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2013: Leadership and strategic planning for e-learning | NAPP Kōrero 14

Started by Karen Spencer 22 Aug 2013 3:36pm () Replies (350)

Planning strategically for the integration of technologies across a school community can be complex, challenging and rewarding by turns. A principal will draw on a wide variety of competencies to balance the needs of learners, staff, the community and infrastructure. Increasingly, many schools in New Zealand are turning to the e-Learning Planning Framework to help inform that process.

In this Leadership story from Enabling e-Learning's media gallery, Tony Zaloum and Mark Quigley, school leaders at Orewa College, talk about how they have juggled a number of complex dimensions as part of their e-learning planning [transcipt on the Enabling e-Learning site]:

This kōrero will unpack some of the attributes and competencies that e-learning leaders seem to have, and explore ways in which the framework can be used as a smart tool in your review and planning processes.

There will be two webinars [the second repeats the first] as part of this kōrero, which you can register for below:     Webinar 1: 11 September   |   Webinar 2: 30 October

Our key question: how can principals take an active role in their school’s strategic planning to use technologies as part of effective teaching and learning?


  • Matt Dalton (View all users posts) 24 Nov 2013 7:44pm ()

    Hi Bill, not all principal's are in the position to become poweful users of digital technologies.  I do agree with your sentiment though... They need to be seen to embrace the concept for the school and ensure that they have good people around them to drive it.  I think the principal needs to become a learner in this regard if they do not possess the skills themselves.  As a principal, they cannot be expected to be the leader of everything, but need to embrace everything that is progressive and of value.

  • Aloma (View all users posts) 21 Nov 2013 11:16pm ()

    I agree Jess, we seem to be in an age of discovery where  we don't even know what is going to be developed or invented next. Just today some of us were marvelling over a new piece of technology in the staffroom that I didn't even know was out there for the kids and now we are having discussions on how we can effectively share and use the resource in the school. It's about being willing to upskill and willing to think about the underlying pedagogy that it will support. The principal's role is to support the team that manage the monetary side as it would be so easy to buy everything new that comes along, support the teachers by providing reasonable and meaningful oportunties for staff to build on their learning by upskilling in the chosen technologies and to also support the team that will be engaging in dialogue and learning experiences with the parents/community with regards to the utilisation of technology. 

  • jason broderick (View all users posts) 21 Nov 2013 7:22pm ()

    I definitely agree lsmith. A Principal needs to be strategic with resourcing(staff and physical resources). They need to either have their finger on the 'pulse' of what is best or have access to those who are knowledgeable about what is best for an education context. I also strongly feel that the Principal needs to be as you write, 'authentic'. Authentic in how they want ICT to be embedded within their school. It doesnt need to be exactly like the school down the road, but importantly meet the needs of their school community.

  • jason broderick (View all users posts) 21 Nov 2013 7:18pm ()

    I agree Sam- As a leadership team over the past two years we have had a strong drive on developing the current pedagogy based around 21st century learning and the use of technology throughout the curriculum. This has caused (at times) heated debate, specifically around the cost of not only the devices but the infrastructure that needs to be put in place to allow success for all staff and best practise to happen. We have a knowledgeable DP who has the other element 'passion' so I believe we are on the right track with her. Our Principal is very supportive of the move forward and I have a strong belief she has us on the right path with a sustainable plan.

  • Sam McGavin (View all users posts) 21 Nov 2013 3:57pm ()

    The use of technology in schools is such a delicate subject, everyone wants to use it and have it but on the other hand there is a huge amount of thinking and planning for it to be used successfully. We are lucky to be involved in the LCN which has allowed us to identify that we need to make our children more active in their learning. For this to happen we have identified that technology will have a significant impact on the way our children learn. We have spent a lot of time thinking about how we can most effectively use technology to make our learners active, reflective and to build the capacity to forge relationships between school and whanau.

  • Daryl Warburton (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 11:10pm ()

    Well put Ian. I think this idea of 'producers vs consumers' will be one of the defining concepts for those that have and those that have not in the future. The economic divide facing our society will only be heightened when low decile students get stuck in a cycle of consumerism and reliance. If we can facilitate students to becoming producers of new or remixed ideas then the future will hold more potential for them. 

  • Anau Kupa (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 7:46pm ()

    Agree with your comments - I do think money and PLD is a huge factor in implementing and sustaining elearning and tools.  We're fortunate enough to have an Elearning team and Amanda (BeL facilitator) to drive this in our school. This year we've focused on PLD for teachers and next year we're focussing on the classroom so it's exciting . Principal support is crucial in ensuring this is implemented and sustained. 

  • Jess Ward (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 7:16pm ()

    I think the first thing Principals need to do is to keep an open mind and be adaptable. The technological world is constantly evolving and though many leaders like to have clear planning e.g Strategic Plans, we need to ensure these are not too rigid.  The nature of elearning and the needs of the 21st century learner has of 'certain amount of uncertainty'.  Principals need to be able to say 'lets revisit this' or 'this plan needs adapting' or 'this byod planning needs an overhaul'. Whatever the plan may be, the Principal needs to remain responsive and flexible.

  • Eric Daubé (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 5:22pm ()

    Our key question: how can principals take an active role in their school’s strategic planning to use technologies as part of effective teaching and learning?

    Kia ora Aloma,

    We have operated a variety of systems over the last four years at our school, to embed expertise within the staff. A commitment was made by the principal/BOT to fund the staff to attend ie the ULearn conference two years ago  as part of the strategic plan's focus on staff pedagogical development.

    Whilst there has been considerable shift from the early days of 'new tech is best' to a focus on the learner and the learning opportunities new technologies can bring, there has not been enough investment in 'the stuff' and frustration sets in even if there is the will.

    ...so I see the principal's role:

    1. Ensuring uptake is pedagogically driven
    2. Is a learner alongside his/her staff
    3. Ensuring there is adequate resourcing
    4. Developing a team of experts within the school
    5. Reviewing past PD - the good stuff we've forgotten about
    6. Ensuring the school's vision drives direction
    7. Planned, on-going, regular and collegial PD.
  • Jacqueline Hill (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 12:32pm ()

    At times, even the most competent and enthusiastic staff can feel overwhelmed and, as you say, new initiatives on top of already busy workloads is often hard to digest. 

    In terms of what makes the most difference to learning, we have just surveyed our students asking them questions like: what do we (teachers) do in terms of digital learning that is helpful, what about e-learning motivates you , what apps / sites etc. help you to learn and why, what do you wish teachers did more of ... it will be (once it has all been collated into a manageable fom!) really valuable in terms of narrowing down what students perceive to be the most useful and make the most difference for them.

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.