- Due to a growing disconnect between educational leadership, tech infrastructure and classroom needs, the Consortium for School Networking and AASA, The School Superintendent’s Association, have created the Empowered Superintendent Initiative, which is designed to help district and school leaders gain confidence and better understand the role educational technology plays in their schools in a changing environment, eSchoolNews reports.
- In the first of a new series of edWebinars, David Schuler — superintendent of Township High School District 214 in Illinois and 2018 National Superintendent of the Year — and Chris Gaines, superintendent of Mehlville School District in Missouri, recently presented a program called The Empowered Superintendent: Leading Digital Transformation, which was hosted by Ann McMullan, project director of the Empowered Superintendents Program.
- During the webinar, the speakers suggested five things school leaders need to know: Stronger communication from district leadership can help align technology with district educational goals; use tech to encourage students to solve real-world problems and build critical thinking skills; transform teaching by creating new learning environments; support professional development and carve out time for regular teacher collaboration, and use balanced assessments to evaluate and improve instruction, rather than as punitive measures.
As technology becomes more integrated with education, superintendents and school leaders are faced with surprising new opportunities and major challenges. Because of its innovative nature, the face of educational technology is constantly changing. Some leaders react by gravitating to the newest technology tools, while others wait for something better to come along in the next revolution.
As new ed tech emerges, there is a lot of pressure to transform, and leaders need to make careful decisions about what tools align best with curriculum goals. Teachers may also make their own choices about apps and technology that work with their subject area or students' needs, and they may require some financial flexibility to pay for access to sites that best support their classroom instruction — a factor school leaders must consider as they get guidelines for technology use and choose how to purchase ed tech resources.
To accomplish all of this, district administrators need to stay abreast of the situation. They can remain connected through initiatives like the Empowered Superintendent Program. They can also stay in touch by communicating regularly with staff members, such as chief technology officers, whose jobs are to keeps tabs on all things tech-related. By doing so, superintendents are more likely to make wise decisions regarding technology and how it can best serve students' educational needs.