The successful implementation of any type of innovative program or initiative at a school relies largely on effective project planning, support from all invested stakeholders, and strong leadership. Though research shows that technology in education has endless benefits for students, teachers, and institutions alike, not all educators are convinced. Or rather, some educators have not yet experienced the added value technology can bring to the classroom.
Since technology grows and evolves at a pace that can be hard for many to keep up with, it’ll be important to become aware of the skills, abilities, and mindset of your faculty.
With this knowledge, you will be positioned to:
• find and develop teacher leaders
• identify teachers that need additional support
• engage in meaningful dialogue for those who struggle with finding the value of technology
By creating and cultivating a culture of teacher leaders around technology, your entire faculty will feel supported. They will develop confidence with tackling obstacles and creating innovative learning experiences for their students. Ultimately, more teachers are going to feel excited about the use of technology and will be able to grow alongside its evolution.
Strong academic programs provide leadership within teams as well as frequent mentorship and growth opportunities. Additionally, administrators who listen to the needs and wisdom of teachers are better equipped to make wise and well-received administrative decisions. Applying this approach to technology in the classroom can have a profound impact on school culture around curriculum and technology integration while also enabling teachers to grow in their practice.
We have found that cultivating a culture of teacher leaders can be formed by building on the following approach:
1. Involve teachers from the start in discussions around device purchases, technology programs, and long-term strategic discussions.
Teachers often have the strongest pulse on the needs of students. Additionally, support from teachers can make or break a technology program. Bringing these stakeholders in from the beginning is an important starting point.
2. Develop a group of teacher leaders who can provide leadership and mentorship and keep the line of communication open between teachers and administration.
Providing customized support to your emerging teacher leaders will be critical to their development and overall success. With peer leaders available, you will encourage your entire faculty to pursue growth while empowering them to join the conversation about educational needs and best practices.
3. Build in professional development and collaboration time for grade-level or course-specific groups of teachers.
In some disciplines or courses, the value of technology might not be clear. What is clear is that when opportunities are provided to working alongside your colleagues, ideas can be shared, explored, and new possibilities can be discovered.
If you are ready to begin creating a culture of teacher leaders at your school, it’s time to reach out! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our faculty development programs.