Tag Archives: leadership

Open Resources for #onted: Becoming a Digital Leader

You’ve decided to self-direct your professional learning on Twitter.  Your students want a class Facebook page.  Your school board is implementing a BYOD policy.

Where can you go to ensure you and your students will thrive in online environments?

OSAPAC has led the creation of three series of resources for Ontario educators.

  1. Digital Citizenship and Leadership for classrooms
  2. What Principals Want to Know about Digital Leadership
  3. OSSEMOOC – a community of leaders supporting each other in getting connected.

 

  1. Digital Citizenship and Leadership for the Classroom

Recently, Ontario educators identified the need for resources for teaching the various aspects of Digital Citizenship.  When OSAPAC looked for a suitable product, it was decided that a living resource was most appropriate.  Ontario educators curated suitable resources for Ontario students by organizing them by division and topic.  Then, they wrote classroom connections for teachers.

The full, open, living resource can be found here.

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Images shared by OSAPAC.ca under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license
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Images shared by OSAPAC.ca under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license
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Images shared by OSAPAC.ca under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license
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Images shared by OSAPAC.ca under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 license

 

Educators choose a category and a division, and are then provided with a list of appropriate resources.

For example, Critical Thinking, Junior Division

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As well, many classroom connections have been written to guide educators in using resources.

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2. What Principals Want to Know About Digital Leadership: School Leader Learning Series

Ontario Principals have written a set of resources for their colleagues who are learning to use and to lead the use of technology to enhance learning.

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3. Ontario School & System Leaders Educational Technology MOOC (Massive Open Online Community) 

OSSEMOOC was created to scaffold and support school and system leaders in their personal self-directed professional learning about how to leverage technology to enhance and enrich student learning.

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The open (no password required, no sign up required) site has a content area where information is shared about events (live chats, Twitter chats, livestreaming conferences, GHO on air, blog hops, collaborative projects, book studies, etc.).

Blogs written by school and system leaders and aspiring leaders are linked to the site.

Courses on how to use social media are run regularly, and can also be completely self-directed.

Links to other OSSEMOOC social media are on the site as well as our 30 days to get connected in 10 minutes per day program.

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Be sure to access these free, open, no password required resources.

Contact ossemooc at gmail dot com for more information on free personal support services for education leaders.

#OSSEMOOC

Feature image by OSAPAC.ca, under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 licence.

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Yes, Your Child Will Thrive in 2016 and Beyond

As education leaders, how do we convince our parent communities, our Trustees, our students themselves, of this (7)?

Because this really is the most important measure of accountability isn’t it? That this school, this system, is the very best place for your child to learn on this day (4), and this school and this system is innovating in every way possible to ensure your child’s gifts are uncovered, nurtured, scaffolded and unleashed.

Mary Jean Gallagher tells us that schools must be places where children can realize their “best possible, most richly-imagined future” (Jan. 17, 2014, Toronto)

As an education leader (6), what compelling arguments do you have for the innovative practices – foreign to parents who experienced the linear, industrial model of school – being used to personalize learning for their child?

We know that compelling arguments are a critical first step  for change.  Without compelling arguments (2), traditionalists will shut down, stop listening (3), move on down the same path of a system that produces a ranking of individuals, filtering those who are different out of the picture.

Do you talk to parents about how the popular narrative that “robots are taking over the world” isn’t something they can just ignore any more, that good jobs really have already disappeared offshore and to automation through robotics and 3D printers (5)?  This is why we educate our students to take advantage of the cognitive opportunities that arise when menial work becomes mechanized and digitized.

Perhaps the argument that the school system as they knew it, did not achieve positive outcomes for all children, and that disengagement (1) in secondary school is a national tragedy that must be changed, would resonate with your community.

Perhaps the democratization of the system is most important – creating a school community where all members have voice and choice that is not constrained by outdated structures like timetables and limited course selections.

How do you share what you know about innovative practice with your school community? Do you learn openly, share openly, question openly?

Sharing your compelling arguments with other leaders may be the best step you can take today to help spread system change.

Communicating effectively about the need for radical change is critical role for our education leaders.

 

 

Featured image by Tina Zita via Royan Lee CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0

References and Resources:

1.

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From Will Richardson, We’re Trying to do the Wrong Thing Right in Schools, March 17, 2016 http://willrichardson.com/

2.

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From Creative Public Leadership, World Innovation Summit for Education, March 2016 https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

 

3.

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From Creative Public Leadership, World Innovation Summit for Education, March 2016 https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

 

4.

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From Cathy Montreuil, address to Ontario’s new P/VPs, March 2016 https://storify.com/fryed/adm-cathymontreuil-speaks-to-new-pvps-in-onted

 

5.

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From Robot-Proof, How Colleges Can Keep People Relevant in the Workplace, by Joseph Aoun: http://chronicle.com/article/Robot-Proof-How-Colleges-Can/235057

6.

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From Creative Public Leadership, World Innovation Summit for Education, March 2016 https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

 

7.

 

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From The Roosevelt Institute: Creative Schools for a Thriving Economy 2015 http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Hallgarten-Creative-Schools-for-a-Thriving-Economy.pdf

 

 

 

Creative Public Leadership: Building a Powerful Case for Change

Early this morning, The RSA posted this report release on Twitter:

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In the report, they set out nine first steps in moving to an education system that creates the innovators needed for today’s world.

Step 1 is Building the case for change.

For those who have been in this business of change for many years, it is a struggle to understand why many leaders don’t see the urgency.

This section from page 8, the Executive Summary, explains the situation with such clarity:

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Page 8, Creative Public Leadership https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

Over the past few years, many leaders have told me that as soon as someone starts talking about 21C, or innovation, or technology, or the 6 C’s, they tune out.  It doesn’t interest them and they don’t see the value.

For those who have heads that hurt from hitting them against the brick walls of hierarchy, remember the Randy Pausch quote:

 

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Creative leadership requires more than courage, more than dedication.  It requires passion and purpose, so don’t give up.

It also requires an understanding of how to carefully defend your position, to find value in your stance, and to clearly communicate that value to those who can make a difference.

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p. 59, Creative Public Leadership: https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

Page 60 of the report suggests first steps for building that case.

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Page 60, The RSA, Creative Leadership https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

What a great focus for our work – building a case for change.

Why is it critical to create innovators?  Why is it, that a school system designed to build a standardized work force, is not creating the conditions for learning needed for young people in a world where robotics and offshore/global competition have eliminated most manufacturing jobs?

How do we convince leaders to  prepare our kids to seize the opportunities that arise when all menial work can be done by machines?

We need creative public leaders who can build this convincing case for change – before we become completely irrelevant.

Featured image from TheRSA.org

Related:

Connecting with the Disconnected – Chris Wejr

Tom Whitby: What is an “Accomplished Administrator” in education?

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Kinds of School Leaders

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What’s an Education That’s Worth Having?

[In 2014, I wrote a post on technology and pedagogy that was recently circulated on Twitter.  It reminded me that it is time to update the thinking in that post.]

Simon Breakspear asked the question, “What is an Education That’s Worth Having?” at #uLead15 three months ago.  The answer is complex, and context driven, but, I think we have some ideas.

What's an Education Worth Having?

For me, in 2015, that education includes digital literacies.

We often hear educators say that technology is “just a tool”.  In some situations, this is true.  Technology can be a tool to help students learn traditional content.

But it isn’t true in all cases.  Technology is so much more than a tool. Because of technology, we can now exist in both physical and digital spaces.

The competencies required to thrive and succeed in digital spaces are different from those required to succeed in our physical world, and more and more, these two worlds are inseparable.

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Our children exist in digital space and physical space seamlessly, except, in some cases, in school (and, except for those children who still have no access to the internet or to devices).

The Future of the Principalship in Canada

A recent study of the role of Canadian Principals shows that cyberbullying and policy issues related to social media is the #2 concern across the country.

Why is this the case?

I think we have done a huge disservice to our children.  We’ve known for a very long time that kids can communicate, access photos and share online, but by prohibiting this behaviour in schools – by taking the stance that it is not okay to use devices in school – we have neglected to teach them the competencies required to be successful citizens in the online environment.

So who will teach them now?

Unless we truly believe that digital literacies are important and that the competencies required to be successful in the future must be taught in school, nothing will change.

We need to ensure that our education leaders have these competencies.

Teach and Learn for Diversity. Use Technology to Engage Student Leadership.

Use technology for creative learning and good citizenship

Full immersion in digital spaces is arguably the best way for people to develop these competencies (Doug Belshaw, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies) and to understand how best to develop them in others.  This requires the use of a number of devices (and reliable access to the internet). Deciding what device is best for what purpose is part of the learning.  It also requires time to immerse and try and play and network and learn.  Educators need these opportunities.

If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.

We can’t let our children continue to play online without the knowledge and skills to be safe, to be responsible, and to lead change in the digital environment.

The change begins by building confidence and competence in digital literacies with our education leaders.

 

Resources:

Doug Belshaw, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

Identifying, Scaffolding and Credentialling Skills in an Ever-Changing Digital Environment (Doug Belshaw)

Digital Literacies Wiki (Doug Belshaw)

Mozilla Web Literacy Map

Mozilla Web Literacy

Digital Literacy on #MNLead (June 28, 2015)

Tweets mentioning @simonbreakspear, #uLead15

On Twitter – #digilit

Tom Whitby: The Myth of Innovation in Education

Health and Wellbeing: The Importance of Digital Literacies (from JISC)

 

Looking for the [Student] Learning Intention

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Image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, Share-alike license by Waag Society https://www.flickr.com/photos/waagsociety/16508212342/

 

Online every day I see what appear to be amazing things that educators are doing in their classrooms.  As a connected leader and learner, I tend to be quick to praise, to share, to encourage and to promote practice.

But is this my best practice?

Do I know enough about what I am encouraging?

Recently, I have been exploring the impact of the “enthusiastic amateur”.

The term “enthusiastic amateur” refers to educators who have “emerged from the cave” and who have embraced the power of technology in the classroom.  The are often loud with their enthusiasm.  They are excited about their learning and they share share openly.

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Image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license by Giulia Forsythe https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/5617449053/

 

This can be a step in the journey to understand the power of technology to change learning in the ‘classroom’.  We are all on the path of learning as we integrate the use of technology into our school system.  However, at all times, student learning must be at the centre of our practice.

Andy Hargreaves explains the concept of “innovation without improvement” very nicely in this video.  Michelle Cordy has explored this idea more concisely here.

Certainly we want to encourage educators to learn about how technology can be leveraged to enhance where, when and how learning can take place.

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike License by David Jones https://www.flickr.com/photos/david_jones/5615150900/

 

How do we best ensure educators are using technology to to deepen learning aligned with the learning intentions for the students?

 

 

Searching for the Desire (to Learn)

What do we do about the educators who refuse to embrace change?

This question keeps bubbling up in conversations, on Twitter, and in blog posts, in different formats, but essentially this is it:  “How do we convince educators that they need to change their practice?”

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share-alike license by Krissy Venosdale.

We have names and categories for those who resist change and cling to the status quo.

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Transforming School Culture, by Dr. Anthony Muhammad http://newfrontier21.com/store/transforming-school-culture/

But have we articulated what the “change” is leading to?

Have we co-constructed the success criteria of what this will look like when we are doing it well?

Simon Breakspear, at the 2015 Ontario Leadership Congress, challenged participants to think about what Ontario classrooms could look like three years from now.  What would we see, hear and feel as we walk into our students’ learning environment in 2018? What is our shared vision for the future of our children?

This is not a hypothetical exercise.  He wants us to set this out exactly as we expect to see it.  What are we looking for, and how will we get there?  It is only by doing this exercise that we can clearly communicate to educators what the path forward is, and what we expect to accomplish.

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Over the past 1.5 years, I have been working relentlessly, with my OSAPAC co-lead (@markwcarbone) on a project to help education leaders become adept in the use of educational technology.

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Why?

Because in Ontario we have a “renewed vision” for education,  and that vision includes using technology as an accelerator to change where, when and how learning can take place.

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Shared under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license by Giulia Forsythe. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/10310176123/

And if we are actually going to see this happen in our “classrooms”, then our leaders have to have a very good understanding of what technology enabled learning and teaching looks like, sounds like, feels like for learners.

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Image shared under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license by Alec Couros (@courosa)

The world is changing rapidly and if our students are going to thrive, they need very different skills and abilities than the ones that worked for us.  It’s easy to forget how fast the world is changing when we are immersed in our bricks and mortar schools each day.

Are we leading and teaching for where the puck is now, or where it is going?

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Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/3046277/the-new-rules-of-work/the-top-jobs-in-10-years-might-not-be-what-you-expect

So how do you provide learning for leaders to keep up with the changing role of technology in learning?

We think we understand the learning needs of leaders who are already pressed for time.  We need many different entry points.  We have to appeal to a range of styles of learning.  We need learning opportunities that do not require a lot of commitment because of the varied schedules of those in leadership roles. Small chunks of learning have to be available so they can be accessed at any time.

We looked at a way to provide very, very simple access to opportunities to learn to become a connected leader.  That simple access includes:

  • one open website with no login or password required (ossemooc.wordpress.com)
  • Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 6.54.58 AMon that website, links to the blogs of formal and informal school and system leaders in Ontario so that this one site allows anyone access to the visible thinking of educators throughout this province.
  • on the website – a new post nearly every day, Tuesday evening open conversations,
  • on the website – a program to become connected in only 10 minutes a day
  • on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and other social media, a stream of information on learning and connected leadership

If any education leader in Ontario has the DESIRE to learn to become connected, OSSEMOOC (Awesome MOOC!) is just sitting there waiting for them to start.

It is free, open and simple with 1:1 support for anyone who WANTS to learn.

Our question is, what more can we possibly offer?

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Image shared under a Creative Commons attribution license by Alan Levine (@cogdog).

Is the missing piece the desire to learn?

This is an interesting problem, because leaders openly wonder why educators in their systems won’t embrace change.

We hear that the world is changing, the nature of education is changing, what we know about learners is changing, but some classroom educators refuse to change their practice.  How can we help them change?

Will they change if they don’t have the desire to learn?

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Shared under a creative commons attribution, non-commercial, share-alike license by Giulia Forsythe. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/8716324040

So let’s solve this!  Why is it not a priority for leaders to become connected? What is it about this learning that leaders do not buy into?

If leaders personally reflect on why they don’t see the value in becoming connected digital leaders, why they don’t take advantage of opportunities to learn to lead in digital spaces, will it reveal some understanding about the challenges in helping resistant classroom educators change their practice?

Sometimes we refer to educators who are resistant to change as “fundamentalists”, based on the work of Muhammad, in Transforming School Culture (2009) (nicely explained here by Nicole Morden-Cormier).

What would we say about leaders who:

  • refuse to learn to use collaborative documents so that they can work asynchronously and at a distance from their colleagues?
  • don’t take the time to learn to use technology to download their own videos and make their own presentations shine, and even say “oh, I don’t do tech” (they would never say that about math!)?
  • don’t build a strong professional learning network so that they can reach out and find the experience and understanding they need to make evidence-based decisions around technology purchases, capacity-building and planning?
  • have not learned the skills needed to supervise and learn with teachers in online learning environments?
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Shared by Kaila Wyslocky (@kwyslocky) from her presentation on how she is transforming her online teaching practice, OTRK12 2015.

Are education leaders who preserve the technology status quo, “fundamentalists”?

Would we refer to leaders who refuse to make digital leadership a priority as “fundamentalists”?

Not likely, as we know that education leaders are learners.  We might say that they don’t have time, or that they have other priorities and interests.  But we see them as being learners.

Do we see resistant classroom educators as learners?  Are they only labelled as fundamentalists because they are not learning what we think they should learn?

Maybe what we need to do is find out what it is they want to learn, and start there.  Recognize that they ARE learners, and that what they are learning is valuable, and let them bring it to the table.

Find the mindset they already have – where learning is sought instead of provided – and discover what learning they are seeking, and harness this.

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Brainstorming Professional Learning

Fundamentally, our job as educators is to ensure that every single child in our care is learning.  There might be all kinds of research on what best practices are, but none of that research was done on that student in that classroom.  Only that teacher has the responsibility to ensure that child is learning, and once their repertoire of strategies is exhausted, it is that teacher’s job to connect with others to find the next best practice, to be the scientist for that child to find what will work.

The classroom educator is the researcher to find best practice for every child.

They need to know how to find out what others are doing, and how to adapt practices to each learner.

The shift is from a mindset where learning is provided, to a culture where learning is sought (David Jakes, 2015).

But since learning will only be sought where there is a DESIRE to learn, maybe that is the place we need to start.

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Scaffolding Connected Leadership: You Can Start Here

Does it feel, sometimes, like you have been so busy working that you haven’t had time to stop and recognize how much the work has actually changed?

The world is changing quickly. Leaders in education need to figure out how to keep up.

#OSSEMOOC  gets it. This month, we are putting out little bits, or chunks, of learning to support you in getting connected.

Go here to sign up (signing up isn’t necessary, but it lets up help connect you with others as we go through the month).

Here are the screencasts we have posted so far on the OSSEMOOC site (https://ossemooc.wordpress.com)

 

Please share this information with leaders who may not see it online.

What is OSSEMOOC Anyway?

Leading in a Networked World

Using Twitter Without Logging in

 

Webpages for Professional Learning

Following Blogs by Email