Friday, July 30, 2010
This post is in response to a Google Buzz I received from a colleague who follows Dangerously Irrelevant's blog. The topic hit home! I am fortunate to be involved in the process of implementing a 1:1 netbook program this fall. The leadership of this institution courageously began with a school/parent/faculty survey to determine the needs of its learners. The results pointed directly to students needing more access and use of technology to enhance their college to work readiness skills in an ever changing world. A technology team of students, parents, and faculty explored multiple solutions and began a netbook pilot program last fall. The school campus went wireless within a few months, select students were issued netbooks, and teachers implemented the use of Moodle, a learning management system. Feedback was gathered throughout the school year in meetings with students, parents, and teachers. Collaboration among these stakeholders and the school's leadership led to a vision of every student being equipped with a personal laptop for the 2010-11 school year. Leadership recognized the need for teacher commitment to such a vision; therefore, she utilized professional development funds to take herself and seven others to the ISTE conference in Denver this past summer. I watched and listened as teachers shared comments about the tools and teaching strategies they planned to bring back to our faculty. It was evident that the development of leadership skills in others was blossoming right before my eyes. As these educators return to the classrooms this fall they will be instrumental in mentoring, coaching, and guiding their peers in effectively utilizing technology to engage 500 young women. I am honored to be an administrator working with this leader. Her ability to articulate a shared vision inspires people to embrace the necessary changes that will meet the needs of the community in an institution thats been serving students for over 140 years. A GREAT leader knows its all about the people first, not the technology.