Remedial Tech Classes for District Leaders?

smclester@cmp.com

I recently read an article that began with the line: "We know a couple of school superintendents who cannot do their own e-mail. Their secretaries print them out and let them read it on paper."

I had to laugh out loud. As more than a few people have noted, it's not unusual for students to possess the highest degree of competence with computers and the Internet, while the district superintendents possess the least.

This lack of tech savvy by our chief education officers is a sorry state of affairs.

With almost every school hooked up to the Internet and the increasingly pervasive use of technology in the schools, it is imperative our school administrators be up to speed.

Enter technology standards for administrators. Although many states have established technology standards for students and teachers, the development of similar standards for administrators has lagged far behind.

But efforts are ramping up with discussions underway about just what our school leaders need to know to successfully guide students, teachers and the community in today's digital society.

Parents and other community members should be playing a big part in this effort. Several groups are pioneering efforts to develop technology standards for school leaders.

They generally agree that leaders must foster a culture of technology innovation, play an active role in establishing a flexible technology plan and maintain an ongoing dialogue with the community about technology issues.

To get a sense of the professional development opportunities being provided, visit the following sites:

International Society for

Technology in Education

http://cnets.iste.org/tssa/framework.html

Presents a draft of technology standards for administrators and accepts site visitors' feedback.

The National School Boards Assn.

http://www.nsba.org/sbot/toolkit/leadqual.html

Features articles on leadership, planning and educational technology.

The Southern Regional

Education Board on Education

Technology

http://www.xtn.net/~gcs/pstands.htm

Presents a technology standard for school administrators.

Virginia Department

of Education

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/suptsmemos/2000/inf138.html

Provides a guide for technology training for administrators.

Susan McLester is editor of Technology & Learning magazine.

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