Friday, April 6, 2012

Modeling Technology Integration - A Message for Educational Leaders and Technology Specialists

As we strive to support, guide, and lead educators in their efforts to seamlessly integrate technology into the classroom, we often fail to implement one of the most critical and important components of the process - modeling!  Education leaders must model what they are asking their teachers to implement.  The old saying "Do as I say, not as I do" will not work when it comes to convincing teachers to take that risk outside of their comfort zone.  Instead, the most profound impact is realized when those teachers see their leaders working along side them to learn tools and then implementing their newly acquired knowledge.  And, it doesn't really matter whether the result is perfect for the positive effects to take place...what matters is that the leader is working with the teachers to improve effectiveness by integrating technology.

Today, I was providing a workshop to teachers in my district (and I will tell you know, they are amazing...just saying) and in my workshop was a district assistant principal.  The impact on the teachers was obvious and incredibly powerful.  It made a difference and a BIG difference, at that!

You may be talking to your screen right now telling me that this just isn't happening where you are.  If you happen to be in the position where it is your role to support technology integration, you may feel that support is not as strong as you'd like.  Often, when someone says this to me, I reply with the question, "Have you asked for support?  For attendance at trainings?"  The majority of the time, the person who shared their concern and disbelief has not simply asked for the needed support.  ASK!!!!!  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!  And, if you are met with a different response than what you want, keep working on it.  Gently, of course, but build the relationship needed to bring on the much needed support.

Now, why do I think so?  Simple!  Technology when applied properly into an educational setting is like magic; it's exciting and exhilarating and the student success that follows is often amazing.  You have the goods, folks!  It's your job to find a way to invite the leaders to experience the thrill of effective technology integration.  Again, just as in my last post, I probably sound really sappy.  In fact, I'm sure of it....just as sure as I am that I believe ever single word of what I just wrote in this post.

And to the educational leaders that I've been lucky enough to work with - Thank you!  You are all the best...and I mean all of you!

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