Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Digital PLCs for Administrators

Many administrators in the state of Wisconsin are dealing with a simple reality: Technology has grown significantly faster than our skills in using it. In an age of hyperinterconnectedness and augmented reality, some of us have faltered in technology competence and need to polish our skills.
Traditional methods of development have helped, but we need more. We need a systematic way to improve our skills as a community of administrators both learning about digital-age learning tools and supporting one another as we learn. We need to amplify our skills, our ability to support one another, and our ability to support and lead initiatives of powerful learning with digital-age tools for students.
Most of us are acutely aware of the powerful effect that a PLC can have on an educational community. For administrators, setting up the conditions under which PLCs thrive is different from participating in, and making significant contributions to, a meaningful PLC.  Although we have many opportunities to interact with other  principals and district administrators, we don’t often actually get the chance to play a part, especially relating to as important a topic as technology integration.
How do we connect the dots? How do we learn about digitally-oriented learning tools, and support one another as we implement best practice, collaborate to solve problems, and work to continuously improve the state of education in Wisconsin? The answer: We must develop a digitally-oriented, association-endorsed Professional Learning Community for administrators to learn, share, grow, and lead. This PLC must afford administrators in Wisconsin the ability to attain technology skills in an accommodating, hands-on environment, the ability to share their progress and work through obstacles, and the ability to vet results for powerful student learning. We need to amplify our community into a digitally-oriented PLC.
The idea of a digitally-oriented, certification-based PLC is not unheard of. Pioneers like Scott McLeod (CASTLE) and Jeff Utecht (COETAIL) worked to develop systematic ways to improve technology skills ahead of almost everyone. The significant work that they have done to pave the way for leaders to support leaders is prized and iconic.
This blog entry is crossposted at Amplified Administrators

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