Many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I've noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don't know

  • what it means to prepare students for the 21st century;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (budget, staffing, infrastructure) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on...

Administrators' lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Most of them didn't grow up with these technologies. Many are not using digital tools on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So... let's help them out. Wednesday, July 4, 2007 is American Independence Day and is as good a day as any to celebrate independent (and hopefully innovative) thinking and leadership. I hereby invite all edubloggers to blog about effective school technology leadership next Wednesday.

Blog about whatever you like: successes, challenges, reflections, needs. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top 10 list. Make a podcast or a video. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Do an interview of a successful K-12 technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. Whatever strikes you. Please tag your post with this Technorati tag:

schooltechleadership

and/or link back to this post. If you don't have a blog, comment on someone else's post or send your thoughts to me and I'll post 'em for you. I'll do a summary afterward on what folks wrote and talked about.

Please join us for this important day, because I promise you: if the leaders don't get it, it isn't going to happen. Thanks.

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective K-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the NETS-A as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he / she probably isn't using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading?