Exemplars from the Field
I just finished reading "Leading technology-rich schools: Award-winning models for success" written by Barbara B. Levin and Lynne Schrum. This is a great book for those wanting concrete examples of schools that get technology leadership. The authors highlight eight schools that are led by top-notch, tech-savvy leaders. Here are some common themes.
- Vision. Tech leaders have a clear vision of how they want technology to be integrated into their schools. They have a vision of where they want to be and have taken an honest account of their current situation.
- Distributed Leadership. Each of these leaders stressed the importance of being a team player, empowering others, and valuing the opinions of all stakeholders.
- Transparency. Tech savvy school leaders are clear and transparent about every facet of the school's technology initiatives. This means the leader is willing and able to communicate successes and failures.
- Planning. Planning, planning, and more planning is at the core of every successful educational technology initiative.
- Culture. Successful school technology leaders consistently focus on fostering a positive culture of collaboration and risk taking while sharing and celebrating successes.
Other take aways focus on funding, infrastructure and support, ongoing professional development, changing curriculum and instruction, and building collaborations and partnerships.
The lessons learned from the case studies are not earth shattering. However they are wonderful examples that show "how their leadership makes things happen" (p. 4). It was a refreshing summer reading book!