It’s important for school administrators to be digital leaders. Millions of dollars are spent on technology in the education system each year. This technology comes in many packages from software to infrastructure and this piece of the budget is costly and time consuming. But is it really worthwhile? In order for technology to be a success in education the school leaders must also become technology leaders.
It is in the hands of the administrators to lead the way to a higher return on such investments in technology. If a school doesn’t have a digital leader, they will have trouble reaping the rewards of the technology in their schools.
How can administrators exhibit such digital leadership?
1. Foster a culture of innovation and risk taking. Some administrators rule with a heavy hand, causing staff to be fearful of making mistakes, which in turn inhibits risk-taking and classroom innovation. Others promote such innovation and understand the need for a school culture to be based on trust. High expectations for student engagement are evident and teachers are challenged to move outside of their own comfort zone. Leaders in these schools create a safe environment for teachers to learn, grow and push the digital envelope.
2. Cultivate digital teacher leadership. Simply put, the best schools are run by administrators that allow teachers to take on leadership roles; not ones that micromanage their every move. It’s not feasible for a building administrator to be the expert on every digital tool, system, program, etc. Digital leaders cultivate teacher leadership, abdicate some control, and understand that allowing teachers to lead, mentor and inspire their colleagues will promote positive digital outcomes.