As educators, I think it's important to remember that different technologies are simply tools for us to help students develop some of the skills they will need to be successful adults. As a principal, the way I see this getting done is by having the students use any technologies that might be available in our schools. I think it's imperative that we teach our students how to collaborate with others, how to make connections with others, and how to create solutions to problems with increasing complexity via use of these different technologies. Teachers and students need to continue to develop their skills to use technologies to guide their learning. This first requires us to develop our educators to become comfortable with the technologies, so they can facilitate proper and effective use to their students.
This year I plan to make a bigger press to convey those technological skills to our teaches that I think are important for our students to begin to develop...collaborating, connecting, and creating...then, we'll put a plan in place to continue to develop our teachers. We made a press last year to get more of our teachers on Twitter, which I believe is an excellent platform for anywhere, anytime learning, and we'll continue to do that during the upcoming school year. We'll also put plans in place to encourage more teachers to create personal/professional blogs, classroom blogs, and to utilize some of the freely available tools to allow for our students to collaborate with others in their class or around the world. We began making a bigger press in developing these skills in our students and teachers last year. For example, Tim Slack (@slackt) and I encouraged our students to collaborate on ideas to reduce, reuse, and recycle in schools. This international collaborative project, Tim is the principal of St. Rita Catholic School in Ottawa, Ontario, was well received by teachers and students alike, and our students were excited about learning how to better "green" our school.
So, for Leadership Day 2012 my focus is on student technology use and making a bigger press this year to make sure our teachers are comfortable in developing our students' skills to allow them to use available technologies to collaborate, connect, and create with others to improve learning for all. What are your plans for this school year?