Principals who invest in technology find themselves excited about its use and often focus on that rather than on creating authentic learning experiences. Principals must have a vision for teaching and learning and how technology can accelerate those experiences, not vice versa.
Principals who support teachers with the effective use of technology and empower them to create learning experiences in which technology can be used to explore, design, and create will see a maximized Return on Instruction (ROI).
Shifting the instructional pedagogy is no easy feat. Building the trust needed to do so and supporting teachers throughout the process is essential. Principals who model dynamic learning experiences help create that trust. A principal’s faculty meetings and in-service time should be a direct reflection of the type of learning he or she is looking for in the classroom. The Future Ready Principals framework acknowledges the various responsibilities school principals balance and affirms a core belief that in a future ready school, all learners deserve equitable access to innovative learning environments.
Trends in Digital Learning: The New Learning Leader - the emerging role of the agile school principal as digital evangelist and instructional leader
Key findings from this year’s digital learning trends report:
- District leaders are increasingly placing a high value on the leadership skills of their school site administrators. 40% of education leaders now say that enhanced school leadership has the potential to result in improved student outcomes relative to college and career readiness, only 11% held the same view in 2010.
- A new type of school principal, the New Learning Leader, is emerging that is both a digital evangelist at their school supporting new classroom models and an instructional coach providing modeling for their teachers about effective technology use for professional tasks.
- The New Learning Leader is more likely than other principals to have implemented blended, competency-based or flipped learning environments at their school. While 51% of all principals say that they have implemented blended learning at their school, 74% of these new principals are at the helm of a blended learning school.
- Two-thirds (68%) of New Learning Leaders say that their most significant challenge in the effective use of digital resources at their school is providing effective teacher training. Consequently, these principals have a stronger focus that most principals on modeling self-directed professional learning for their teachers.
- The New Learning Leaders are using data to inform their leadership tasks including providing feedback to their teachers on how to improve classroom practices (89%), setting schoolwide goals (85%) and sharing information with parents (74%).
Future Ready Principals™ are building level innovators who believe in:
- Creating a vision that supports personalized teaching and learning that maximizes the potential of digital learning.
- Modeling the type of professional learning by empowering staff to lead, learn, fail, and repeat.
- Making anytime, anywhere learning a reality.
- Developing a plan to ensure ubiquitous connectivity in and out of school.
- Advocating for the use of multiple strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners.
- Working to build partnerships to communicate and agree upon a shared vision for student learning in their community.