Shifting Our Schools Episode 16: How To Shift When Administrators Are Not Onboard?

By , 13 November, 2008, 3 Comments

Introductions

John Mikton and Paul McMahon joined Jeff and David for the show.

Essential Question

How to shift when the administrators are not on board?

Some take aways from the discussion:

-You have to start with the admin before you contemplate shifting. They are the power brokers and are connected to the board and the finance. Sometimes they simply don’t understand. How to make time for conversations? It is a sales situation. IT Director on Admin team. Being part of management team helps build relationships to these power brokers.
-The IT Director needs to have an educational background to know.
-Schools hiding behind the IB and AP programs. Safe and often not questioned by many parents. Why would an administrator take a risk on Learning 2.0 instructional techniques?
-How to shift the IB and AP learning outcomes to be project assessed?
-How to retrain our communities about what is learning?
-Get shifted educators at the admin conferences to help educate the leaders.

David’s post, Paul’s and  John’s posts on this EQ.

Blog Posts of the Week

David: Schooling by Design: Mission, Action and Achievement by McTighe and Wiggins

Jeff: ID: The Quest for Meaning in the 21st Century by Susan Greenfield

Paul: Anytime Anywhere Learning

John: Walking the Talk by Carolyn Taylor

Sign Off

*Next show is Thursday November 27th at 7 PM Bangkok time.
*Our guests will be Jeff Nugent and Andy Torres
*Essential Question for the show: What prevents administrators from shifting?
*Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS Diigo bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

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3 Responses {#}
  • Nancy vonw

    Hi, I am lucky to have a principal at our school who has created more momentum than anyone on campus in the past 2 years. Change happens slowly, but with perseverance and PLCs I can see it happening. It’s important to reflect and recognize progress in order to keep focused and stay the course.

    Two points I came away with that I’ve seen bring movement in my school over the last 14 months are first, that working with your team and colleagues even in areas that don’t fit your position- rolling up your sleeves and engaging in a team effort allows you to build relationships. I’m now accomplishing so much more than a year ago because last year I was new to the school and in a position new to the school and I now have relationships built that allow colleagues to trust and take risks.

    Secondly, the importance of bringing in new teachers who are not necessarily experienced with tech (although that is ideal), but open, flexible and willing to work as a team and think in new ways is paramont. Having been a classroom teacher and now ed tech specialist, I have wondered more than once whether I am able to be more effective as a classroom teacher or specialist.

    Thanks again for the SOS discussions- they help me stay motivated and feel connected.

  • David Carpenter

    Hi Nancy,

    We keep putting our “mosaic” together on how to shift schools acknowledging that there are so many needed parts to build a whole process for transformation. Your comment “open, flexible and willing to work as a team and think in new ways is paramount” really hits home. I do think it is a mistake to simply look for teachers who use technology and support information-rich classrooms. It is the flexibility and willingness to collaborate while being open to finding what really works for student learning that is essential to the shifting process. It is great to hear that you have some strong leadership at your school. As a listener to the podcast, you know how are guests keep coming back to the need for leadership. John Mikton really had some interesting points about the admin team and connecting to one’s board of trustees. And Paul hit it on the head that admin and board’s really need to understand that spending money on hardware isn’t how we change our schools to Learning 2.0 outcomes.

    As always, thanks for the support.

    -David

  • Paul McMahon

    Hi Nancy,

    Great to hear that the principal is onboard. I really feel that leadership for digital learning can no longer be about the Principal getting out of the way and letting the Tech person get on with it. They must walk and talk the change themselves.
    I really do wonder about staying the course if your school is not onboard with a shift. I left a school here in Hong Kong 3 years ago. In that time I have conducted workshops on learning 2.0 and 21C skills to schools in Hong Kong, Portugal, China, the UK and now the middle East in January. I returned to the school this week for some business and heard that they are nearly ready to appoint someone who can start them on this journey. This is an international school with high fees!!
    Had I stayed I would have stagnated to the point of exasperation! Sometimes we owe it to ourselves to work with the living.
    There are a huge range of schools out there. I think that systemic change is some way off yet!

    Thanks again for the comments

    Paul

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