Leading by Example

November 8, 2011

In A call for Technology Leadership, Schachter (2010) discusses recommendations for superintendents to improve educational technologies in schools. The idea that superintendents must lead by example is a theme that is expressed throughout the article.

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) from Washington, D.C., released a 21 page document for superintendents that provided them with strategies for seizing the technological initiative across all areas of education. Within the “Empowering the 21st century Superintendent” document, there were 5 crucial directives discussed: modeling the use of technologies in communicating to students, teachers and the general public; ensuring that technology becomes integral to teaching 21st century skills; increasing Web 2.0 applications for student learning; offering professional development for these technologies as well as providing online tools for teacher created learning communities; and requiring more balanced assessments of student work including project based learning enhanced by technology.

I believe this article points to the new importance for 21st century leaders to focus on guiding and interacting with both teaching and learning as opposed to playing the main role in providing information. I like the idea of superintendents as well as administrators and teachers to become one with the technologies that their students are already so familiar with. Unfortunately, I think there will always be a kind of technological gap between generations, but attempting to make headway on this can open up an environment for greater shared learning experiences.

I found it very refreshing that this article emphasized how easily technology can become apart of everyday life. I also really enjoyed that examples of collaboration between superintendents, teachers parents, students and universities were shared. I find this article leaves me motivated to lead my classroom and/or school by example. Establishing a class website, blog or twitter account to communicate with all stakeholders is very simple. Many teachers are wary about the use of technology; it is imperative that teachers who are tech savvy step up to the plate to demonstrate the technological possibilities.

Schachter, R. (2010). A Call for Technology Leadership. District Administration, 46(10), 41-45.

Reinventing Education

October 11, 2011

As I work through our course, I’m excited, inspired and daunted at the ideas suggested for 21st century learning. This information age with it’s associated technologies allows for a very different type of learning. It is true that nearly all content is accessible with the click of a mouse or tap of a phone. It is very easy to appreciate the limited level of motivation the exists for students to memorize and regurgitate that which is merely at their fingertips at any given time.

So instead of insisting that students demonstrate mastery over content, we must provide them with skills. Fostering the development of these skills will enable them to navigate the multitude of information around them. Although I am certainly not an expert on this topic, the idea of educational reform speaks to me. I agree with Sir Ken Robinson (2010) in his presentation on Changing Education Paradigms that we simply must look at the ideals of historical education and move on to create new ones appropriate for the 21st century. I find his point that we are trying to meet the future by doing what has been done in the past quite striking. In looking at the big picture in this context, it seems impossible to make headway until we release our past notions of “schooling”.

So, what is next? As I asked in my previous blog, what will this new education system look like?

The Premier’s Technology Council (2010) makes reference to a case study in Finland. In their school system, students work with teachers to determine weekly targets and tasks within each subject area. This active learning helps students become more self directed and independent in their learning. Most definitely a necessary 21st century skill!

Throughout this course I hope to investigate a variety of 21st century learning systems. Hopefully from this information I can begin to form my vision of a new form of “school”.

 

References:

Premier’s Technology Council. (December, 2010). A Vision for 21st Century Education. Retrieved fromhttp://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/attachments/PTC_vision%20for_education.pdf

The RSA org. (2010, October 14). RSA Animate- Changing Education Paradigms  Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

 

 

 

 

Blog 1

September 27, 2011

The Research Review created by Friesen and Lock (2010) explains the importance of teaching 21st century skills within our schools today. One point that resonates within me is the issues surrounding the application of new technologies with our previously designed education system. I agree that trying to improve our outdated system is simply not the answer. I believe we can fall farther behind when we attempt to do this.

As technologies advance and become implemented in our old system, technological capabilities differ greatly from one school district to another.  This discrepancy regarding available technologies causes some students to have limitations in their 21st century skill sets.

I’m reminded of an article in which Page and Hill discuss the divide that can be created when considering opportunities or lack thereof for technologies in rural versus urban communities. Essentially, they explain that as technology is rapidly advancing in urban communities it is comparatively at a standstill in rural communities. So with each advance forward for urban schools, the rural school is left farther and farther behind.

I am currently just starting my teaching career in Nova Scotia. This appreciation for technology and its capabilities in reaching and engaging students will be reflected in my teaching practices. Currently, I am overwhelmed at the thought of future directions for the education system. However, I hope to become an active advocate for changes that cause our teaching practices to better reflect the realities of the world around us.

My question is: How can we create the most effective education system for the 21st century and its associated reality and how exactly will it function?

References

College of Alberta School Superintendents (2010). High Performing Districts in the Application of 21st Century Learning Technologies. University of

Calgary. Friesen,S., & Lock, J.V.

 

Page, G. A., & Hill, M., Information, Communication, and Educational Technologies in Rural Alaska. New Directions for Adult and

        Continuing Education no. 117 (Spring 2008) p. 59-70

 

 

 

Intro

September 23, 2011

Hello everyone,

This blog will be an area for me to reflect as I maneuver Leadership and Technology. This is my 11th course in the MEd program from the U of C. My specialization is Teaching English as a Second Language but I have a passion for incorporating Technology into my teaching practises.

I have blogged a bit previously while Teaching in Northern Canada as well as during the Distributed Learning course.