“Reading is Fundamental.” I’m sure we’ve all heard this statement and may have used it from time to time. Reading a good book can transport your mind to another place, open your mind to new ideas, broaden your perspective, and create opportunities for reflection. As I ponder #Leadershipday11, I want to address the question, “What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that can help them be better technology leaders?”
My first recommendation is Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind. It has everything to do with making a shift in the way we think about learning, leading, our the future state of the workforce. Pink challenges the status quo of many school districts in that he highlights ways in which the creative, outside-the-box thinkers are what is needed. The left brain dominant, analytical and logical workers are becoming obsolete.
So what does this mean for schools? Everything! The research is in and the covers have been removed: we have to create learning environments that prepare students for what’s required in the business world and in higher education in the second decade of the 21st Century and beyond. Before we think about how to integrate technology, Pink highlights why we need to change our approach to school leadership and teaching.
My second recommendation is an ebook created by Shelly Terrell, titled The 30 Goals Challenge. This is less of a traditional book and more of an interactive guide to learning how to use technology as an educator. She also created a tribe by using a Twitter hashtag, #30goals for educators who are taking the challenge. This provides support, encouragement, accountability, and moments to celebrate. Taking the challenge allows one to fail safely because of the level of support and collaboration that exists in the tribe. Each goal stretches the user to do and learn something new. I encourage administrators to take the 30 Goals Challenge as a leader of leaders.
My final book recommendation is Communicating and Connecting with Social Media by William M. Ferriter, Jason T. Ramsden, and Eric C. Sheninger. This book is a quick read and provides surveys to use to gather feedback from students, teachers, and parents. It also provides a number of examples of educators who are modeling effective use of social media. There are guided questions, a list of additional resources, and action plans to follow. I highly recommend this book and have shared it with a couple of administrators in my district.
If you don’t have time to read, make time. You can’t afford not to…
Please add your book recommendations in the comments section and I look forward to learning together!