Cheryl Lemke from The Metiri Group makes a great case for the way a school leader must embrace the warp speed changes occurring in the world's our students live in. School is no longer the only place for learning. In fact only about 18.5% of learning occurs in a formal environment for K-12 students. The Internet provides a 24/7 resource and even though school is no longer front and center in a student's learning we do need to embrace our place and tap into our student's interests. The following are 7 ways a the school's leader must adapt to lead the changes required to meet the needs of our ever changing learners.
1) Own the Innovation - Lead the change you want to see in the classrooms, don't delegate it for someone else to implement
2) Drive Change Through Creativity and Knowledge - Be creative, informed, tolerant, critical, questioning and experiment with technology
3) Shift From Rules to Shared Principles - Actively facilitate the development and adoption of the guiding principles instead of constructing rules for implementation of initiatives
4) Establish a Professional Learning System - Provide a menu of differentiated PD options for teachers including mentoring, coaching, face to face, virtual, collaborative and just in time (Research shows that 49 hours of PD a year can increase student scores by 21 percentiles)
5) Shape Culture - Create an environment of openness, collegiality, honesty and adapt the focus on standards guided by principles (Look for the positive deviance in your staff and reward it)
6) Ensure Digital Access and Infrastructure - Make sure your teachers have the appropriate hardware and access to the tools they will need to implement technology initiatives
7) Accountability - Hold yourself and your teachers accountable for implementing strategies and for gaining the student results desired.
The biggest advice given was to use good judgement when it comes to next steps, providing opportunities and access for teachers and devote the time to your own learning as you take your school into the next era of learning for students. Embrace the change without fear!