Can School Superintendents Take the Digital Leap?

Digital LeapTechnology moves at a scary-fast pace. Take a few weeks to master the social media tool or mobile app of the moment and, before you can say “Snapchat,” the latest innovation is on its way out, supplanted by a newer, cooler, faster iteration of itself.

It wasn’t that long ago that school administrators were still trying to figure out “the Twitter.”

Most educators, particularly at the district level, wanted nothing to do with social media. They plugged their ears and waited for the fad to pass. But, just as the technology looked as if it might blur by, another wave came, and another, and another.

Faced with the reality that these and other innovations (tablets, smartphones, mobile learning labs) were poised to transform the education enterprise, administrators had a choice: embrace the menagerie of new and emerging resources, or retire and find a new line of work.

As the Consortium for School Networking kicks off its annual conference in Atlanta this week, the focus is on helping school district administrators embrace technology to improve the education experience.

Spring forward
Empowering school leaders to use technology is the focus of Leading the Digital Leap, a joint initiative between the AASA, The School Superintendents Association, CoSN, and the National School Boards Association.

The online resource includes a self-assessment created by CoSN CEO Keith Krueger that helps school district leaders determine how prepared teachers and staff are to embrace technology in the classroom.

AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech says the initiative was created to help educators understand the successes and failures of school technology, and to use those lessons to drive continued innovation, “both in the learning of our students and the management of our schools.”

New toolkit for supes
Recognizing that superintendents play a critical role in how technology is integrated in schools, CoSN released The Empowered Superintendent, a toolkit designed specifically for school leaders who support the use of technology in schools, but who struggle with the risks and challenges that come with fully embracing those innovations in their districts.

The document includes downloadable learning modules for superintendents. One module, The Five Imperatives for Technology Leadership (registration required), features a list of must-haves for every school superintendent. Among them, better district leadership and communication, support of rigorous learning and skills development, the creation of better learning environments for students, better professional development for teachers, and stronger assessments and accountability for success.

Are you at CoSN this week? Looking for technology-based resources that promise to help improve communication and professional development in your district? Let’s Talk! can help

Author: Corey Murray

Education writer and editor

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