1a. Development and implementation of shared vision

Reflection

The focus of Substandard 1a is the development, communication, and implementation of a shared vision for technology use. Having a shared vision is essential. Beginning with the end in mind helps frame key decisions and create a criteria for success.

During the 2016-2017 school year, I had the opportunity to serve on the Future Ready Schools committee at my former school. Future Ready Schools (FRS) is a framework for implementing educational technology at the district level in order to prepare all students (especially those in under-served and socioeconomically disadvantaged schools) for the future. It is a nationwide initiative funded in part by taxpayers.

Most people agree that students need technology skills to prepare them for the future, but what exactly that looks like can vary greatly from school to school, or even classroom to classroom in the same school. FRS is a framework that can remedy that ambiguity. The framework is a five-step process which includes creating a leadership team, completing a self-analysis, collecting data from stakeholders, implementing an action plan, and measuring the progress made. The process can be repeated as necessary.

Below, I reflect on how the FRS initiative provides an effective framework for developing a unified vision of technology within a district.

My other piece of evidence for this Substandard is my personal vision for effective Digital Leadership. 

Evidence: Communication and Collaboration with Stakeholders

When the Office of Educational Technology visited schools practicing collaborative leadership, they discovered that stakeholders are more likely to buy-in to a plan for educational technology when they have the opportunity to shape the plan as opposed to being told what they will do. As the Coachella Valley superintendent said of his district’s technology implementation, it should be “With you, not to you.” This idea applies to taxpayers being asked to fund technology, business owners considering donating to a school, and teachers adopting new technology in the classroom. (Adams and Domenech, 2016) When we have a voice in the process, we are more likely to see the plan through to the end.
Excerpt on stakeholders
from "Future Ready Schools: a Framework for Collaborative Leadership"

When developing, communicating, and implementing a vision for technology use in a district, it is essential to identify and incorporate the voices of multiple stakeholders.

Stakeholders are all of the people who are impacted by decisions regarding technology initiatives within a district. This group includes students, teachers, administrators, coaches, IT staff, and even community members such as librarians.

One thing I loved about the Future Ready Schools initiative was the fact that stakeholders were a part of the process of formulating a shared vision. Various members of our committee represented groups of stakeholders. For instance, we had a representative from the district’s finance office. We had a teacher representing the special education department. I represented the junior high teachers while other teachers represented the various elementary schools in the district. We had a parent on the committee. We even had a community outreach liaison as a part of the group. Each representative was tasked with delivering a survey to his/her community. I was responsible for sending out, monitoring, and collecting data from other junior high teachers in order to get their input in developing a strategic plan.

To read more about Future Ready Schools and how this framework can help schools form a unified vision of technology use, please use the link below to access my post.

Evidence: Mission Statement

Before considering a shared vision of technology, I believe it is essential for stakeholders to deeply consider what being a digital leader looks like on an individual level. For my 6101 project, I completed such a reflection. The result was my personal Mission Statement regarding Digital Leadership:

Because I believe so strongly in the potential for learning and community-building through technology, I am compelled to model and promote methods that ensure students and teachers alike can safely, ethically, and effectively use technology as we work toward a brighter future.

For a detailed description of my philosophy on Digital Education Leadership, please access my blog post using the link below.

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