Hi, I’m Leslie — another member of the K12 team and a new blogger. I’m excited to be here and I look forward to creating a dialogue with you over the course of the year. Recently I have been reflecting on 2009 and contemplating what is in store for education and technology in 2010 (not only because it is my job but because it is so important!)
I was just introduced to Chris Lehman’s blog. He is a principal at a Philadelphia high school and has some exciting ideas about the role technology plays in schools. In one of his articles he challenges school leaders to shift the way they think about technology; more than just engaging kids, schools should be empowering them and providing more access to the tools and Web sites that teenagers’ are frequenting with on a daily basis. Striving for empowerment leads to a more student-centered classroom, which is a concept we strongly believe in at Blackboard (bringing the students to the center of the educational experience is something we work hard to do every day!)
Lehman is an example of a “visionary leader” — someone who is bridging the digital divide. For more information about visionary leaders, check out this report from Project Tomorrow and Blackboard: Leadership in the 21st Century: The New Visionary Administrator.
Along with student empowerment, these visionaries have the shared beliefs that when technology is effectively integrated into learning, it has the potential to expand learning beyond the classroom and help students better prepare for life in the 21st century.
So as we move into 2010, I think it is important that we take a look at how we are influencing the lives of students. Are our technology practices engaging students? More than that, are they empowering them? I know I will be looking at what I do at Blackboard through this lens and I encourage you to do so as well. If we can succeed, students will be better prepared for the future.