Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Road Ahead

I met with Dr. Hickey on Thursday to discuss my internship. Like many interns I had lots of questions about what needs to be in our portfolio, what constitutes Internship hours, and what format should we use for the official portfolio.
After running down my list of questions about what is and is not considered hours for the internship, I finally asked him about the format for the portfolio binder. I am not a paper person. I think anyone who has written out or printed something and wanted to go back and make a change knows that it's a pain. You have to rip up the old copy and then replace it with the new copy. And what happens when you are on your way to do a portfolio review and you find a typo? It's not like you an magically make the typo disappear as you drive down the road.

Well yes, we have become quite spoiled in the era of the Internet. The "Read/Write web" as Will Richardson calls it has revolutionized how we communicate. It's so easy to share and publish your thoughts with anyone in the world and with the new technologies that pop up every day allows us to instantaneously update our personal web sites while driving down the raod to share your portfolio. Of course I would never advocate anyone drive and text at the same time. Always pull over to a safe place to update your web log.

Well I asked Dr. Hickey if I could use a Blog for my portfolio and I was very happy to find out that Towson looking into using such technologies for portfolios in the future. So it looks like I will be the first Towson University Instructional Leadership Intern to create a blog as his portfolio. So I better do a good job, huh?

After Dr. Hickey gave his blessing on my blog idea I immediately launched into my vision for a school where I would be the administrator. I had just turned in my paper for the Administration of the School course about my personal vision for School Leadership. I think I probably got overly exhuberant. I shared with him some of my philosophy. Here's a snipet of the paper.

Stephen Covey famously recommends that we “begin with the end in mind.” When writing my plan for the next five years, I will heed his advice. I believe I would enjoy being a building level administrator immensely because it is at that level where you have the most direct impact on student achievement. However I would one day aspire to be a director of technology for a school district. It is my firm belief that seamless integration of technology tools into instruction is an essential factor in improving student performance.

I can impact more students as a building administrator, but I can impact more teachers as a director or supervisor of technology and indirectly impact a much greater number of students.Technology is not the answer, rather is it a vehicle for instructional methodologies to engage students. I have presented to teachers ways to incorporate differentiated instruction, multiple intelligences, and have been a strong proponent of using new technologies to bring the reality of the classroom closer to the reality of the students’ lives. Too many students do not attend well in class and are viewed as disruptive, under achievers, or lazy. I do not believe that to be true since most of those same students will go home, listen to their MP3 player while instant messaging their friends as they play an online video game with other students their age across the globe. Children’s brains are not wired for sitting in a hard plastic chair and listening to a teacher about history or even participate in an active learning assignment that only uses pencil and paper. The realm of education has failed to keep pace with the learning and living style of most students. By using technology as an ally, teachers can engage their students and foster active learning and problem solving to prepare students for future careers, most of which do not exist today. I will be a leader of leaders who uses technology to bring the classroom to the reality of the student instead of making the student come to the reality of the classroom.

Creating a Plan for Student Success
People should not lead without a moral purpose – they should desire to make a difference in the lives of students, teachers, and parents. I seek to become the leader who has the ability to communicate my vision for student achievement to others, to gain a consensus from the stakeholders, and to empower the stakeholders with a shared responsibility for the achievement of students that will continue long after I have moved on from my position. My school vision is of a school where a culture of high expectations for achievement encourages collaboration among parents, teachers, and the community for the benefit of the students. My vision of a high achieving school is one where technology is used to engage students in active learning and problem solving, to assess students’ progress, is used to plan and implement targeted intervention for students to reach their highest potential, and is used to provide professional development opportunities to the staff. In short, my vision is a school where the stakeholders use technology to collaborate, plan, implement, and evaluate targeted interventions for all students in order to ensure all students achieve at high levels.

So that's where I start with this blog portfolio. I have a lot of back entries to post about such things as the Internet Safety Night I facilitated, the Web Content Management committee I was a part of and my trip to the Capitol as a participant
on the Speak Up Day Congressional Briefing. Stay Tuned!

No comments: