Wednesday, December 28, 2011

3 New Year’s Resolutions for 21st Century School Leaders

As 21st century school leaders, the New Year gives us the opportunity to declare the direction we are going to move as 21st century educational leaders in our schools and districts. While there are certainly other areas to consider as we make New Year Resolutions as school leaders, here's three I consider imperative.

Social Media
In the coming year, it’s time to begin a genuine examination of the place social media has in your professional life and practice. Maybe it’s time to quit thinking narrowly of all the negatives that can happen when educators engage in social media use, and begin to look at potentials. Social media is here to stay in one form or another. It is time to move beyond trying to find ways to keep social media out, and engage in its use and encourage others to do the same. It’s time to quit wasting energy trying to keep social media out of our schools and embrace it as just another way to engage our students, parents, and community.

WiFi Access for Students
As bandwidth has become more available, it is time for us to look for ways to provide WiFi access for our students. As 21st century leaders, we need to provide an environment where our students and staff can remain plugged-in and powered-up rather than unplugged and powered-down. We need to make it a priority to find ways to give our students WiFi access within our school buildings and connectivity with their own devices. It takes a special, creative, 21st century leader to provide this access, keep our students safe, and teach students how to connect responsibly.

Explore and Move to the Cloud
One of our goals as 21st century leaders is take the limited resources we have, and provide the most with those resources. The cloud provides us the biggest opportunity to do that. The 21st century leader fearlessly explores cloud-based services and opportunities. Allowing Google to maintain email services or Microsoft maintain Office apps online is the future. We have a responsibility as 21st century leaders to deploy our resources in a manner that makes the most sense, and that gives us the biggest return for our investment. This school year, all 21st century school leaders need to commit to exploring the possibilities of cloud-based solutions and engage in their use whenever possible.

Being a school leader in 21st century schools is exciting. There are so many opportunities to for our own growth and exploration. As you make your New Year's resolutions, what areas would you add to this list for 21st leadership resolutions?

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