Thoughts on School Leadership 11/05/2013 (p.m.)

  • Doctoral Candidates research and opinions on the impact of digital media in education.

    tags: Leadership edtech ASDA

    • learner preferences shaped by participation in a digitally-mediated world are often-overlooked in the process of curriculum development as well as in planning of instruction delivery and learning environments.
    • people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life,
    • jobs in the manufacturing sector in 1967 accounted for 54% of the U.S. economic output whereas by 1997, this was surpassed, at 64%, by information products (Partnership, 2008).
    • 65% of children entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t even been invented yet”
    • our students have been profoundly impacted growing up in a digitally-mediated world, in large part due to the amount of daily media and ICT-related exposures which are increasing.
    • over 25% of this time is spent “multitasking”, engaging in more than one media simultaneously.
    • 81% of teens use media at least “a little” of the time or more while doing homework.
    • Texting is by far the most popular way for teens to communicate. While 63% of teens say they text every day, only 39% said they make calls on their phones on a daily basis or send messages through social networking sites (29%).
    • Accustomed to being entertained and engaged, many students carry this expectation into the classroom and at the very least, expect that to learn in a similarly engaging and interactive manner.
    • digital generation has adopted a mindset of rapid-fire-trial-and-error learning. They’re not afraid of making mistakes because they learn more quickly that way. They operate under the strategy of useful failure …..while people of our generation are under the assumption that all failure is bad and help comes from an expert or a book. (Understanding the Digital Generation, 2011).
    • These changes in the learning landscape are all too often overlooked, misunderstood, or not taken into account by educators
    • s critical that educators are aware of the existence of digital age learning preferences regardless of technology use, or not, in the learning space.
    • digital age learners prefer the flow of information to be non-sequential and streamed from multiple, linked sources. Exposed to vast quantities of media and data from an early age, digital learners are often critical consumers of information and they are comfortable with large quantities of data in rapid succession. Young adults, in particular, are often active in online communities where information is crowd-sourced and verified, such as Wikipedia.
    • Digital age learners have a strong preference for visual learning, tending to process media before text.
    • They expect learning to be engaging and interactive, relevant, authentic and motivating
    • As the volume of free, increasingly more reliable information is readily available online, there has been a distinct shift in information seeking behaviors which has rendered the necessity of remembering large quantities of information irrelevant.
    • Instead, just-in-time learning is now more often appropriate, where information is retrieved as needed to solve authentic problems.
    • Stylistically, the presentation of the overall concept or problem first is key to these learners; that is, information and inquiry in context leading to situational learning opportunities.
    • n terms of strategy, digital age learners tend to prefer extensive integration of digital technologies and tools and for collaborative work (especially digitally-mediated). Furthermore, there is a strong preference for peer assisted, problem solving, inquiry-based and discovery kinds of learning which are embedded in a meaningful context (which is why game-based learning has become so effective in some environments).
    • Despite the significant “integration of technology” in teaching and learning as well as administration, practicing educators, for the most part, lag behind in understanding. It is imperative that school leaders be moderately technically adept, and critical that they understand the possibilities and limitations of technologies. For example, so many technology initiatives fail because of the well-meaning vision of “technology integration” which fails to match learning theory with the practical application of technologies as pedagogical tools. Without this understanding, leaders risk failure and irrelevance, wasting resources and demoralizing colleagues.
    • Many of these technologies are already in use in business and industry contexts.
    • professional learning experiences powered by technology to increase their digital literacy and enable them to create compelling assignments for students that improve learning, assessment and instructional practices…… technology should be used ….to engage and motivate them in what and how they teach. (National Educational Technology Plan, 2010)
    • despite the widespread agreement on the importance of digital media literacy, training in the supporting skills and techniques is rare in teacher education…..This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking [i.e. approaches and pedagogies] and thus skills and standards based upon tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral.
    • quality leadership, modeling and mentoring are powerful strategies, and are critical to successful innovation diffusion in organizations.
    • We can only teach what we know; this may be best accomplished, in an ever changing context, by creating communities of learners with a common vision to really understand not only the capabilities of technology and how they have changed the learning landscape, but also to be responsive to students’ needs
  • tags: @gcouros Leadership ASDA

    • If you wanted to work in the film industry, where would you most likely go?  If you wanted to be a country singer, what places are the most likely to give you opportunity?  If your answers were “Hollywood” and “Nashville,” respectively, you just identified what Richard Florida calls “spikes.”

       

      A “spike” is a place where there is a large amount of people with one main area of interest that come together to create some of the best work in their field.  It is not the only place, but these specific areas are usually known for excellence.  So if I asked you where the “spike” is for educators, where would that be?  Well, because most places on Earth have a school, if we think of a “spike” being in a physical place, it would be hard to identify where that one place would be.  This is where social media comes in.  Passionate educators are using things like Twitter and hashtags, such as #edchat to come together, ask questions, share ideas and create innovative ideas.

    • “It isn’t how much you know that matters. What matters is how much access you have to what other people know. It isn’t just how intelligent your team members are; it is how much of that intelligence you can draw out and put to use.” Wiseman, McKeown from Multipliers
    • When these spikes are created, leaders have to be comfortable that great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere and at any time.  The focus for leadership should not be on their ideas, but the best ideas.
    • “Social media has created influencers among people traditionally outside an organization’s database of members or donors or customers. These are people whose activities and opinions can have tangible, measurable financial effects (good or bad); people on the periphery but who have social capital (i.e., trust) among their own networks.” Notter and Grant
    • In education, the focus has to move from distinct roles, to the idea that everyone can be both a teacher and a learner.
    • Organizations, as a whole, should model what they expect from students on a micro level; that they are willing to learn and grow.
    •  As we tell our students the day they walk into kindergarten, “You need to share,”  this should also be the focus for organizations that are looking to move forward and create innovation.

       

    • Many large organizations have the belief that leadership should always be developed within–which it should be to an extent–but there has to be a balance of bringing in an outside view.
    • When you have people that have been trained within a system, by the system, you are more likely to repeat the same patterns that have always existed.
    • “Innovation has an inherent distaste for best practices because it is about new solutions, not copying existing solutions.”  
    • If your practices are amazing, sharing them with other educators gives them the opportunity to help more kids. If practices are weak, it often brings in new ideas to help your kids.  There is no loss in this situation for students, yet ego sometimes (often) gets in the way.
    • Social media, and the open culture it has created, has made our culture and mindset “participatory.”
    • “One of the reasons social media has grown so fast is that it taps into what we, as human beings, naturally love and need and want to do—create, share, connect, relate.” Notter and Grant

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