Friday, July 30, 2010

Leadership Day 2010 - My Take

Today marked the fourth annual Leadership Day hosted by Scott McLeod. My post for last year's Leadership Day asked leaders to examine the tools in their technology toolboxes. Then I wrote extensively about how I had added Web 2.0 tools to my toolbox since 2004. I had planned to add to that post each year and basically offer up the same challenge again this year to all the leaders out there.

Well I'm choosing a different slant on this topic this year. Another year has gone by and we have entered the second decade of the 21st century. So many edtech leaders are tired. They were part of the first wave of digital pioneers. They have been evangelizing for technology integration in their districts or schools everyday, some for more than 20 years. They want to know when everyone else is going to get aboard the train. When are all of the leaders in education going to get with the 21st century in terms of technology?

So my post for this year asks this question: As a leader what are you doing to integrate technology into your staff development?

Most school districts in the United States will begin the 2010-2011 school year in the next few weeks. Many districts or schools kick off their year with staff development. As a leader who wants to see technology integration taking place in your district or school here are some ideas on how to deliver your staff development in ways that show you can "walk the talk".

Things to Try
1. Try a different presentation tool - Instead of PowerPoint try Prezi.
2. Try a different way to brainstorm - Instead of using chart paper to gather ideas, try Webspiration or Wallwisher.
3. Try an online storage system - Instead of running off lots of handouts, put all documents on Slideshare or upload them as resources to the school website.
4. Try a different projection system - Instead of an overhead projector or a computer and a screen, try an interactive whiteboard.
5. Try a video camera - Instead of relying on teachers' memories or tons of handouts, capture your staff development sessions with a Flip cam and upload the videos to TeacherTube.
6. Try to use the expertise of others - Instead of being the facilitator of all technology staff development, let members of your staff led a session on a tool with which they have expertise.
7. Try a different voting method - instead of using charts and sticky notes to vote on ideas, use Poll Everywhere or student response systems (clickers).
8. Try a different evaluation method - Instead of passing out an evaluation sheet, create an online survey to be completed using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
9. Try a different way to share an expert's advise with your staff - Instead of hiring a budget busting expert to present at your school, use Skype to "bring" the expert to you for free.
10. Try a different way to gather ideas for further staff development - Instead of writing ideas on a piece of chart paper use blog or wiki and encourage your staff members to post a comment to your blog or collaborate on the wiki.