13 March 2015

What is Digital Leadership?

This week, I had to finally commit my job description to one sentence. Part of the process of getting there involved me thinking about my role as a digital leader...

Exhibit at Wanaka Puzzle World
We are now teaching in a time the digital technology is woven across everything we do. It cannot ever again be thought of as a stand alone subject within our curriculum but a part of all learning areas and administrative areas. I believe that leadership in schools needs to ensure that technology just 'is'. It needs to work, it needs to be efficient, it needs to increase work flow. Technology can certainly increase communication and if used well, it can definitely increase collaboration and connectedness.

Not many can dispute the fact that technology is an engaging tool to use with children but unfortunately, engagement can often be confused as learning. I do not believe that technology will necessarily increase children's level of achievement nor can we assume that because a child is engaged that they are actually making progress.
Source: Caroline Stuart, N4L
I realise that it is vital for me to develop some strategic leadership skills including a vision of our digital environment. I work with a highly competent team. They have all been immersed in a digital environment where they came from and bring a range of skills and a sense of purpose for devices to be integrated into what we do. So, I find myself in a very different role now compared to at my previous school.

I am aware that it is a blanket statement to say that teachers will struggle to change the way they do things, if they already have efficient ways of doing things. But part of my new role must ensure that they are immersed in a digital environment that supports work flow efficiency, is easily accessible/ ubiquitous and redefines the way we do things so that we have more time for the stuff that really matters.

We are extremely fortunate. Being a new school, we do not have to shift the culture and expectations of the community, the board nor the staff themselves. We just do it this way. As leaders though, this means that we need to be extremely clear about what we are trying to achieve. At the end of the day, it's about the learning not the technology at all. But, I need to ensure that the technology is an enabler.