There are many answers to this question, but the #FutureReady initiatives certainly have people talking. Below are some ideas, including a real job description from a large K-12 public school district.
After leaving a seven-year principalship at @KnappElementary, I was offered an innovative leadership opportunity within my own Pennsylvania K-12 school district which I served for a year until I took my current higher-ed role at PennGSE’s @MCDPEL. The focus of the K-12 leadership position was on building a connected and transparent culture of collaboration across all 18 buildings, 13,000+ students, 2000+ teachers and 100+ administrators. (The district was the 6th largest public school district in the state of Pennsylvania.)
In short my job was to create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) in my local district, just like many of us have built this over time with our global PLNs. I worked with students, teachers, leaders and parent groups on innovating and connecting teaching, learning & leadership. Look at the job description (laid out at the bottom of this post) and envision the potential of this connected work for today’s educational organizations Pre-K through University. If I’m a superintendent or University Dean, I’m making sure that there is someone dedicated to building capacity for “connecting, learning and sharing” across all stakeholders, and not simply adding to an already full plate of a district technology director, school principal or school dean – at least not at the outset. As we enter 2015, this new role is certainly a progressive one for many, but as organizations around the world remove “social media” from the bad words list, unblock sites that our students, educators and parents NEED to evolve in their careers, complement relationships and take control of their own learning – we will afford ourselves the opportunity to leverage its positive potential to change the world for the better.
Educational organizations must commit to educational innovation, while building a connected learning community and teaching students, teachers, leaders & parents “how to fish” using today’s social media tools – This is really an investment in each other. As adults in our organizations, we must role model how we can connect and maximize local and global human talents and experiences, we exemplify, in my opinion, the best thing going for education around the globe these days – the personal learning network or PLN. I believe many organizations Pre-K through University already have “connected lead learners” in-house to help build PLN capacity across their respective learning organizations. All we have to do is ask and create the space (innovation think tanks) that set goals and make change. Having a conversation about comfort zones and how often we are in them and out of them might be a good place to spark some innovative chatter
The following is a job description for a connected educator who currently leverages the power of social media to amplify teaching, learning & leadership efforts. I had some input in developing it as my dissertation study involving social media aimed to infuse a bit of research into practice using digital tools. One of my first tasks was to provide an Administrator Twitter 101. One potential learning objective: To help school principals envision themselves as “lead learners.”
We all need to realize sooner rather than later than we’re NOT in this education business alone. We have local and global PLNs to help us fulfill our daily duties, reflections and problems. If you feel alone in 2015 as an educator, I firmly believe you have made that choice. If you’re already connected, this becomes part of your role as an educator in the field to expose your local colleagues to the wealth of resources out there around the world that….shhh…. doesn’t require a purchase order.
If not for my opportunity at Penn, I’d still be working in that role. There is so much work to be done, and like Office of Ed Tech Director Richard Culatta said a couple weeks ago, school leaders cannot delegate use of today’s innovative tools to someone on their team. They have to walk the walk themselves – but do we have structures in place that will build these capacities for them and others across our organization?
Job Title: K-12 Lead Learner, Teaching, Learning & Leadership
Identify and implement best practices in terms of social media in education for students, staff, leadership and community
- Research and share best practice for the K-12 environment on a global scale.
- Research and share current practice with other county and area schools.
- Develop training for district administrators that adheres to best practice and district policies/regulations.
- Train Home and School Association, PTO, PTA representatives in online meeting access while also providing training and support to school administrators
- Establish a process for developing and hosting un-conference educator and parent offerings at elementary, middle, and high school levels each year
- Provide professional development for teachers and administrators modeling the use of social media resources
Provide professional development for administrators, educators, parents
- Develop leadership 2.0 training opportunities for all administrators
- Focus on applications and resources available within the district
- Research emerging resources for future consideration
- Create a structure for un-conference professional development days during the year
- Establish a PD library of videos, podcasts, resources for anytime, anywhere professional development for leaders, staff, and community to access
- Provide professional development workshops for administrators modeling the various 2.0 resources
Review and recommend revisions to technology policies and regulations
- Re-align policies and regulations to students and staff for content and administration
- Separate policies and regulations for staff and students
- Adherence to current school law
- Provide professional development for teachers and administrators to implement the policies and regulations
Assist in the research and development of a proposal for student access to technology (“BYOD versus 1:1” acquisition)
- Identify pros/cons of each model
- Identify trends globally and locally
- Provide a cost estimate
- Propose recommendation with implementation plan
Investigate on-line assessment options
- Research various on-line assessment methods
- Identify platform
- Identify infrastructure needs
- Create an implementation plan and timeline
- Develop a professional development plan
- Provide professional development for administrators and teachers to create and administer online assessments
Assist with the development of video segments for digital citizenship
- Collaboration to develop ideas for video segments
- Assist with the creation of the segments
- Provide professional development for administrators and teachers regarding digital citizenship