This was sent to me by a good friend and mentor, (and a leader in his district). It refers to news about my school moving to a BYO Laptop program. The humour in it is that he lives in Canada and I’m in China… beyond that it speaks volumes about how important school level leadership is in creating a current, meaningful, learning environment in a school.

Dear Mr. Truss,
I was pleased to see your inclusion of a laptop project for the school. This is in direct contrast to my children’s current school where the principal has announced “that there will be no technology between 8:30 and 3:30 without the direct supervision of a teacher.”

May I ask what I need to do to have my 3 lovely children attend your School?

I’ve talked about this kind of ‘miss-management’ before and it has certainly made the news recently. If we want our children to grow up prepared to live in the current media scape, we need to start with school level leadership living and breathing in that same media scape.

I’m confident that my friend will be asking his children’s principal about this decision. He is a leader that recognizes that ‘we’ need to deconstruct old notions and construct schools that foster learning in the digital age for the sake of ‘our’ students.

"Leadership in a digital age"

3 comments on “Leadership in the digital age

  1. Dave – I sure hope that example isn’t from my District… I think a key success factor is having the conversations, with staff, with parents, with students, at all levels. That is growing in leaps and bounds here in Coquitlam. The conversation is about PODs (or BYO device), how to manage the chaos, misuse, leverage for learning, deal with behavior issues (ie digital bullying leading to physical bullying), etc. It’s a rich conversation that has to be had. And it takes leadership at many levels to be successful for sure.
    Cheers – Brian
    .-= Brian Kuhn´s last blog ..Welcome to your life in 2020 =-.

  2. Brian,
    As I mentioned to you privately, yes that example is from your district, (our district as I’m only on a leave of absence)… to which you replied, ‘feel free to be transparent’.
    Leadership at ALL levels is indeed key!

    “No unsupervised technology” is an easy reaction to misuse, but we all know that ‘easy’ and ‘good’ are not necessarily interchangeable when making tough decisions.

    Can you imagine a school saying, “There will be no unsupervised use of pencils or pens,” because nasty notes were being passed around? Are pens not a form of technology?

    As I recently wrote about, we need to choose our battles.
    One battle that I think we have to choose at all levels is challenging our own leadership decisions and decisions of those around us when they can affect the learning opportunities of our students. Like you mentioned, this can be a rich conversation!

  3. You’ve sparked an idea… maybe we should advocate for Pencil Labs or in more affluent areas, Pen Labs. We could create a new role for teachers “Pencil & Pen Contact” and have in-service sessions to learn good Pencil & Pen behaviour… 🙂

    Seriously though, I’m not surprised that we still have school principals wanting to control technology use closely. We will be making a concerted effort this next year to create strategies to help schools, teachers, families, students grapple with this digital world that has/is invading our schools, classrooms, and lives. Guided organic implementation… 🙂
    .-= Brian Kuhn´s last blog ..Welcome to your life in 2020 =-.

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