Thursday, June 16, 2011

Transformation and technology

This week I spent two evenings talking with school boards about their work, particularly as it relates to vision.  One board engaged in conversation that specifically focused on technology.  How could we use it better?  How do we know what kinds of questions to ask about it?  Are we qualified to make technology questions. What does the term "cloud" mean?

The other board talked about vision and the need to include the community in conversations about the future of the district. One of the board members said, "It is clear technology has to be a central component of those conversations.  And, again, board members expressed dismay that they don't know enough to make these kinds of decisions.

Well, school board members are not alone.  In his blog, dangerously irrelevant, Scott McLeod talks about how educational leadership programs are not addressing this issue either.  We need to prepare our school leaders, not so that they will have the answers, but that they will be able to ask the right kinds of questions, spot trends, and bring people together to figure it out.

And, technology is not the issue.  The issue is educational relevance and the role technology plays in achieving that.  Other questions:  how will technology change our culture and are we ready for that?  How big of a change are we ready for?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Human Capital and Technology

I frequently hear conversations where people talk about the role technology could play in bringing schools into the 21st century.  It is easy to focus on the gadgets--laptops, iPads, Smart Boards.  But getting the gadgets into the schools is only one challenge.  If teachers are to successfully use these new technologies, they need training.

This blog post provides food for thought about how we might more effectively introduce new technologies into our schools.  And, the proposed changes to collective bargaining may provide opportunities for important staffing reconfigurations that can help support staff learning about new ways to deliver curriculum using technology.