This year I am choosing to take part in Scott McLeod’s Leadership Day 2014. He challenged us all to write about any digital topic that spoke to our heart. Having led the inaugural Digital Fluency Academy for Region X this summer, I think there are easy fluid ways to easily embed technology into your admin day.
1. Find a digital way to share campus news.
Whether it be a Smore, a YouTube video, or a blog, try sharing your Friday Focus or campus news in a digital fashion. There are too many free & easy tools out there for you to be sending out a word document to your staff each week!
2. Utilize Remind with your teachers.
Instead of a flyer, or a callout, try sharing reminders with your teachers via Remind. We have seen a lot of success with using this with our staff. We got them all in with jeans pass bribes, 🙂 and then used it to send intentional timely reminders. From grade book lock down to potluck lunch reminders…these easy texts were SO much more effective. Did you know that 90% of text messages are read in the first three minutes they are sent? 99% of text messages are read, period. Take advantage and get that important info out there! Utilizing my favorite techie trick from Erin Klein, I plan on taking pictures all throughout our staff development next week, creating an animoto, and then sharing the video via Remind on our last training day. (An easy creative tool for our teachers to then use in their classrooms!!)
3. Google Drive, Google Drive, Google Drive!
There’s always a question I need answered, or a form I need access too…google drive is the answer! Create a form in minutes, collaborate with team leaders, track RTI data…all in a form that doesn’t have to be downloaded, updated, re-uploaded and then reshared. Why take 9 steps when you can do it in one? My digital bestie, Kasey Bell, has a Google handout for you that you can use, or share. She is amazing!
4. Instead of a notepad, keep your notes in Evernote.
I’ve created a checklist for walk throughs to utilize. I’ve also created a shared document with each of them that will serve as a running record of all of my visits. I plan on adding pictures, documenting our PLC progress, as well as any “above & beyonds” that happen throughout the year. As the instructional leader, I want to see a longitudinal “glimpse” into the classroom each time I visit. This shared doc holds us both accountable!
5. Techno Tuesdays
One of our campus improvement plan goals was to increase staff members comfort and familiarity with technology in the classroom. As a way to help them see how seamless it truly can be, I am going to hold monthly “Techno Tuesday’s” where on the first Tuesday of the month I’ll have a short & sweet mini tutorial on a different tool and show, K-4, how it can happen in the classroom. We know that teaching is already hard enough without having to feel like we are struggling in the classroom with something we aren’t familiar with. I want my teachers to be able to come and ask me how to use something, or know that I am giving them the time & space to figure it out. No pressure! I hope to ask our awesome learning specialists, and fabulous instructional tech guru, to host some sessions, as well as some of our more techie teachers. To better educate our kids, we need to first better educate their educators! These integration strategies aren’t difficult but teachers need to SEE and PLAY before they are going to be willing to use it in front of their students.
I struggle with being the “that girl” as Justin Tarte as articulated recently. The problem is, in order to really see a relevant, 21st century authentic learning environment, there is going to have to be a technology integration component. If we as the campus leaders aren’t the ones modeling and showing our teachers the way to make that happen, who will? Our students deserve it!
Technology isn’t something that just “adds” to your plate. It genuinely isn’t an extra. Tom Whitby had a great post about the separation of the tech world and the academia world. Angela Watson talked about the ponds of fishie fishs that we are all swimming in. I think as long as keep we keep separating pedagogy from technology integration, it’s never going to be seamless. Hopefully these tools will allow you to do something differently in your world! You are a LEADER. Use your power for good!