of
times per year sufficient. Teachers and parents expect pertinent information in real time.
Digital leaders make this flow of information meaningful and relevant for all stakeholders.
4. Communicate your own learning. Digital leaders are transparent in their own
professional growth. Transparency can create vulnerability, yet provides an avenue for
leaders to share their personal experiences, development and journey. School leaders that
blog their ideas, share reflective thoughts, pass on resources from their learning network, or
simply verbalize their learning journey through story telling, encourage those around them
to reflect and do the same. This communication and professional reflection promotes team
growth and a mindset of continuous improvement. Do you communicate your own learning
to staff or do you only spend time directing staff how they need to grow professionally?
5. Invigorate team meetings. Team meetings can be the best of times or the worst of
times. Pulling together large groups of staff members can leave staff inspired and motivated,
or befuddled and disheveled. Technology can help transform meetings into those that are
interactive, efficient and meaningful. Back channels can provide an avenue of engagement
and real-time interaction. Survey tools, such as Poll Everywhere, can capture staff feedback
and thoughts in real time. Digital content can supplement initiatives. Global connections
can share expertise by virtually joining meetings and training sessions from anywhere in the
world. What are you doing to model for your staff what you want your 21st-century
classrooms to look like? Are your faculty meetings 20th-century information dissemination
sessions, or challenging, inspirational team-building sessions?
6. Power down to maintain sanity. Digital leaders should find times during the week
and throughout the year to power down and disconnect. Being a digital leader doesnt mean
constant, round the clock connectivity. In fact its imperative that leaders make
unconnected, quality time for family, friends and personal interests, to remain at peak
performance while connected.
7. Utilize technology for improved efficiency. Schools leaders around the country are
continuously tasked with finding ways to do more with less. Improved efficiency is key.
Schools that are collecting thousands of forms, inputting data like its 1986, collecting
results by hand, surveying staff on paper, etc., are wasting valuable time and energy. Simply
stated, in 2013, we cant be wasting time with tasks that can be automated, data that can be
collected electronically and processes that can be performed digitally that can save hours of

manual work. Work smarter by utilizing high quality digital resources, not harder. Improve
efficiency to increase time for kids.
8. Model expectations for staff. Like any initiative, quality classroom lesson, or even
parenting technique, modeling is key. The do as I say, not as I do mentality leads to a
disjointed, disgruntled staff. As a child watches a parent, so too do staff members watch
their building leader. Make expectations clear, model what you expect and practice what you
preach.
9. Get connected. Connected educators are those with a PLN personal learning
network that connect globally to share resources, collaborate on best practices, challenge
thinking, all for the purpose of improving our craft for the kids and families we serve. Digital
leaders understand the importance of plugging into networks and learning communities on
Twitter, Google Plus, and other social forums, where professional growth can occur at any
time.
Leaders that model their expectations, lead by example and with integrity, help foster
environments of innovation and trust. The best digital leaders understand that its not about
the technology. Its about the learning and opportunities that occur through meaningful
technology infusion.
Tom Murray serves as the director of technology and cyber education for the Quakertown
Community School District in Bucks County, Pa. He was the 2012 recipient of the Blended
Schools Network Leadership Award and was featured in Tech & Learning Magazines
Leadership Profile in December of 2012. Murrays QCSD cyber and blended learning
programs have been highlighted by Forbes.com, T.H.E. Journal, Project Red, the
Innosight Institute, iNACOL, and on Digital Learning Day 2013, among others. Murray
serves on the advisory board for T.H.E. Journal and has co-founded both #sbgchat and
#edtechchat. Connect with him on Twitter @thomascmurray or
at ThomasCMurray.com.

http://smartblogs.com/education/2013/09/18/digital-leadership-for-administrators/