33 Comments

  1. Wow! Another awesome blog post. I love how you focus on the "why," and really break down your plan too. I'm going to share your blog post with my administrators, as I know that we're moving forward with our Technology Plan too, and this plan of yours makes it about more than just technology. Thank you for always being so willing to share and always inspiring others with your creative ideas and forward thinking!

    • George

      This was actually based on a discussion that I had with one of my teachers on Friday talking about how we can move forward in a safe and responsible way. We are looking forward to working together. Thanks for your encouragement!

      • This is fantastic! It's great that you and your teachers are really working together as partners to come up with the best plan possible: all the while thinking about what is best for kids.

  2. Thank you for thinking aloud the why over the how with regards to finding strategies to deepen collaboration and innovation at your school site. I think about synergy and the powerful need pull great minds together and foster creative thinking, problem solving, and barrier breaking. As hard as we try, teaching is still so often a solitary endeavor. Our era of education demands that we find ways whether through technology or traditional means to gather people to engage in critical dialogue, discussion and debate to build, to unpack, and to renew. Thanks for this great post. I hope to share it with some of our schools beginning a similar learning journey. Best wishes!

    • George

      I think that this is going to be a great way for us to harness more of the collective knowledge in the community. Not just teachers, but parents and kids as well. I think that when we look at it that way it will be a great project where everyone can grow together.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. What an impressive vision statement. I echo others who commented on the power of explaining the why. What I especially like about this vision is that every item (from collaboration, dig citizenship as a facet of identity, social relevance to creativity) are all items I, as an educator, feel I could stand behind and defend as key goals in education whether or not I used technology. Technology at the service of these goals will undoubtedly be a very powerful use of technology. This saying comes to mind, "The pen is mightier than the sword." The pen is only mightier if you wield it with skill. Will the new slogan be: "Web 2.0 is mightier than the pen." (Not as catchy I admit.) Your clear vision for your technology use feels inclusive, expansive and very rich. Kudos!

    PS. I really enjoy your writing style and I positively love that the admin were making mind maps (and you with your adaptation – congrats to you by the way) to show their thinking! That is simply awesome leadership by example!! And I love how you slide definitions in to clarify concepts along the way such as leadership not being synonymous with authority. It raises the level of writing considerably.

  4. George

    Wow! I am really glad that I sent this post your way. You have made me feel like a million bucks!

    I think that there is definite engagement with technology but if you are not using it for deeper thinking, then it will lose its shine. Think of video games; they are fun and cool, but eventually you get bored with them, especially when you feel that the challenge is gone. Tech in the classroom will be the same way and probably the reason there is a current backlash against IWB's. It is about building critical thinkers, not about using technology. It is about deep understanding, not technology. Technology is just a tool.

    Thanks for your comment!

  5. Kelly Power

    George, once again you have tapped into the essence of WHY I am inspired to be an administrator one day. I have been sharing your blog with our Principal course group as I believe your posts reflect nicely on what it means to be a truly effective leader. Your posts can be used quite nicely to move others into deep reflective thinking. Thank you for sharing your learning journey so openly with others.

    • George

      As the year progresses, it is essential that we look into the WHY of everything. I know that when we are moving forward with something that I always need to be prepared to answer that question, and if I am not, then we should not be doing it.

      I am glad that this is able to help you along your path to administration. If I could have tapped into this earlier, I would have done a lot better so you are light years ahead of me.

      • Kelly Power

        It's interesting you say we should look into the WHY of everything. That's exactly what my brain is doing all the time. I think I understand why I drove my dad crazy as a child. My advisor at the university said that, in our learning journeys, we should have an exhaustive list of "wonderments" all the time! He said, "make the familiar strange by questioning everything". If you have the power to ask these questions, then you avoid making assumptions and avoid unnecessary drama too. He is a wise wise man.

  6. Michelle (@mrshoneys

    Thank you for sharing, George. I especially like how you keep kids central to all your thinking: "This project is not about technology. It is about opportunities for learning and caring for our students." Focusing on the why of technology integration is critical as we move forward in education. This is especially timely for me, as our district tries to move past the 'tooling' stage into the development, collaboration, and communication phase of our Technology Plan. I will certainly be sharing and thank you very much for all you contribute to our PLN!

    • George

      I am glad that it will help. Students being central is essential to everything we do and starting from there is great for anything that you do in school. Thanks for the comment :)

  7. Jeremy (Mr_Macnology

    (Most) Students are using these tools already. Technology has become a part of their every-minute lives…because that is the way most of them live now, minute to minute as opposed to day to day. Information/communication, in their minds needs, to be instant–it needs to be right now. The tools that are available can not only facilitate that for students, but it can create a closer community (local/global) that can work together to improve the education and learning skills of our students and us, the educators. And you are absolutely right, it's not about the technology, it's about meaningful learning opportunities and moving forward.

    The technology is merely a tool (and a mighty fun one at that), but it is relevant to most of these kids. Engagement is the key. In order for it to work, educators must know how to use it appropriately, purposefully, and effectively. It comes with time; it comes with professional development; it comes with community (communication & collaboration); it comes with use. Like you mentioned above, it has to lead to deeper thinking…and I think all learning should guide us in that direction.

    Thanks George. Great post.

    • George

      Thanks for your input Jeremy. Engagement is essential to the classroom and relevance to kids will only help them further their learning. It is tough to see that the tools they use when they get to school are shut down, while we as the adults continue to be plugged in. Some of that is cost (we can't afford a laptop for every kids, and parents do not have to buy them a computer), but there are definitely tools that are not always being utilized.

      Thanks for your comment!

  8. I love the focus on why you are making these changes. Your focus on the students is where it needs to be. Our students get lost on the pressure for the school to have high scores and all the emphasis is on scores. Too many educators use technology as a drill and kill method to improve the test scores.

    I think using technology as a tool to create allows students to see themselves as the architect of their own learning. Giving students choices, differentiating instruction, communicating with students and parents are made possible by using technology. My students are so engaged that we are often late for gym or music because they have made a choice and they are loving what they are doing!

    Thank you for showing the way an administrator should support his whole school community. I love how you focus everything back to the students! Another great post!!

  9. […] Working with my educational technology team, we discussed about limiting the resources that we worked with in our school.  I would never as an administrator ask people to not try different sites in the classroom (the importance of risk taking), but we are looking at what we can support as a team.  The more we look at these different sites in the classroom, the less time we are seeming to actually gain educational value from them and the more we are just “playing”.  This will also help to build capacity within the school while not overwhelming staff with SO many different tools.  By using the same sites, staff and students will develop a deeper learning on how to use these sites effectively for learning while building a support network within the school.  Instead of focusing so much on the “How“, we will be focusing more on the “Why“. […]

  10. […] Working with my educational technology team, we discussed about limiting the resources that we worked with in our school. I would never as an administrator ask people to not try different sites in the classroom (the importance of risk taking), but we are looking at what we can support as a team. The more we look at these different sites in the classroom, the less time we are seeming to actually gain educational value from them and the more we are just “playing”. This will also help to build capacity within the school while not overwhelming staff with SO many different tools. By using the same sites, staff and students will develop a deeper learning on how to use these sites effectively for learning while building a support network within the school. Instead of focusing so much on the “How“, we will be focusing more on the “Why“. […]

  11. […] hours in the day.  The responsibility should be first put upon our leaders in education to show why any new initiatives need to be a priority.  Not only do they to show the […]

  12. Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

Comments are closed.