Start - Visionary Leadership

Manheim Township (MT) is on an excellent path towards integrating technology to enhance and change the way teachers instruct their students. This past year MT implemented a 1 to 1 framework and deemed 2017-18 “year 0”. As they rolled the iPads out during the year, the district asked teachers to utilize, create and share ideas to become comfortable using the technology. Teachers are working with Google, Apple, iPads, Apple TVs and projectors to collaborate, create and communicate. As the district heads towards “year 1”, teachers are looking to administration to set the example and tone of the importance of implementing technology into the classroom.

Therefore, principals are just beginning to utilize the ISTE standards for administrators to meet the district’s expectations. I have already begun to notice positive changes in the standard of “Visionary Leadership” from administrators in MT. Leaders are taking the onus upon themselves to develop and implement technology throughout their day as an example of effective uses and the significant impact technology can have on students.

Principals at MT are using their iPads, Apple TV and projectors to convey information during meetings. They are utilizing Google Docs to send out agendas where teachers can collaboratively add items, make notes, and follow along. Videos are being used to engage teachers and present information. Google Drives are being created to share folders and organize grade levels. Administrators are setting up Google Sheets to help teachers collaboratively collect and analyze data to further instruction and drive meeting agendas. Finally, they are working hard to engage the community through multiple technology outlets to keep everyone informed. In “Year 0”, I have seen the administration working hard to find ways to further the vision and development of our district through technology.

On a personal level, as I started school (1993) my mother moved on from being a teacher to run the technology department for her district. This was a strong influence on my life growing up in an era where technology was young and intermittent. I was fortunate enough to have these tools at my disposal through college and was attracted to the idea of using them in my classroom when I graduated. Ever since I have made technology a mainstay in my pedagogy it has been an integral part of enhancing students’ engagement, creativity, collaboration, and product. I consistently use technology to save time on collecting data, allow apps to analyze the data, communicate with colleagues on activities, and organize teammates to have everyone on the same page. These are skills that will help shape the kind of leader I want to become.

With a colleague of mine, we have written a grant to fund 6 elementary STEM labs in our our district. I continue to work closely with our technology department as we move through the process of going 1 to 1 by working on committees and being the tech integrator for my building. I run professional development sessions on technology and work closely with my peers to help them incorporate technology into their lessons. These skills are laid out in the ISTE standards and match closely with the “Visionary Leadership” competencies necessary for a progressive administrator. I’m excited where our district is headed and believe my prior knowledge and mastery of technology will aide in the transition from teacher to administrator.

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