8 ways school leaders can support the digital transition
Administrators at the local, district, and state levels are essential to leading and supporting the digital transition in schools across the nation, and at a Sept. 29 summit, a panel of education leaders outlined a number of key ways that leadership can support and sustain a digital transition.
More than 100 educators, policymakers, and stakeholders convened for the Empowering Educators to Enhance Student Learning in the Digital Era, in Washington, D.C., which featured sessions focusing on preparing teachers for digital learning environments, professional development opportunities, and supporting the digital transition from all sides.
Moderated by Jeff Mao, senior director of Common Sense Media’s Learning Solutions Program, the panel featured Mark Edwards, superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina; Rosanne Javorsky, assistant executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit in Homestead, Pa.; Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of schools in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools; and Johnny L. Veselka, executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA).
The discussion ranged from leadership preparation programs to efforts to ensure that leadership is allowed to thrive at all levels, and a number of actionable recommendations emerged.
1. Don’t rely only on external programs to prepare school leaders.
In Mooresville, Edwards said, the district partners with two universities on higher education degree cohorts. District leaders developed content and curriculum and aligned it directly to the district’s needs.
“I think we informed the university about some missing links. We were able to use and develop some systems, particularly in the area of digital leadership, in terms of universities and what they bring to the table,” Edwards said. “Partnering is the way to go—building the work together and evolving the leadership practice.”
“We don’t rely on external programs [to prepare leadership],” said Montgomery County’s Starr. “We’re investing a significant amount of resources into leadership, and it’s a cultural shift. We take full responsibility for leadership development, and we don’t rely on universities.”
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