Sunday, July 12, 2009

What are you doing? Leadership Day 2009

For the 3rd year, Dr. Scott Mcleod, is "Calling all bloggers - Leadership Day 2009". Many bloggers have already created their blog posts in support of this annual project. I am taking a homework break to do my part.

Leadership means more to me than a textbook answer, primarily because of my military experience. Working with people so they can replace you is just part of the job. In the field of technology, there are self proclaimed leaders, self made leaders, and leaders leading the way just because they chose to move forward even though the world was against them. However you define it, just search #leadershipday2009 and see the blogs, tweets, images, and events occurring all around you in support of Dr. Mcleod's Leadership Day 2009, blog call to action.

I want to know, "What are you doing to improve the situation"? Lifelong learning is a personal choice. Some school districts incorporate lifelong learning into their mission or vision statements, yet do not encourage, support, and provide guidance about lifelong learning. Technology is here to stay, you can ignore it, discount it, blame it for world problems, but the students who will replace you...and yes we are all dispensable will bring self taught technology skills if we are not engaged, as educators, administrators, parents, guardians, and community members.

You want to do something but don't have any ideas? Start with your local library. Many libraries have computer labs even when schools do not. Sign up for a computer workshop...or better yet...give one. Some of my better experiences have been with diverse audiences in library computer labs. The environment is relaxed, everyone who is there signed up to be there, and sharing knowledge just comes with the workshop. Then challenge others to do the same thing. Do something that improves your technology skill level then find someone else and issue the same challenge, you will be amazed at what you can learn from others, reading blogs created by others, or even following people on Twitter.

We all agree, the technology will never replace the educator but technology provides the resources that cannot be found in a siloed classroom. So ask yourself, "What have I done to incorporate self directed learning to improve my own educational technology leadership skills?" You will never know it all, even the best of the best, network with others who can be called upon when assistance is needed, from homework help, troubleshooting advanced network issues, to core subjects. So go ahead, jump into the lifelong learning journey and bring at least one other person with you. You never know, you may start a new trend and everyone might learn something new. Just remember, you don't know what you don't know, so you might as well jump in and get your feet wet. We all started somewhere, from tearing a computer down and putting it back together to teaching someone how to do email and setting AUPs in our home, businesses, and communities. In the words of the infamous Nike commercial, "Just Do It" anything technology related, from learning to point and click to checking out the other commands on a menu bar to implementing a security checklist to back up your data then share the knowledge with someone in person or to the world through a blog.

ISTE recently released the NETS for Administrators. I have used ISTE NETS in many of my own homework assignments, newsgroup posts for my daughter's high school, and even sent the links and information to our local elected school board members. ISTE NETS also exist for Students and Teachers. I have seen ISTE NETS mentioned in school board's plans of action, yet in a discussion with educators and administrators, you get the deer in the headlight look.

So if you are interested in reviewing ISTE NETS:

For Administrators (2009)
For Teachers (2008)
For Students (2007)

For those not familiar with the acronyms:
ISTE - International Society for Technology in Education
NETS - National Educational Technology Standards

If you don’t have a blog or you are intimidated by the thought of commenting on someone else’s blog you can send your thoughts to me and I will post them for you. If you wish to remain anonymous that is OK too, all I ask is that you provide recommendations over groans, gripes, and complaints. Everyone can complain, it takes a leader to do something about it even in the face of diversity.

So in support of Leadership Day 2009, "What will you do?" Send a link from Dr. McLeod's Dangerously Irrelevant blog? Research your own school, district, or state board of education to see if standards exist that may not be enforced? Contact some educators and see what you can do together to make a difference? Conduct or attend a technology workshop at a local library, coffee shop, technical or state college? Fight the ban on cell phones in schools by providing links to educators' blogs and sites who are incorporating cell phones as learning tools. Listen to students who may have recommendations to improve the technology situation. Have an idea that isn't a comment.

Thanks to Dr. Scott McLeod for taking time from his own busy schedule to keep the Leadership Day blog call to action a positive and shared learning experience.

Be sure to visit Dr. McLeod's Leadership Day 2009 blog post, where he also provides links to the summary of posts from Leadership Day 2008 and Leadership Day 2007.

Just think of the difference you are making or could have been making if you started participating in Dr. McLeod's Leadership Day challenge in 2007.

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