How does the principal change his/her practice in a 1:1 environment?

Cross posted on 1 to 1 Schools.

We know that practices change when teaches, students and administrators have ubiquitous access to technology on a daily basis. In the classroom, teachers and students have to explore different strategies for teaching and learning. In the administrative offices, school leaders should, promote and model effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders using digital-age tools.” (From ISTE’s NETS-Administrators). These changes don’t happen overnight because it can be difficult to develop new skills and knowledge and to change habits. What does the school leader who suddenly finds him/herself in a 1:1 environment do? In what ways do they change their practices to effectively leverage these new tools?

Let’s look at the following scenario: The principal and/or administrative team members are in charge of facilitating a planning session(s) with community stakeholders and all members of the group have access to a wide variety of resources and technological tools.

It’s very likely that the sticky notes and chart paper will not be needed for this meeting.

Let’s begin with Jeff Utecht’s four questions that Nick mentioned in his post entitled, “I’ve got to think of a new job title.”

  1. Is the technology being used “Just because it’s there”?
  2. Is the technology allowing the teacher/students to do Old things in Old ways?
  3. Is the technology allowing the teacher/students to do Old things in New ways?
  4. Is the technology creating new and different learning experiences for the students?

These questions can certainly be used by the leader to guide his/her planning. It seems to be a real challenge to develop a planning session that will create a different experience for the participants.

Some of the possibilities include:

  • Using the tools to cut down on the face to face meeting time. Only meet in person when it’s really necessary.
  • Using software to organize thoughts and ideas into visually stimulating digital images.
  • Providing the group with a wide variety of online resources that they can review anytime, anywhere.
  • Encourage the participants to seek out related information and resources throughout the session.
  • Start the discussion off with a blog post for people to comment on.
  • Communicate key concepts and ideas with stimulating visuals instead of the traditional bullet points.

I’d love to hear how school leaders are changing their practices to capitalize on this new environment. How are you “creating new and different learning experiences” for your community?

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