ERIC Number: EJ850556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Reference Count: N/A
A Matter of Principals
Fletcher, Geoffrey H.
T.H.E. Journal, v36 n5 p22-28 May 2009
Scott McLeod says the great sin in the way professional development is provided in this country is one of omission. On his blog, McLeod, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University and the coordinator of the department's Educational Administration Program, writes, "Most of our school leaders have received no training whatsoever when it comes to 21st-century schooling." Asked if there is any hope, McLeod points to programs under way at Chicago Public Schools and in the state of Maine that both provide ongoing and structured opportunities for principals to learn and share experiences and support each other. As Shawn Jackson, principal of Chicago Public Schools' K-8 Spencer Elementary Technology Academy says, "There is a lot of professional development for teachers, but they were leaving us principals out." Five years ago, Gerald Beimler, the district's director of IMPACT (Instructional Management Program and Academic Communication Tool) training in the Office of Information and Technology Services eLearning, set out to remedy that as one of the first undertakings of the then newly formed department. He wanted to bring principals together to provide them an overview of what technology can do for their schools. More than 100 of Chicago's approximately 650 principals took Beimler and his group up on the offer of a two-day workshop, and at the end of the workshop, the principals said they wanted some professional development for themselves. Thus, the Principal Technology Leadership Institute was born. Mike McCarthy, principal of King Middle School in Portland, Maine, recalls one statement distinctly from a meeting with former Gov. Angus King, the initiator of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) 1-to-1 computing program, launched in 2001 with an attendant professional development component: "This program is about learning, not about technology," the governor said. The program brings Maine's principals together twice a year for either a half day or a full day, in clusters based on the counties they work in. During the sessions, staff from Apple, the supplier for the 1-to-1 program, demonstrate new applications that have been or will be installed on the computers, MLTI staff help with administrative and logistical issues, and members of both staffs discuss different ways these applications can be used with students.
Descriptors: Web Sites, Public Schools, Electronic Publishing, Educational Administration, Workshops, Faculty Development, Professional Development, Instructional Leadership, Principals, Higher Education, Educational Technology, Administrators, Technology Uses in Education, Information Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Iowa; Maine