Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lead by Example

Reflections on ISTE '13, three of three

During her ISTE '13 presentation on professional development, Lori Gracey suddenly exclaimed, "Modeling! Modeling! Modeling!"  She was making this point in reference to PD.  After all, shouldn't the professional development training itself model the type of behavior it seeks to inculcate?

She certainly modeled to those assembled in the packed room.  Much of her session was digitally
interactive.  And to the degree that it was possible with a big crowd, we small clumped into small groups to investigate and communicate about new apps.  Lori did not lecture-- we instead followed a process of exploration

Coincidentally, I had intended to mention modeling in my own PD presentation the next day.  And I did so, actually adding the word to my slides. I quoted Lori, too. In my presentation, however, I mentioned modeling in terms of educational leadership, stressing how very important I felt it was for administrators to demonstrate competency with technology and not merely cheer lead teachers to do it.  I commended the majority of my own admin team for really making this effort with our Mercy 2.0 technology initiative.

In my own case this has meant . . . .

* Almost always taking my iPad with me when I stroll the halls.

* Scheduling meetings through Google Calendar and Doodle.

* Never taking legal pads to meeting.

* Rarely carting file folders to meetings.

* Only providing paper copies to audiences where I may need to defer to their habits (parent groups, Board meetings).

* Blogging like a demon.

* Firing off photos with my iPhone and iPad at various and sundry school events, and posting them to FaceBook or Twitter when appropriate (e.g., softball team accepting championship trophy).

* Establishing shared Dropbox folders and Google Docs for task groups.

To be sure, some of these behaviors are rather superficial.  But taken together, they build some street cred. In retrospect, I wish I had made this a bigger point of emphasis in my Technology Leadership class at Madonna U.  The more I think about it, the more important it seems.


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