|MESPA Home > Best Practices > Instructional Leadership|
|Technology: Are you a 21st century principal?|
|Amy Galatz, principal|
Amy Galatz, principal
King Elementary, Deer River
Are you a 21st
Collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity
In recent years there has been much emphasis on developing 21st Century Skills in our students. There are many definitions of 21st century skills. For me, 21st century skills can be simply summarized by 3 Cs: Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Developing 21st Century skills in our students requires a paradigm shift in our education systems. As principals, we know systematic change can be a challenge. However, developing 21st century skills in our students is more important than ever.
Today’s learners have grown up in a digital world. They have cell phones, computers, multi-dimensional video entertainment, iPods, the Internet, and they have never seen a TV without a remote control. Our children are hyper-communicators, goal planners, multi-taskers, experts at figuring out and using technology, and they are active learners. Engaging these students and making education relevant is critical. We must continue to effectively prepare our students to be the leaders of tomorrow.
We want our students to regularly use technology to solve real-world problems, collaborate and commutate globally, and analyze information in order to improve learning. As a result, it is important to model for staff, students, and parents these same skills ourselves. So, how do you know if you are a 21st century principal? Ask yourself the following questions.
It is more critical then ever before that we encourage our teachers to foster 21st century skills in our students. Schools where this is implemented best are those with strong instructional leaders. It is imperative we model these practices for our staff, families, and students. For more information about 21st century skills, some of my favorite sites include:
- Do you regularly integrate technology into your communication and presentations with staff (beyond email and a simple Powerpoint)?
- Do you promote on-line collaborative work?
- Do you promote the use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, digital storytelling, etc.?
- Do you encourage students to bring their devices to school (i.e. cell phones, iPods, iPads, laptops, etc.) and are they turned ON?
- Do you conduct classroom walkthroughs via GoogleDocs?
- Do you use Twitter to find and share resources, engage in global conversation about education, and connect with other educators in order to keep current with latest education trends and topics?
- Do you use Facebook, your school website, texting, etc. to regularly communicate with parents and students?
Contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Published in the MESPA Advocate, May 2012)
"Developing 21st Century skills in our students requires a paradigm shift in our education systems."
-- Amy Galatz