For whatever reason, Principals increasingly expect some basic knowledge out of all teachers. Yes, even that teacher down that hall.
Use this round-up of basic technology knowledge to have a productive dialogue with your administrator.
How to communicate positively via email.
Most of communication is just being consistent over time. Look for short-term ways to be consistent, answer emails within a predictable amount of time, and let families know when and how they can reach out to you. Accept that you need to post to several places for your students and their families to find that information in ‘one’ place. You’ll be a grade level hero, after that first meeting, if you can get the entire grade level to agree on one way to send information home. Short of that lofty goal, aim for your hallway, or you content are.
How to find your notes from that meeting.
Feel free to look for shortcuts to note-taking in technology. Your personal notes on a meeting can come in very handy. When at all possible you may want to consult your notes, even when someone else has found theirs already and you are making decisions based on those notes. Whether from a parent teacher conference, an RTI meeting, or a grade level session your notes must be found quickly or you may not have your view represented adequately in the decision-making process. Consider the state of your digital order, or lack thereof; first thing to do is take time to actually organize your digital desktop. Consider where you are saving your notes and if this is a good time to switch to something different?
How to create online content.
No. Principals have no idea how long it takes to create quality digital content. The diminishing returns on just educating them in that may be too much to overcome. Instead, gain a strategy for converting your favorite worksheets to online content as soon as possible. Learn from those who went before you and plan to use extended breaks in the school year to stockpile future content for conversion.
Check out these posts when you have that time:
Upgrades to your Online Content
Create Online Content without a Subject Matter Expert?
Want to Improve your Online Content?
3 Things your Online Content Says
Content is King & You Don’t Know Much
How to collaborate with your peers.
One word, Google.
There is no better program out there. The real-time collaboration alone is the single biggest factor.
Do you and your team a favor and take any online class about Google or better yet, become a Google Certified Educator.
The definition of Blended Learning.
Do not freak out on this, you’re not back in graduate school. For the most part, a generic definition with some confidence gets it here. I suggest your definition is based on The Christensen Institute’s work and the early influence of The Sloan Consortium (currently known as: Online Learning Consortium). You can also show how what you know to be Blended Learning differs from just plain Technology Integration. And you can point to the parts of your lesson plans which highlight the blended learning in your classroom.
There, you’ve basically just put on a clinic for your administrator. After a display such as that you can be sure that they will leave you alone for a while, or put you on another committee. So, either You’re Welcome or I am Sorry as the case may be.
2018-02-26 at 7:22 am
At my son’s school, the principal sits in on the classes, so I think that gives him a good idea of how much the teachers actually do.
2018-02-26 at 7:37 am
You would be surprised at the confidence levels of educators at all levels. I am daily!
2018-02-26 at 7:45 am
My son’s school uses technology heavily as it helps facilitate the students communication The principal is very aware of how important it is and how to use it. I teach part-time and my principal knows and appreciates everything we teachers do and she knows her technology as well.
2018-02-26 at 7:47 am
That is awesome! Leaders knowing these things for themselves will well lead our next generations.
2018-02-26 at 8:21 am
Yup, I can see why principals would assume teachers would know these things. They’re important to know. My daughter’s teacher emails often!
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2018-02-26 at 8:38 am
Our principle has updated the entire computer system. We can go online and check grades, missing assignment and all kinds of information. She sits in on classrooms and spends time talking to the students.
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2018-02-26 at 8:48 am
That sounds like an awesome place to be a teacher!
2018-02-26 at 10:12 am
The school that my daughter attended before I pulled her to homeschool, was a Leader in Me school. Technology was used in every classroom. The principal always made sure that the classrooms had the latest, and the teachers kept up by using an online site where people would donate money to the classrooms to make sure that the students kept up with the technology that the principal was providing to the teachers.
2018-02-26 at 10:18 am
My son hasn’t started proper school yet, but I do know that the school he will be going to uses social media and email for keeping parents informed.
2018-02-26 at 10:33 am
Technology is a huge part of education these days and I think it’s important that it is welcomed by schools. I think it’s something that teachers should take advantage of as well, it will make their work easier. It would be nice for principals to learn the basics of using it to the school’s advantage.
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2018-02-26 at 2:09 pm
When I was in school the principal sat in on classes and really watched teacher perform. Technology has changed how the classroom runs so much nowadays; I think it is awesome.
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2018-02-26 at 3:22 pm
The principals at my kids’ schools are hands on and truth is most of them aren’t the most tech savvy persons. However, the staff is very tech savvy and I am sure they put many of the things you’ve suggested in place. Our local district has implemented more and more tech into the curriculum and both teachers and administrators have made valiant efforts embracing the change.
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2018-02-26 at 3:46 pm
That sounds like just the right balance, everyone in their sweet spot!
2018-02-26 at 6:45 pm
It’s nice to see principals learning about technology and the school can utilize it especially the teachers. I think it’s something that they should give time to.
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2018-02-26 at 8:16 pm
It is so great to know that the principals are integrating these technologies in teaching. I’m not a teacher but I used to work in a school and they are always keeping up with technologies.
2018-02-26 at 8:35 pm
My mom’s a teacher and the head of the junior high department of the school and she’s ALL about google/google docs for communicating with her fellow teachers and the principal. It makes communicating from home of school so much easier.
2018-02-26 at 8:52 pm
Many years ago, using the technology was a bit scary for me. I had all the apprehensions that I might press the wrong key. But constant exposure will make things easier. Also google has always been helpful.
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2018-02-26 at 11:33 pm
My daughters schools have been teaching them about technology since day one. Sometimes I think they know more about it than I do.
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2018-02-26 at 11:35 pm
When I was working as a para in a school, they used google classroom and I thought that was pretty neat. I got to see my son’s work at home and his teacher’s feedback.
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2018-02-27 at 1:36 am
I think it’s super important to be tech savvy, especially teachers!! Everything in college is done online these days (I just went back to school and was shocked at how much it had changed) and so being able to teach kids how to use the tech so they aren’t behind is so important!!
2018-02-27 at 5:31 am
I think it’s good that teachers learn more about technology and how they can use it to make their work easier. Principals should also have the same motivation. Even learning the basics can take you a long way!
2018-02-27 at 9:10 am
I would love to teach school staff how to become techies. Showing them the smartest/easiest way to do those things. That is a lot to take on with all their other responsibilities.
2018-02-27 at 9:24 am
In the days of the internet and technology, it is important to be abreast of things. Google is indeed a very good tool for collaboration.
2020-09-23 at 1:22 am
Principals have too many expectations from their teachers because they have the confidence that they are becoming better teachers and are ready to incorporate technology in the classroom. However, some principals are not tech-savvy persons.
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