Preparation programs

Here's a not-so-secret tidbit for you... If you think states and school districts are doing a poor job of preparing administrators to lead in this digital century, university educational administration programs are doing even worse.


Few preservice educational administration programs even have a course dedicated to technology leadership issues. When they do, the course is often focused on teaching computer skills to preservice administrators (i.e., PowerPoint, spreadsheets) rather than leadership skills (e.g., how to create an effective and sustainable technology plan; how to facilitate good technology integration by teachers and students). Programs that don't have a dedicated course sometimes integrate a few technology-related issues into other classes (e.g., staff development, school finance) but the predominant pattern in most programs is to do little if anything. Why? Because most faculty are less proficient with, and less grounded in, digital technologies than K-12 administrators.

A few places across the country are trying to do more when it comes to preparing technology-savvy school leaders:

  1. Our own School Technology Leadership graduate certificate program here at the University of Minnesota was the nation's first graduate program based on ISTE's NETS-A and, as far as we know, is still the only program found (by the American Institutes of Research) to have positive, statistically significant impacts on participants' technology leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • In addition to our own program, we also give our curriculum away, including all activities, readings, etc., to fifteen other universities through our Postsecondary Partnership Program (P3). Those universities are doing a great deal on the technology front, including creating new programs, integrating technology leadership activities into existing courses, and providing workshops and institutes for local administrators.
  • Last year ISTE began an innovative joint leadership preparation program with Johns Hopkins University that has an emphasis on technology integration.
  • Other universities with emphases on K-12 technology leadership issues include the University of Oklahoma, Pepperdine University, and Kennesaw State University.
  • Finally, CoSN and NSBA provide online courses related to technology leadership issues that can be taken for graduate credit.

    Anyone know of any others out there?

    Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

    The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

    Big Think Edge
    • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
    • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
    • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
    Keep reading Show less

    Think of the closest planet to Earth... Wrong! Think again!

    Three scientists publish paper proving that not Venus but Mercury is the closest planet to Earth

    Strange Maps
    • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbour must be planet two of four, right?
    • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
    • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbour is... Mercury!
    Keep reading Show less

    Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

    The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

    An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
    Surprising Science
    • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
    • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
    • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
    Keep reading Show less

    10 novels that brilliantly capture the American experience

    The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.

    American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979. (Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)
    • Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
    • These ten novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
    • The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and hiding out in inner city Newark.
    Keep reading Show less