Wheat and chaff

How much technology does a school need and how does a school leader ensure that the right technology is in place?   Well, those are a couple of tough questions but since administrators are paid to make the tough decisions, allow me to offer a few thoughts on the process.   As I mentioned yesterday, my motto that I pass on to my graduate students in the school principalship program here at Central Michigan University is "technology cannot be stopped and youth will be served."  As we all know, it is a never ending challenge to stay on top of technology developments, even just a "slice of the pie," such as those that impact teaching and learning.  No one person can do it, let alone a principal who has myriad other duties.  But, again, that's part of what we are paid to do, so how does one tackle this issue?  Here are a few ideas.


1) Cozy up to your technology director.  Like a lot of other aspects of leadership, trust and delegation are going to be key.  A tech director should be a bountiful source of information that you can filter through your leadership lens and apply to your school.

2) Remember that newest is seldom best in a school setting.  The "latest" technology (e.g., Vista) is going to cost more and not be compatible with a lot of your current hardware and software.  That is something of a blessing in that dollars are so tight to begin with, at least here is one reason to hold off on buying new hardware & software.

3) Even though we may delegate some of the work in this area to others there is no excuse not to stay on top of it.  Resources that are helpful include: The International Society for Technology in Education; my local favorite, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning; and, of course my national favorite, School Tech Leadership.

Tomorrow I will talk about personal productivity in technology for school leaders.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less