Thursday, October 04, 2007

Leader 2.0? Is it real or Memorex?

In scouring several magazines and journals related to educational technology recently, I have been struck by the fact that our U.S. schools may be beginning to have some leaders who truly "get it." Do you find this to be true, as well? (Your comments are solicited.)

So, I have been wondering....are the "legacy" leaders fading away, succumbing to attrition brought on by encroaching age? Or, are those organizational leaders (superintendents, principals, tech directors) who were in place when schools began using technologies just moving on to other areas where their tradition-bound approaches to learning aren't so obvious?

Mind you, I am not intending to issue a blanket condemnation for all administrators who were in place 20 years ago. I am merely wondering if our current school leaders received preparation that enabled them to see the advantages of employing technologies wisely for student achievement and institutional advancement.

We hear talk of Web 2.0—and most of those who advance this concept speak of the myriad ways that student learning can become so much more exciting when these new technology capabilities are leveraged. We are told that Web 2.0 tools make learning more authentic, interactive, and engaging.

Is it possible to imagine school leaders who are the same? Authentic, interactive, and engaging leaders? Given that we understand what is meant by the phrase, "Web 2.0," how can we characterize a leader who has advanced as far beyond the traditional mold as the web technologies have?

How would a "Leader 2.0" look? What would be the characteristics? How would you promote this level of leadership as being more effective than the prior model?

Further, what advice would you give to Ed Leadership departments in universities where the new breed of school leaders is being developed?

What do you think?

Let me hear from you.