I am both excited and nervous about tomorrow.
Over a year ago, I pitched an idea to one of our district-level tech folks to do a hands-on, immersive day (or series of days) where school and district leaders could just… play. We spend a lot of time debating the theory of this or the data supporting that, but too many leaders lack the fundamental knowledge and skills to move forward with using technology to facilitate communication and collaboration in their schools and departments. And unfortunately a few are afraid of looking “dumb” and therefore not comfortable in their ability to support their staff in jumping into this stuff.
They really want to know. They’re hungry to know. But some just don’t know where to start.
It’s taken me a while to bring this to reality (huge thanks to our Director of C&I for actually thinking I was onto something with this idea…), but tomorrow I will be hosting our district’s first ever Leadership Technology Bootcamp. The format for the day was inspired by the bootcamps that Scott McLeod and his posse at CASTLE present to leaders in Iowa. The agenda is very aggressive for the time we’ll have (I doubt we’ll get past podcasting), but I’d rather keep it that way and leave folks wanting more.
My biggest concern going in is the diversity of proficiency in the group. I plan to do a little show & tell, followed by some hands-on time. I’ve also dragged a couple of my fellow TSD Twitterati along to help facilitate small groups.
My greatest hope for the day is that my colleagues see a lot of different tools and, through some experimentation, find one or two that they can see themselves using in the 2010-2011 school year. I also hope that by exposure to some of these tools, they will be in a position to better support their teachers — not necessarily because they know everything about Google Reader or WordPress or Etherpad, but because they know enough to steer a teacher in the right direction when they think something might be a good fit.
And it would also be nice for all of us to continue working together to improve our skills. A true community of practice. A Twitter colleague said it better than I ever could.
As it stands, I have close to 50 school and district leaders signed up to spend the day learning and collaborating. Quite a nice start, I think.
Wish me luck!