Necc06 Reflections of an Administrator- What do we need to create real change?
The true power of NECC depends on us.
I have read a lot of wonderful blogs from individual teacher practioners and I had some good conversations at NECC. I went to a number of presentation which were not only enlightening but which truly encouraged me to make a deep commitment to a vision for digital equity and to improve student learning by embracing Web 2.0. All of that said I feel a need to reflect on some of what I have read and the challenges of systemic change from the point of view of an administrator.
I have read in numerous places that some teachers struggle against district or school policies which deny them access and I sympathize with their challenges. I have also read about the need to involve those decision makers at the higher levels which is also important. At the ISTE institute which I attended at the end of NECC there was discussion of the need to develop a shared vision.. a daunting but important task.
I can not offer any explicit expertise but I can offer antidotal evidence from my experience and I can share something of my own struggle.
Although I hate to admit it I am one of those educators who was using technology to engage students 10 years ago and then I became an administrator and struggled mightily with how to get our staff to continue what I had started. Certainly it couldnÂt be legislated and the demands of my new position and the tyranny of the urgent outweighed my efforts.
In the last year I have rekindled my sense of urgency and through the tutelage of numerous bloggers , especially the encouragement of Clarence Fisher(http://remoteaccess.typepad.com/remote_access/ . I have begun to find a way to breathe life into my vision. Time and experience are key components to local implementation so a part of every weekly faculty meeting will be held in the computer lab to work with a variety of things. As I build a learning community through blogging I hope to pull the faculty into the community (and help them build their own- which will suit their needs). I hope to provide time and modeling for pod casting, finding resources and building lessons.
To build on the model of connector I have to connect my facuty with Web 2.0 and beyond. But to be effective I have to also build connections for all of our constiguents. And to do this I have to continue the conversationss of NECC because I do ot have the tineor resources to build the message from scratch. It is interesting to see that the best and most focused conversations may be growing out the brief connectionss I made with others through spotlight sessions or discussions at the poster sessions and the Open Source booth.