For a little more than a year, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with fellow administrators from across the state in helping them to better understanding digital-age tools. As a part of this effort, we've worked on social bookmarking, micro-blogging, blogging, and creating screencasts. We've delved into the concept of PLN creation, and we've looked at the ways that digital-age tools amplify administrative capacity to support PLCs. I have learned as much from these people as I hope they have learned from me.
The most striking realization with which I have come away from this experience is that technology know-how only matters so much. After the cursory proficiency in understanding how any digital-age tool works, other things matter. After someone knows how to log-on to twitter, and understands the concepts of a tweet, hashtag, RT, HT, and list, then what?
It is at this point in technology development that underlying leadership traits become very apparent since the way social media and other Web 2.0 tools are put into action depends largely on a given leader's philosophies about collaboration, empowerment, innovation, and learning. After the initial know-how of technology, other things matter.
This vitally modifies how I looked at development as it relates to technology. This type of development is not done separate from development associated with leadership; development in technology must be done simultaneously with leadership development, and the catalytic interplay between the two can amplify both positive leadership and negative leadership attributes of the person using the technology.
What do you think? Is the effective use of digital-age tools congruent with the quality of the leadership behind their employment? What leadership attributes are requisite for the effective use of digital-age tools, and how can we as a community cultivate those attributes in leaders around us and in pre-service leaders?