Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Student Technology Use - Leadership Day 2012

I'm writing this post in response to Scott McLeod's Leadership Day 2012. The purpose of Scott's annual leadership day is to encourage school leaders to think and post more about how they influence the use of technologies in their schools. Last year, I posted about the lack of evidence between the use of technology in schools and student achievement measured via accountability tests, which might prevent some evidence based school leaders from making a strong press to increase the use of different technologies in their schools. This year, I'll focus more on students, and as a principal, how I plan to encourage our teachers to improve use of different technologies in their classrooms.

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?



  1. Today, I was speaking to our school’s Technology Literacy Coach about various capabilities and uses of the MimioTeach in the classroom. By connecting and collaborating with her, I have already created a document that I intend to use with my students every morning to familiarize them with using the stylus on the MimioTeach Whiteboard. Someone mentioned having the students sign in on the Mimio every morning at a training I attended. While I liked the idea, it did not seem feasible to have all 19 of my 2nd graders write their name on the board when they came in. I explained my concern to her that my students would not be able to all sign in due to their height and the width available on the whiteboard. In my mind, I saw the first student writing their name quite large, and everyone else having no choice but to write over one another’s names. After a brief thought, she suggested I make a slide with all my students names already typed and have them use the stylus to drag and drop their names from one section of the board to another. Before leaving at the end of the day, I created the slide and saved it. Tomorrow, my students will be introduced to this routine through guided practice.

    So, what are my plans for this school year? Following my new administrator’s philosophy of connecting, collaborating, and creating in order to maximize student learning while expanding my own comfort zone with the use of technology in the classroom.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Alessandra. Collaborating, connecting, and creating are skills that all of our students should be able to develop during their early years in school, and it is also important for educators to model this type of learning to their students. Your proactive approach to developing these skills in your students speaks to your professionalism and dedication to being a lead learner for your students to follow. Keep up the great work!