Thursday, November 1, 2012

District Administration Interview

I haven't been able to post a new blog post in a few weeks due to all the traveling I've been doing and the fact that I was writing posts for other publications.  Here is one of them.  It is a follow up interview to a presentation I did at a District Administration Leadership Summit here in Phoenix.  There is a link to the video of the presentation at the end of this post.  I don't know if the word "invigorating" has ever been used to describe me.  Load mouth yes...invigorating not so much...

Q&A: With Jaime Casap, Senior Education Evangelist, Google

A follow-up to Casap's invigorating September DALI Summit keynote
Publication Date: 
November, 2012
 At the September District Administration Leadership Institute Summit in Phoenix, Ariz., Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist, Google, Inc., in his presentation, got the audience thinking about educational vision and where we need to be with regard to creating a learning environment that brings out the best in every child. We wanted to continue this critical conversation, so we followed up with Casap to find out how districts can jump-start their shift to a technology-pervasive learning environment.

What are three priorities K12 administrators need to make when it comes to technology?

The first would be broadband access. Our education system is preparing students for a world where the internet is ingrained into higher education, business practices, and our daily lives in general. Broadband access lets teachers take advantage of those tools and exposes students to the type of learning and working environment they will encounter in the future.
The second is learning to leverage the power and prevalence of the web to create a learning platform. As educators, we are starting to understand the impact the web can have. Videos, applications, interactive content, and knowledge bases make the world’s information accessible from multiple devices 24/7.  
And the third priority is putting equipment in the hands of teachers and students so they can access the rich content of an ever-expanding web. School administrators need to choose devices that not only give students and faculty access to that content, but that are nearly invisible so that the focus remains on the teaching and learning, not on the technology.

Of all the technologies available for K12, which category do you like the best for schools?

I always look for opportunities to emphasize the potential of the web as a common learning platform. Although some wouldn’t call the web “technology,” I certainly do. There used to be clear lines between technologies. You had hardware, software, applications. More and more, all technology is web-based.

What is one way superintendents and teachers can begin to think differently about facilitating education through technology that would be quick and easy and helpful right out of the gate?

School leaders have to look at technology not just in terms of how it can help transform educational practices and models in the future, but also in how it can help us today. If you can look for just two ways technology can help you do your job better, you will create a pattern of looking for more. Eventually, you will start to see how technology can be a catalyst to transforming education. There are hundreds of way teachers and administrators can quickly use technology and the web to improve their day-to-day work.

Other than DALI and District Administration, which magazines/websites/conferences would you recommend for superintendents and administrators to regularly review/attend?

I think the most important conferences that superintendents and administrators can attend are the local ones in their own backyards. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with superintendents and principals who ask me for case studies of schools that are doing great things with technology. More often than not, I’m able to introduce them to schools across the street! Getting together with their peers in the same state and talking with each other about what they are doing with technology in education and the web as a learning platform can go a long way!

Watch a video of Jaime Casap's presentation here.

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