Is your LEADERSHIP team effectively using technology?by Lisa Dubernard No Comments February 10, 2011
Over the last two decades I’ve worked with school systems (both administrators and teachers) helping them to more effectively use technology.
In most of these cases, this has been in the service of a technology company such as Apple, Promethean or eBOARDsolutions.
According to this Edupotia article “Shaping Tech for the Classroom” by Mark Prensky there is a four step process to the adoption of technology.
Happily, I’ve found that many tech firms DO want their customers to make the most their products.
- If you don’t use their technology well, it will make the company’s product look bad.
- If you do use it well, the company will normally get repeat sales! Not to mention raving fans!
- Happily I’ve found that many companies promote effective use because they truly want to affect change.
In fact eBOARDsolutions (a subsidiary of the Georgia School Boards Association ) has three performance objectives in their strategic plan and the first one is to promote effective use.
You’ve probably seen tools that measure effective use of technology integration but most of these were designed for teachers integrating technology into the classroom. How often do you see tools to effectively manage how school LEADERSHIP (board members and administrators) use technology? (See ISTE NETS for Administrators.)
eBOARDsolutions started with a simple self-evaluation instrument that school districts can use to see if they are using eBOARD effectively. While it’s a basic checklist of yes or no with a section and total score, I’ve found it is a great discussion starter with school leadership and to be a true tool to stimulate improvement not just an number!
Recently I was part of a project funded by Georgia Power where school systems were awarded grants which would provide three services.
- A review of their eBOARD site in which it would give them a score on how well they are currently using the individual modules and suggestions for improvement.
- A meeting with the leadership team to discuss the review and agree upon which action steps were needed, who would take them and when they would be taken.
- Professional development for the staff in the areas of improvement in which they want to focus based on the results of the items above.
I really enjoyed participating in this process. I believe it was meaningful because the leadership team had a shared vision and was in agreement to the steps needed to be taken. They also communicated to the staff as to why they would getting training as well as the expectations of future use. Since the professional development was customized based on the needs of each school district, it was much more meaningful than traditional training programs where half of the staff could possibly think “Well, this doesn’t relate to me.”
But the most rewarding part for me was hearing the results from the participants!
At the end of this process, the districts involved got together as a group to discuss the outcomes and share with other school systems.
The four districts involved were:
- Barrow County Schools (charter district with about 12,000 students)
- City Schools of Decatur (small urban charter district with about 3,000 students)
- Jeff Davis County Schools (small rural district with about 3,000 students)
- Richmond County Schools (large urban system with about 32,000 students)
- How do your districts now use eBOARD to manage their strategic planning process and the ongoing management of their plans at both the district and local level? How do they find this tool helpful for those who are undergoing district accreditation?
- While eBOARD was originally developed as a tool narrowly focused on the needs of the school board, how is it being used “beyond the board?” Can they share advice, challenges or resistance they may have seen from the board or from the staff on using this tool OUTSIDE the traditional methods?
- How did the review of your eBOARD site by the EBS team help you change or streamline processes within your district?
- How are districts using this tool to manage leadership evaluations like superintendent evaluations, accreditation or board self-assessments?
Here is an excerpt of video of that panel discussion that was held this past December in Atlanta, Georgia. To see the entire panel discussion (divided into clips) click here.
Categories: Accountability, Communications, Cost Savings, Documents, eBOARD, Evaluations, Leadership, Meetings, Meetings Management, Paperless, Planning, Policy, Strategic Plan, TransparencyTags: accountability, administration, agenda, alignment, assessment, board, communications, cost-savings, education, efficiency, evaluation, governance, green, improvement, improvement plan, leadership, policy, school board, superintendent, technology