Monday, October 10, 2011

Leading 21st Century Schools---Great Book for the Not-Yet Tech Savvy School Leader

Cover Image"To be a successful leader in the 21st century, school leaders need to be open to change, know how to manage change, and be risk takers," writes Lynne Schrum and Barbara Levin in their book Leading 21st Century Schools: Harnessing Technology for Engagement and Achievement. But being open to change means being comfortable with change. Knowing how to manage change means having the knowledge and skills to face change, and being risk takers means understanding what you're risking. One of the reasons many administrators still are hesitant with technologically wrought change is they lack the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions, and the whole technology knowledge domain looks too daunting. Schrum and Levin's book is just the antidote to that lack of technological expertise and knowledge school leaders need to be successful 21st century school leaders.

The main strength of Leading 21st Century Schools is the panoramic view of educational technology it gives readers. The opening chapters give an overview of what has changed economically, socially, and technologically, and how these changes care driving change in education. Then the authors take readers through all the research about characteristics of digital learners, a complete overview of Web 2.0 tools, and a guided tour of instructional strategies to use with technology. Included in this book is information about how to get teachers engaged in technology in their classrooms and some basics on how to be an instructional technology leader. There is even a complete chapter that reviews the basics of laws such as Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and copyright.

This book is a complete introduction to all-things-technology for school leaders. While this book is probably not one for the tech-savvy administrator, it is one for that school leader who needs the whole panoramic introduction to instructional technology.  You might consider giving this book as a gift to your principal if he or she is still on the sidelines when it comes to technology.

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