Education leaders have the responsibility to model, for our students, teachers and communities, what real digital leadership looks like. We should not ignore, or be afraid, of digital tools. Indeed, we should be the ones opening the doors for the digital resources and applications that can enhance learning and instruction.
Here are two platforms that provide opportunity for education leaders to pave a digital pathway:
- Social Media. We need to embrace tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other applications that can expand our professional or personal learning networks. Social media platforms are a great way for us to connect with other professionals and expand our knowledge base. Our work will be better and smarter if we are sharing and collaborating with our global peers, tapping into their professional and personal passions, interests, skills and challenges. Use these platforms to tell your stories – the stories of your schools, students, staffs, communities and education successes.
- Blogging and publishing. We now lived in a world where everyone can publish. Publishing has been democratized through blogging. We can share our ideas, thoughts, knowledge and expand our own thinking and the thinking of others. Blogging opens the door for reflection, audience analysis, communication, tone and more. It gives voice to our experiences. Our students and teachers should be publishing their educational journey and thus creating more interesting and dynamic digital portfolios.
Twenty-first century leadership is digital leadership. Let’s be the ones that walk the walk.
Michael Niehoff is currently a systems & leadership coach in the Curriculum & Instruction Division of the Fresno County Office of Education. He has been a secondary educator for 25 years as a teacher, advisor, director of activities, learning director and principal. After starting his career in media, he became an educator to empower students to create, innovate and advocate. His students, programs and school sites have been recognized by Apple, Google, CUE, NASSP, NOD, AMAE, CLHS, CSBA, CVCUE, CADA, JEA and many others. He is the founding principal of the 1-to-1, project-based Minarets High School/Minarets Charter High School that opened in 2008. He is also a writer for for Inside USC Rossier, the blog for USC Rossier School of Education’s online teaching degree. He is a Google Certified Teacher, CUE Lead Learner and Buck Institute for Education National Faculty member who regularly presents on contemporary and progressive education issues. He is a past CUE & CVCUE Site Leader of the Year, as well as an ACSA Region IX Secondary Principal of the Year.
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