Leadership in Technology: The Klingenstein Experience continued

A pleasantly surprising twist to the technology course I took with Ellen Meier at Teachers College was that it was more about leadership than it was about technology. Too often in schools, we get caught up with the latest hardware and software and do not spend enough time thinking about the primary purpose which is to enhance learning. I enjoy gadgets as much as the next person, so I am always fascinated with presentations of the latest and greatest, but as school leaders we need to look more directly at the value in terms of learning. As part of this course, we visited The School at Columbia, a K-8 school that focuses on innovation. In fact, Don Buckley who toured us through the school, has the title of Director of Innovation, certainly a sign of the times. This was an interesting school comprised of students both from the neighborhood and from the children of Columbia professors.

At Newman we are thinking deeply about technology and wrestling with many key questions. How do we provide our students with opportunities to use online platforms while still maintaining the high quality and personalized attention that an independent school classroom provides? How do we stay current with hardware and software when the pace of change and innovation is escalating? How do we best support our faculty and staff to take advantage of technological advances in order to further both curriculum and pedagogy? The list goes on, but I am fortunate to work with many visionary and committed educational leaders who will help us answer these over time.

Click here to read the recent stories of how we are integrating technology:

Apps at Newman

Micro mobs

The New iPad Lab

Using video to enhance instruction

The New Weather Station

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One thought on “Leadership in Technology: The Klingenstein Experience continued

  1. Hello T.J.! I love this perspective. As someone known as a “techie” at Episcopal, I’ve often tried to figure out how to articulate the sentiment that it’s not really about the tools themselves. My using a SMARTboard, for example, is not so much an effort to incorporate “high-tech” into the English curriculum, but rather a way of engaging students with auditory or focus challenges, a system for documenting and posting classroom notes in digital format, and even an animation mechanism!

    As our one-to-one program expands from its current implementation in fifth grade, I am curious about the extent to which these tools hinder or enhance my ability to achieve learning goals. I suspect that with all instruction, the key factor is in strong management, mindful transitions, and clear articulation of “laptop-open, laptop-closed” directives throughout the lesson.

    I look forward to your arrival at EA, and to meeting you in person!

    Best,

    Lisa Turner
    (Upper School English; Director of Garden Education, Sid Buck Community Garden)

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