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Category Archives: Visionary Leadership

Learning with CASS and AbEd

I had the opportunity this week to attend a conference with my Senior Executive team. It’s not often that I have an opportunity like this to sit at the same table with them, although I do get to see and touch base them individually within the school division. It was nice to sit and listen to their thoughts during the keynotes. I was also busy during this conference by hosting two sessions:

Leading into the Future with Learning Commons

The Canadian Standards of Practice for Effective School Library Learning Commons allow schools and school divisions to support a continuum of growth through various activities and learning opportunities. This session will share the work that Parkland School Division has taken on over the past two years as well as showcasing the ERLC Learning Commons Demo sites.

AND

Leadership in the LTPF: Cultivation, Capacity and Convergence (with participant notes)

Parkland School Division administrators who are members of the Alberta Education LTPF Community of Practice will share their journey of LTPF implementation at each of their sites (K-12, French, Christian, Alternate, Rural, Urban). The session will have participants reflect and share their own assumptions, inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes that they may already be thinking about and connect it with the strategies and successes that PSD has seen during this CoP work.

Feel free to check out some of the participant tweets, resources and images that were shared at https://storify.com/nlakusta/cass-abed-learning-symposium#publicize.

 

 

LTPF Leadership in Lethbridge

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About 70 participants (administrators, teachers, edtech personnel, and I.T. made their way to Lethbridge over 1.5 days to meet together to share their learning in how they were embedding the Learning and Technology Policy Framework (LTPF) specifically the Leadership policy. Holyspirit School Division (#hs4) was hosting the event.

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It was fantastic to return to my alum as I was both a student and then later a teacher in this school division. I currently have friends and nephews who work and study in this division.

 

Chris Smeaton (@cdsmeaton) reminded our group that his work as a leader is to build relationships with all stakeholders, hire people who are better than you, create a culture of learning and risk-taking.

 

Rhonda (@rljessen) gathered most of our tweets from both days and you can review them and the many images below.

Day 1 – https://storify.com/rljessen/leadltpf-cop-3rd-f2f-meeting

Day 2 – https://storify.com/rljessen/leadltpf-cop-f2f3-lethbridge-day-2

 

For me, I admire those teachers in #hs4 who are looking at engaging, motivating and incorporating different ways of learning for students in 2016. When I was a student in Lethbridge, it was a very different school division. My classrooms had blackboards and white or yellow chalk. Technology was 16mm and beta videotapes (yep, that’s awhile ago) and we all had the SAME supplies, the SAME textbooks, the SAME desks. Education and neuroscience have moved ahead (thank goodness) and infiltrated the classrooms that our group walked through today. Our students are different, our teachers are different and our society IS different.

Some #psd70 leaders share their experiences HERE.

I look forward to seeing #hs4 move further in ingraining technology so that it’s accessible whenever students require it. Their infrastructure, response to BYOD and more collaborative opportunities certainly need to planned for but they have a great foundation started. I welcome any of their teachers and administrators to visit any of our Parkland School Division schools (#psd70) or even have a virtual visit via Skype or Google Hangout. Our school division is heavily invested in critical inquiry, design thinking, BYOD, GAFE and blogging (eportfolios).

 

What About Millenial Leaders?

New-Leader-Infographic

The University of Denver recently released an infographic “Building the New Leaders – The Rise of Millennials in Leadership Roles”. For me it was creating first the understanding of what these millennials bring to the leadership table and what skills that need to be further developed. As well, how does an organization, like my school district, work with both non-millennials and millennials in leadership roles?

 

Leaders Need to Get Trendy

Over the past five years, technology allows leaders to connect with other leaders easily from anywhere at anytime. Opportunities to learn from each other is paramount and using social media to develop a professional learning network, garner new ideas, check out research, have discussions, etc.  Becoming better leaders takes time, practice, reflection and redos. And some of the professional learning is online, some is face to face and some is individual, flexible, and/or grouped.

Listen to Superintendent Scott Rocco speak about some educational leadership trends:

How are you working on your access to social media, technology integration and professional development? See further insight via EdTechReview.

 

Are You Brave?

Having another opportunity to host a Leadercast in our school division is just an amazing and unforgettable experience. For those who don’t recognize “Leadercast”, it is a day-long learning event with a variety of speakers focused on speaking on one particular subject from their own experiences.

 

This year the speakers were:

Leadercast-Speakers

The theme – The Brave Ones – showcases one of the essential behaviors for innovative and forward-moving leadership. Those leaders who push their organizations into different paths and who are bold enough to think of both the ethical, social and moral pieces while engaging their people are the ones who we heard from today. It is not just those famous leaders that one needs to think about, it is important to think about everyday leaders in their communities who are audacious and driven to make a difference.

 

Whether it was in the journal in print or the Leadercast App, there was a Be Brave Checklist found in both. For each speaker session, (there were four) participants were asked to create their own brave action. Below are mine, so far….

Session 1 – speakers: Andy Stanley, Rorke Denver, Bill McDermott

  • To wrap my head around the idea of saying “wow” not “how” when ideas and/or policies are not meeting our educational standards. Then ask “what do I believe is impossible to do in our educational field but if it could be done, would fundamentally change our work?” I will have to think more about what I could ‘bravely’ be doing to answer that question. Currently, in Alberta the previous government froze $$ going to school divisions for the 2015-16 school year, however last week a new government was voted in. Could the $$ situation change soon? If it does or doesn’t, I still need to think further on this.
  • Leadercast_Andy
  • Sketch created by https://twitter.com/TheSketchEffect on May 8, 2015
    • Session 2 – speakers: Malala Yousafzai, Peyton Manning
  • Continue to speak out for all students and my instance that the learning environment be set up in a universally-designed manner to engage everyone no matter where they are in the Alberta curriculum continuum. My goal is to support teachers and EAs and students to utilize available resources, materials and tools. It is also my goal that our Admin and any leaders who present or create workshops also think about adult learners and design appropriate, engaging and demanding opportunities for participants.
  • Leadercast_Malala
  • Sketch created by https://twitter.com/TheSketchEffect on May
    • Session 3 – speakers: Seth Godin, Ed Catmull
  • I need to work on being even more curious, to think outside the box and share my thoughts with colleagues. I do have a great Learning Services team and school division whose vision is to provide “a place where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams” (including me!). Sometimes, I feel I may do many things at various sites and with other groups that I may not share clearly to the Team what I have been doing. (I try to share directly with colleagues, in my blog, on Twitter and via the weekly Online employee newsletter, but one can never share too much!)
  • Leadercast_Ed
    • Session 4 – speakers: Aja Brown, Rudy Guiliani
  • Don’t be afraid to have Fierce Conversations with groups of people or even individuals. If you are unsure how to get started, Susan Scott’s bestseller Fierce Conversations or even the training will help you. I know that in my work dealing with school administrators, staff and sometimes students this training has allowed me to get clarity and clearly envision the conversation(s) at hand.

Leadercast2015Leadercast 2015_2

I will continue to follow @Leadercast #leadercast throughout the year as well as subscribe to the Leadercast Now site (video clips and action strategies) throughout the upcoming year. I know that the 50 people who attended the simulcast were moved by the people and the theme.

What will you do to be brave in the work that you do?

 

Who Me? Change the World?


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Scott Webb

“…technology in education is not the icing on the cake, it’s kneaded in the dough and woven into the fabric of everything we do in our classes because it matters and it enhances the learning experience.”

(Bellow, A. “You’re Invited to Change the World.” Keynote, ISTE 2013 from San Antonio, Texas, June 26, 2013.)

Over the past year, our school division has endeavoured to live its VISION of a place where exploration, creativity, and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams. And today, I had 50 minutes to view Adam’s closing keynote for ISTE which centered around a similar theme to the work we are aspiring daily to do with 10,000 students, 1,000 employees and many more community members at 21 school sites.

Adam’s keynote focus on changing the world by changing education was filled with many gems such as:

  • We have to do stuff that matters with students.
  • Students need to be creators not just consumers.
  • Fear inhibits change.
  • Respect failure, embrace curiosity, grow dreams.
  • Innovation ≠ Iteration, innovation is where fear and bravery intersect.
  • There should be an IEP (IPP) for every learner, measuring ourselves, our growth, self-assessing, readjusting. 20% time should be utilized to follow passions/interests.
  • Passion is the secret ingredient for all learners.
  • Technology is the great equalizer.
  • We need to remove the bar, forget expectations, take away limits, give less directions and more freedom.
  • We shouldn’t standardize creativity we should unleash it and collaborate.
  • There will be challenges, which we should acknowledge and turn them into opportunities.
  • Learning, doing, and then sharing is awesome and important.
  • Explore – share – contribute.
  • We are all builders, technology has empowered us and it is up to us to make positive change.

So what’s my take on Adam’s keynote? That this video should be shown to all our teachers, discussions should take place about how we can change our world in PSD and finally, I aim to read more blogs on PSD and make comments on them….maybe I can contribute to someone’s change factor while working on my own!

Summer is upon us in Alberta. My blog will remain mostly silent in July and August. I wish all teachers a restful and rejuvenating summer break.

 

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Intentional Leaders: Excellence Must Be Internalized

Monthly Theme: Excellence

Week 2

This week I was to view how I can facilitate a culture of excellence in my workplace, look at our current organization values, describe what excellence looks like and how to further a commitment to excellence.

“…leaders display a passion for the possibilities of a better, brighter, more productive future….passion and dissatisfaction drive a leader to excel.” (Intentional Leader, p.41)

I must admit, the term excellence sometimes is used so easily in the world of education. I have read countless visions and missions all with the word “excellence” embedded in them. I also have wondered what truly excellence means in each of their contexts. Do the schools or school divisions have great stories to tell of the ways that excellence in learning has occurred around them? For me, it’s a drive to always want to make learning and leading better, more effective and more….(yes, I’m going to say it)….excellent. Take, for example the Disney story where animators on the first ever animated plus real-time video movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, were reviewing a particular scene that wasn’t quite right. In the scene the character bumps his head on a lamp which then swings but originally no shadows were displayed. Most audience members would have not caught on to the missing shadows, yet animators were relentless in spending many hours to fix the error. The nickname for excellence in Disney animation became “Bump the Lamp”. (To the see the actual scene, click HERE.)

We can use the phrase, “Bump the Lamp”, to remind ourselves to aim for excellence. Most people won’t notice the excellent part of what we do, but certainly some will and those people will share their experiences to others.

Some examples of “Lamp Bumpers” in PSD:

  • The teacher who writes notes in students’ journals or blogs.
  • The administrators who find time in the school timetable for teachers to meet in order to plan more effective learning opportunities or PD for teachers.
  • The sharing of a good learning experience with a large audience (tweeting about a school event, blogging about daily learning, sharing a story in the school newsletter, inviting divisional employees to school activities).
  • The administrator who believes in arranging the learning environment in a new way with no grade levels for all students to benefit.
  • The teachers that engage students digitally and model ethical online practices.
  • The facilitators who not only offer professional learning opportunities but also teachable moments during their sessions.

Our organization values are:

  • Collaboration and engagement with students, parents and our communities. Our successes are not possible without these contributions.
  • Trust and mutual respect among all of our education stakeholders.
  • Inclusion and diversity within our schools.
  • Citizenship and recognize our central role in guiding students to understand their responsibilities and their place in the world.
  • Leadership in all places – everyone in our Division has the potential to be a leader.
  • Excellence, innovation and risk-taking.

As one can see above, PSD incorporates “excellence” as one of our values. I believe that we need to share more “excellence” stories so that we can see the experiences and influence this has within our organization. I am thankful to have a Communications Director who is now starting to share these stories on our division website.

What does excellence look like in my role? I hope that my ability to ensure that teachers and administrators questions and support opportunities are allowing their staff and students to move forward in their learning environments. I also hope that my own PD, committee work and networking is allowing further connection to the latest research and resources for PSD staff to tap into.

Excellence is not achieved overnight, it is a journey and it takes time to deeply internalize it. Take time to view this video on Everyday Leadership.

Drew Dudley will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming ATLE (Alberta Technology Leaders in Education) Convergence Conference in Edmonton.

I leave you with this….what does excellence look like in your role? In your organization? What are some ways you can encourage your team to further its commitment to excellence?

 

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