Chapter 6: Leadership & New Tools


Leading in the 21st Century
Nobody can know everything. This is a fact that we’ve always known and understood. It’s not a realistic argument to say that if a principal isn’t using/understanding the latest and greatest interactive tools then the teachers shouldn’t be expected to use/understand them.

Using New Tools
Web 2.0 Tools are available and would be beneficial for many reasons:
- Sharing news and events
- Progress monitoring
- Status alerts
- Marketing
- Public relations
- Community building
- Customer relations
- Branding
- Creating “customer evangelists”
- Thought leadership
- Advocacy
- Replacing the school Web site

Supporting New Tools
A true leader will surround themselves with experts and advocates in the fields they find most important. In today’s world this is leaning towards technology and interactive tools. A leader will analyze the mission of its organization and weigh that against the implementation of new technologies and services it is providing its staff and students.

Financial Issues
There are many open-source tools available, at no cost, to those willing to use it. These tools parallel name brand tools that are currently costing school districts $10s to $100s each year in licensing fees. These are tools that don’t commonly get used to a great extent, but very basically, by district staff and students.

Open Source
There are many great things to say about open source technology and its potential benefit to schools. However, there are many unspoken truths about open source tools. There is little or no support for troubleshooting. Many IT departments would be extremely skeptical about using these tools based on their lack of support.

More info about open source tools: http://theopencd.org, http://www.opensourcemac.org, http://k12ltsp.org, http://www.schooltool.org, http://www.schoolforge.net, http://k12os.org. http://www.k12linux.org