Challenges of School Leadership in a Digital Age


Last month I attended an inspiring international education leadership convention in Sydney titled New Imagery for Schools and Schooling. The convention jointly organised by ACEL and ASCD featured speakers from around the world including: Michael Fullan, Andy Hargreaves, Vivanne Robinson from New Zealand, John Connell from Scotalnd and Michael Furdyk from Canada.

Prof Vivanne Robinson gave the William Walker oration at the convention and spoke about her research into school leadership. I think the single most affirming piece of data was that the more leaders focus their relationships, their work and their learning on the core business of teaching and learning the greater their influence on student outcomes.  

Probably the greatest challenges for me were presented by John Connell and Michael Furdyk. These two speakers spoke about how the current generation of students and now young teachers were born after the invention of the personal computer in 1980. They do not know a world without them and how this was a challenge for teachers as they develop curriculum and for leaders as they attempt to influence the quality of instruction in schools. John Connell used the work of one leading educator in Scotland Don Ledingham to show how the digital age can impact on teachers. Quite incidently I had met Don in Boston earlier this year as we attended a course at Harvard University. I have listed their blogs in my blogroll.

Micheal Furdyk, a young businessman from Toronto perhaps personalised this challenge as he told his journey and his quest to connect the youth of today to solve some of our planets major challenges. His site is a must visit place for teachers to connect their students with others around the world.

I think that their work has in part led me to take this challenge of sharing my leadership and research work and connecting people who are interested in similar learning. Hence this blog.

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1 Response to Challenges of School Leadership in a Digital Age

  1. John Connell says:

    Mark – thanks for the kind comments. I was miffed at having to miss Michael’s contribution to the event as I had some Cisco work to do – sounds like I missed a great talk.

    I see you have also used the ‘learning log’ title – I’ll need to add a postscript to my post tonight! 🙂

Interested in your thoughts