I've been thinking about an online experience for administrators to learn about a variety of digital tools for authentic purposes. The list below challenges participants to experiment with these tools in a variety of contexts that revolve around the use of Google Apps and other 'web 2.0' tools. Please contribute your ideas...
1) Maintain and distribute meeting agendas, notes, and follow-up action items on a shared private google site as a team.
2) Use google docs for individual needs (word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation) for a month -- no new Microsoft Office docs to be created that month!
3) Use google docs for collaboration needs (word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation.) For example, the team could create plans for an important upcoming meeting including a word-processing document agenda, slideshow for presentation, and a spreadsheet of peer schools for benchmarking. These documents would have multiple authors on the team working on them concurrently.
4) Use an online survey (google docs form/spreadsheet) to gather input from members of a department.
5) Use google calendars individually and collaboratively. Each person maintains a google calendar of his/her own appoinments that is shared with appropriate members of the group; use meeting requests to schedule meetings; use shared calendars for meetings common to everyone.
6) Use a shared website bookmarking tool to actively share websites of interest. Use diigo with highlighting/annotation, and define a set of readings (on websites that can be annotated with diigo) for admin team to read/reflect/share upon.
7) Experiment with twitter to publicly create a stream of positively framed comments/shared items. Each person establishes a twitter account and follows at least 3 other people who hold a similar position at another school.
8) Blog to reflect on authentic work-related needs. Establish a blog account and post at least one blog entry each week; follow each others' blogs and comment upon various entries.
9) Video-chat with each other and other constituents. Engage in a weekly video chat with at least one colleague each week. Invite a remote participant to video-chat into an admin team meeting.
10) Use internal presence software for IM and availability monitoring. Using software that includes capability for Instant-Messaging and availability have an IM chat as appropriate to ask questions of each other. Software possibilities include google chat, cisco presence, etc.
11) Build a Personal Learning Network to connect with other colleagues at other schools for comparisons on various projects/curriculum/operational questions. Use various communication tools to develop a PLN including list-servs, twitter, ning, etc.
These exercises align with the ISTE NETS for administrators which include visionary leadership and digital age learning culture.
Would you add any additional tools, techniques, & technologies to this list? What would add value to an administrator's work routine? [Value = efficiency, timeliness, organization, expanded resources, knowledge perspective, community, etc.]
Any responses, suggestions, additions to this list would be most appreciated!
This is a wonderfully comprehensive list of tools and applications. I'm not sure if I can think of anything to add to it right now but I would hope that these tools could also be discussed in the context of the outside community (not just the internal community of the school). Heads and administrators also play an important role in marketing with prospective parents; making connections with future employees; and keeping in touch with alumni. Believe me, I wouldn't want to be a Head these days, but these tools could certainly help make some parts of the job a little more efficient.
thanks for starting this conversation,
Great thoughts, Demetri, and a most comprehensive list.
Here's an additional idea for #12.
-- Encourage faculty members to develop yearly goals that incorporate 21st Century learning skills (including some of those you are learning) and include discussion about these goals in group and individual meetings.
I will share this with administrators here at GDS, but first I'll share with the tech staff and see if they have ideas to add.
Good list... It would be interesting to hear feedback from schools that have tried to incorporate these into regular administrative practice.
Got one to add for you that builds off of the first item on the list:
- Make faculty meetings/department meetings "blended": Have faculty resources, meeting notes, agendas, etc. online within the school's LMS. Use the online space for pre-meeting readings, discussion, and announcements so that face-to-face time can be used for collaboration. Think "flipped" faculty meeting.
Seen a couple of schools try this out this year -- and is how we run faculty meetings at OSG. Added benefit: allows administrators to model blended approaches to learning.
Hope this helps.
This is a great challenge! I'm taking it on, but I'd love more resources for #11 (Build a Personal Learning Network). I'm a new administrator and I'd love ideas on how to meet colleagues at other schools.
Thanks for leaving a response here. My blog post "Making the Most of your PLN" has some specific ideas for building Personal Learning Networks. Although it is not specific to administrators I think the pathways are the same... you just have to choose who you want to connect with.
Hope that helps,