Describe your educational technology leadership philosophy and style. Include APA citations and references from leaders in the field that have influenced your thinking; some references may be from leadership and some from educational technology.
Reading through the multiple leadership styles, I struggled to find one that completely fit my personal leadership style. The opening description for an Autocratic leader is a perfect description of how I was raised and my service in the US Army. Autocratic leaders insist on doing it themselves, make the decisions, keep information limited to those who need to know and expect subordinates to do as they’re told (Section 3, n.d.). In my mind, that is the perfect way to lead because that is how I was raised to lead. But as I read through the entire description I can see where the philosophy of that leadership style would not work in an environment of professionals. However, after working with my principal Dr. Ryan Clark for the past four years, my idea of the correct leadership style has evolved. Again, limiting his leadership style to only one would be an inaccurate portrayal. I would initially describe his leadership style as Transformational. He encourages teacher leaders to carry out his mission, vision, and values in order to change the culture of the school (Section 3, n.d.). As I advance in my career as an educator or future administrator, I can see areas where both styles can have success and failures and may require a blend of more than one leadership style.
As for my leadership style in educational technology, I’m still in will likely forever be in beta mode. I believe the Innovative leadership style would be fitting but it’s still not a perfect fit for me. The Innovative leadership style is used to pull the entrenched educators out of their set ways of the older system, to take risks, learn from the failures, and create an atmosphere of respect among the team (Blanken, 2013). A small team of teachers at my school is currently trying to disrupt the cultural norms and create an innovative environment for both educators and students. It’s not an easy challenge but one that has been taken head-on.
Describe your level of technology skills and how you can use them to help and lead others in your work setting.
Again, another difficult skill for me to assess or describe. I would likely describe myself as a geek in training but others have referred to me as a full on Google Geek! I am very knowledgeable in G-Suite tools and I have my Level 1 and 2 Google Certified Educator badges. I recently completed the coach training program for EdPuzzle and I’m currently working on trainer certifications for the Breakout EDU and Flip Grid platforms. That may sound like a lot but there’s still so much more to learn.
It is very challenging at times to lead or persuade others to utilize technology in the classroom. The lack of knowledge or the fear of failure can lead to teacher paralysis. The best I can do, or anyone for that matter, is to demonstrate the benefits of the available tools and the value each tool can have when creating visually appealing and engaging finished products by both teacher and student. I will continue to develop my technological skills and provide insight and training for those around me.
Locate one video that reflects your Educational Technology Leadership, embed the video in your response, and discuss how it reflects your educational technology leadership.
Redefining Learning & Teaching using Technology. | Jason Brown | TEDxNorwichED
I think what Jason Brown says in his TEDTalk video is very similar to my philosophy on the use of technology and something I said during my interview process. He repeatedly mentions that the technology is everywhere and used in all aspects of life. We use it to plan the lesson, present information, and communicate globally. Students have access to more information now than ever before and we aren’t capitalizing on the opportunities. He also talks about how we need to be teaching and inspiring students to utilize the technology resources available. I feel like this is part of what I do each day in my classroom. It is why I attend and present at multiple technology conferences each year.
Select two NETS Leadership standards (from the list below) and discuss how you demonstrate (maybe even exemplify) these standards in your work setting.
Lead in the development and evaluation of district technology planning and implementation. Candidates:
design and lead in the implementation of effective group process related to technology leadership or planning.
Three years ago, my school purchased 3 Chromecarts. The carts were contained in the media center and retrieved on a first come, first serve basis. The carts were used but poorly maintained, never charged, and Chromebooks were often damaged. At the beginning of the second year of the program and with much frustration, I developed a sign-out system for the carts. Teachers could sign the carts out using an online document or a paper copy in the media center. The new method proved to be plagued with problems. Teachers were signing out the carts using the online document, while others were signing out the carts using the paper copy and creating duplicate requests. The Chromebooks were still being damaged without any accountability and the carts were never fully charged.
At the end of the second year, the administrative team purchased three additional carts. At that point, I decided our program needed an overhaul. I received permission from the administration, took the Chromecart program and made it completely digital using G-Suite tools. Teachers can visit a site to see which carts are available, select a cart to reserve without double booking, report damages to Chromebooks, and determine the current location of a cart. The carts are stored and returned in specified locations and charged fully each day. The program is still evolving but it has made the acquisition and use of the Chromebooks more simplistic.
use strategic planning principles to lead and assist in the acquisition, implementation, and maintenance of technology resources.
A couple of years ago, I went to the KySTE conference and attended a session presented by a student technology team. After the session, I decided I wanted to create a student-led technology team for my school. The idea was to have the students maintain the Chromebook program mentioned above and make small repairs to any damaged Chromebooks. The idea is still in the early planning stages but supported by the administration. In addition to maintaining the current program, the students will also become certified Level 1 certified Google Educators. This will allow the student-led tech team to assist in both hardware and software sides of the program.
What is one idea or concept that you will take with you or incorporate into your job after you leave this class?
I know the question prompt asks for one idea but I’ve never been one to follow directions to the letter. So I have two!
The first take away from the LME 737 course is the need to continuously reflect on what I am doing in the classroom. To ask myself the tough questions and to continue making a positive impact on the students in my classroom. The impact doesn’t have to be 100% technology related but when technology is involved it must be used to enhance student learning and creativity, not just a supplement.
The second take away from the LME 737 course is the idea of a 20% project. I spent close to 50% of my course time on the 20% project. I was engrossed in the project from inception to completion and have no regrets about the time used. If students were given the same opportunity… I can’t imagine what kind of amazing products would be created.
What recommendations would you have for this course in the future?
I have taken LME 535 and LME 537 prior to the LME 737 course and by far, this is the best of the three. I wouldn’t recommend any changes. The blog assignments gave me with a real opportunity to reflect on my teaching characteristics and what I’m doing in the classroom. The TS modules were an opportunity to further develop and learn new skills relating to the implementation and use of technology in the classroom. But the best part of the course was 20% project. Designing a Breakout game for the WKU ROTC program was one of the greatest projects in my career, so far, and has opened the door for additional Breakout opportunities.
Blanken, R. (2013, January/February). 8 Common Leadership Styles. Retrieved December 1, 2017, from https://www.asaecenter.org/resources/articles/an_magazine/2013/january/8-common-leadership-styles
Section 3. Styles of Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2017, from http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/leadership/leadership-ideas/leadership-styles/main