We need to build community capacity (a.k.a. Agreeing with Jeff Utecht)
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
It was interesting yesterday at a parent coffee we held where Kim Cofino and I showed the parents Karl Fisch’s Did You Know video. We had one parent ask “What is the school doing to prepare my child for this future?” That’s what we need. We need the parents to start asking those questions of our school. We need to educate our school boards, our parents, and then we will see change…..hopefully.
I’m absolutely delighted that the parent asked one of the questions from the end of Did You Know? 2.0. That’s exactly why Karl, xplane, and I included those questions - to prompt some parental and community pressure on school organizations and policymakers.
Many of us spend a lot of time working with educators, trying to help them envision what a change to a 21st century teaching-learning model might look like. But usually we don’t spend nearly enough time working with parents and community members - creating the vision, answering questions, and addressing concerns.
We need to be better communicators with our local folks, and by that I mean our entire community, not just the school board. We need to take every opportunity we can to have group conversations with parents and community supporters. They need to understand how our personal and professional lives are changing dramatically because of these digital technologies. Even if they’re not living it themselves at home or at work, they’re feeling the effects through their children, their employer, or their friends and family. But they may not understand exactly the depth of what’s occurring…
Help them understand. A side chat at a school event or over the back fence can pay dividends later when the school system asks for the community’s suppport. E-mailing a couple of videos can spark a conversation when you bump into someone at the grocery store, soccer game, or band concert. Invite a few people over for snacks and, while the kids play in the backyard or you play bridge, bring up a couple of issues for them to think about.
We need to invest more in our communities’ capacity to understand and to assist.
What are some successes that you’ve had with your local community? What are some good strategies that you can share for facilitating local stakeholder buy-in for 21st century-related change initiatives?
Are we trying to solve too many problem with technological solutions?
- Technology has given humanity the amazing ability to fix almost any problem, conditioning us to search for technological remedies to what might be social problems.
- Alleviating social inequity is a problem that technology must necessarily attempt to solve, but technology alone cannot shape how humans assemble their societies.
- Only by emphasizing the primary place of individual identity, human dignity, and universal values like empathy and emotion, can we hope to solve global issues that, so far, technology has been unable to conquer.
Radical Transformational Leadership: Strategic Action for Change Agents
With his collected letters recently being published, it's time to revisit this extraordinary thinker.
- Though the British philosopher died in 1973, his work continues to make an impact.
- A recently published collection, The Collected Letters Alan Watts, is a deep dive into his personal correspondences.
- Watts was an early proponent for spreading Eastern philosophy to Western culture.
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
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