Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Administrator's Responsibility

I was asked today what I think an administrator's role is in 21st Century Learning. Here was my response.

The most important aspect of 21st century learning is getting our students to be lifelong learners. I want to try and encourage a joy and a desire in my students to constantly be learning. Even when they do not have that joy or desire, I still want them to be able to find ways to learn. They have to know how to use technology, collaborate, to read, to write, to solve problems, etc. Since education, technology, and the world is changing so quickly, our teachers also have to be committed to lifelong learning. In order to keep up, our teachers must be learning about new technology, new methods, and the needs of our students. When teachers are lifelong learners, they are a great example of 21st century learning for our students.

Where does the administrator fit in this picture? Administrators should also be lifelong learners, just as it is expected of the teachers. They must encourage professional development and collaboration among their staff. Although there are great professional development opportunities and great personal learning networks available through social media and professional organizations, don't forget about the potential collaboration opportunities in your own building. Use your faculty to collaborate, train, and teach each other.


  1. Kevin,

    I love your ideas here, and I would add the buzzword of Lead Learner to the title of principal or any administrator. Our job as leaders is to model the leadership style we want to see our communities embrace; our role as leaders is to grow other leaders in our teachers and our students.

    I led a workshop this morning in which we discussed much of what you wrote about above, and I stressed that we must have the difficult conversations with our teachers and students regarding their belief systems. If we expect our students to solve problems in "grey" areas, we must do so ourselves.

  2. Interesting thought about the Lead Learner title, Patrick. I had never thought of that before. Thanks for sharing.

  3. i think administrators also have the responsibility to encourage their staff to make the most of the web 2.0 tools that are out there and model how to be safe and efficient users of this technology. I think some administrators are fearful of these technologies- particularly the social networking tools- and as a result avoid using them.

  4. I agree with all of this, but I would add that the administration & staff need to have a shared vision of what they want themselves, their students, & schools to be like. Once that is clear, anything is possible.