Monthly Archives: November 2011

Secretary Duncan Comes Out In Support of Middle Level Education

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is the opening keynote for the Association of Middle Level Education’s NMSA Annual Conference. He split his time between prepared comments and a Q&A session where two 8th Graders and the AMLE President, Nancy Poliseno (who is also an 8th Grade teacher) asked him tough questions about supporting middle level education.

The big surprise for me was the Secretary’s explicit comments that the USDE has historically ignored the importance of middle level education, and that they are working to change that.

I believe another of his comments was historic. Secretary Duncan said he was “disappointed” in recent survey results that showed that less than half of middle schools had advisory programs. (Yes! The inference is that he sees advisory as a critical component for reaching academic success with students!)

Technology to Improve Learning: Strategies for Middle Level Leaders

What should middle level school leaders know about technology? What should middle level leaders do to provide the leadership necessary for effective learning with technology in their school?

When you look out among all your students, you certainly see that tech is an everyday part of their lives. It’s probably an everyday part of your life, too. But figuring out where tech fits in school may be a little more allusive:

  • It seems to be a distraction. Should we ban it?
  • Kids seem to like it. Can we use it as a motivator?
  • If we invest in technology, how do we make sure we get the most our of our investment?
  • We’ve bought technology, but we’ve got a lot of damage. Now what?

Actually, effective leadership is everything when it comes to technology in schools. It is no surprise that technology in schools is neither good nor bad, although there are approaches and strategies to integrating technology into the school that prove productive and those that are counter-productive. The school leader’s effectiveness will depend on how well she understands technology’s role and potential impact on learning, and how to lead and support working toward that potential.

Tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more, if you’re attending the Association for Middle Level Education’s conference.

You can attend the featured Technology session (Thursday, 200p-315p in the Cascade Ballroom A (Convention Center)). At this session, I will describe specific strategies needed to lead for large scale school change such as integrating technology, including leading with a focus on teaching and learning and how to support learning with technology through infrastructure considerations, professional development, and much more.

Learn more about the Lead4Change Model here. Some of the early work that led to this model was published in the AMLE book Technology to Improve Learning: Strategies for Middle Level Leaders.

IT’S YOUR TURN:
What do you see as critical strategies for school leaders if you want to successfully integrate technology for learning?