After many late nights spent reading countless articles for grad school, one thing that has become clear to me: technology plays a key role in the success of the study & practice of educational administration. There is so much written on the benefits of integrating technology into admin preparation programs and in our professional roles as administrators...but are we really using Web 2.0 technologies to their fullest potential?
I've combed through many technology-related articles to bring you what I thought were the 3 most unique, must-read articles on integrating different Web 2.0 technologies into admin preparation programs and professional practice: Twitter, Blogs, and Film. I've also suggested some ways that you can apply the ideas proposed in these articles to your own study & practice. Is there one idea below that might work for you?
1. Administrators' professional learning via Twitter: The dissonance between beliefs and actions by Vincent Cho
Publisher: Journal of Educational Administration
Keywords: Principals, technology, social media, personal learning networks, professional community
Why I love this article: Cho's article is unique because it is one of the few studies that speak to the potential benefits of Twitter for educational administrators. This study points out an important gap in administrators' learning about technology: while Twitter enables easy communication among educational stakeholders, it cannot be assumed assumed that administrators will intuitively know how to use it for professional purposes. This article suggests that there are some advantages for administrators to connect with other like-minded professionals via social media, particularly Twitter. For example, one Twitter user started a book club with his online colleagues and another co-authored a book on leadership. While using Twitter remains a personal choice, this article points to several ways that administrators can use it to further professional aims and connect with others.
Apply these ideas: Start an administrator Twitter account and use hashtag #edadmin in your Tweets. Tag academic articles you want to read or reference later by organizing them through hashtags, e.g. #VAhighered, #VAblog, or #VAreviews (you can create your own!)
2. Web 2.0 integration into the graduate classroom: An appreciative inquiry into prospective school administrator strengths and leadership experiences by Raymond L. Calabrese
Publisher: International Journal of Educational Management
Keywords: Appreciative Inquiry, Web 2.0 technology, blogs, school administrator, preparation programs, learning environment, educational administration
Why I love this article: This is the best study I've found thus far on the use of blogs into administrator preparation programs. Calabrese's article is unique because it explores the benefits of introducing students to using Web 2.0 technologies early on in a student's education, to better prepare them as leaders and to get used to the practice of reflecting and communicating with others using their blogs. His emphasis on Appreciative Inquiry as a theoretical research perspective has potential benefits to both ed admin students and practicing administrators.
Apply these ideas: Create a blog to discuss administrative issues and reflect on your own (or ask your students to reflect on their own) admin + leadership experiences. You can get started with your own blog on Wordpress, Squarespace, or Blogger for free!
3. Lights, camera, action: Advancing learning, research, and program evaluation through video production in educational leadership preparation by Jennifer Friend and Matthew Militello
Publisher: Journal of Research on Leadership Education
Keywords: Video technology, instructional leadership, educational administration, Web 2.0 technologies, qualitative research, storytelling, student projects
Why I love this article: Friend and Militello's article touches on the benefits of video production technology for the preparation of educational administrators by promoting video as a "digital reflection" tool for teaching and learning, as a research method, and as a program evaluation/service. In one of the examples illustrated in this article, students were asked to participate in an assignment called "Self-as-Leader" where they reflected on their own leadership development through film. Important ethical and legal considerations are also briefly discussed. There are few articles on the benefits of video technology from both the perspective of teacher and student, and the ideas in this article can get you started on your own video technology projects!
Apply these ideas: Ask your students to make reflective videos and host an amateur administrative film night/film festival at your school. You can get some inspiration from the University Council for Educational Administration's Film Festival, found here.
Have you read any of these articles? Are any of these project ideas useful?