A year ago I wrote:

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.

In response to that post, on July 4, 2007 – American Independence Day – a number of you helped me celebrate independent (and hopefully innovative) thinking and leadership by blogging about effective school technology leadership:

A year later our leaders still need help, of course. So I am putting out a new call for people to participate in Leadership Day 2008.

Guidelines

On July 4, 2008, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. Whatever strikes you. Please tag your post with these Technorati tags:

leadershipday2008, schooltechleadership

and/or link back to this post. If you don't have a blog, comment on someone else's post and/or send your thoughts to me and I will post them for you. I will do a summary afterward of what folks wrote and talked about [bloggers, this means some new readers probably will head your direction!].

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 (or watching)?

A badge for your blog or web site

LeadershipDay2008

[click on image for larger version]

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