5 Google-Powered Leadership Expectations

Although I use GoogleApps for many things, in fact, find it indispensable, I found myself questionning whether I should really just go ahead and make video to participate in the GoogleTeacher Academy for Administrators. As I wavered on that point, I found myself reading Henry Thiele's post about GTA for Admin, where he will play a key role, and then reviewing the expectations.

Google Certified Teachers are expected to:

  • Develop a "Personal Action Plan."
  • Lead at least three local professional development activities over the course of 12 months.
  • Successfully deploy one school on to Google Apps for Education.
  • Actively participate in the Google Certified Teacher Online Community.
  • Share the impact of their work with other Google Certified Teachers through an end-of-year reflection.
Let's take these one at a time:

  1. YES - Develop a personal action plan isn't a big deal. The development and implementation of these isn't that hard.
  2. YES - Lead 3 local PD activities over the course of 12 months. That's no problem, last year when I discovered GoogleApps and got my district going on it, I did several.
  3. NO - Successfully deploy one school on to Google Apps for Education. Actually, I convinced one campus to use GoogleApps last year. The problem is, GoogleApps for Education is banned for use in my particular school district. Put district data in the cloud is the primary objection and as an administrator, I have to support that perspective even if I might disagree with it personally.
  4. YES - Actively participate in the online community...well, no problem there.
  5. YES - End of year reflection. Well, I blog, therefore I reflect...right? Maybe not. But an end of year reflection doesn't sound difficult, just an opportunity to write an article!
I suspect that not being able to meet expectation #3 wouldn't be too much of ap roblem. There's no requirement that a GoogleApps school be in one's own school district. I'm sure a GoogleApps Districts would adopt me as an evangelist for a neat tool.

So, that only leaves the video which must address "Innovative Education Leadership in the Age of Google." Not having seen innovative education leadership (an oxymoron), I'm reminded of Colin Powell's perspective. Here is it as cited at another blog, What I learned Today:

Colin said, “We had to change because we’re in a new world – in a world of information explosion – information that needed to be turned into knowledge” – and his staff had to understand that all the boundaries that existed years ago were gone – and he wanted them to move faster and faster – he wanted them to get online.

He asked how can we be an up-to-date organization if the stuff on our website is 2 or 3 years old (he was talking about the state department – but I bet we can find some libraries like this too) – it is a transactional world – it’s no longer a lunar world – we don’t measure in months, years, etc – we measure in transactions. He said “I want to beat Google, i want to beat the CIA – I want to be faster and better” – but his staff kept saying we like the old way – updating once a month – or once a year.

His favorite example to give people about the power of the Internet is a time when someone called and complained about a resolution to the UN. While his colleague was on the phone with him explaining his problem Colin didn’t visit his own site – instead he went to Google – it took him 1 second to find the resolution in question and help the man on the other line. You have to move at the speed of light – you have to be faster than anyone else in the world we’re living in if you’re going to succeed.

Moving at the speed of light, being faster than anyone else...you have to be "google-powered." Hmm...what would the leadership expectations be for a "google-powered" leader? Here are a few ideas, although I'm not sure I'd call them original (although I'm making them up while writing this blog entry, I wouldn't be surprised if others had already articulated them in a different fashion)

  1. Instantly connected and accessible to his/her learning community via GoogleVoice, Blogger, GoogleSites
  2. Able to engage and empower the academic learning community (composed of the Community, parents, students, and faculty, business) in collaborative work critical to leadership through GoogleSites wiki
  3. Able to engage and empower the academic learning community through GoogleVideo Channel reflecting the best the school campus had to offer.
  4. Able to encourage reflection and transparency by encouraging classroom teachers, principal to blog about what work they are about a la Dr. Tim Tyson at Mabry Online.
  5. Be instantly aware of what was being sad and done through the use of Google Alerts and RSS search.
As I read over this list of 5, I'm not that enthused at the possibilities. I mean, it's great stuff, but is that all there is? Certainly not...Google is about tools, about attitude, and I'm not capturing it here.


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Matt Montagne said…
I'm glad you are coming around to considering participating. I know you wrote a blog post objecting to the video component of the app process, but to me the video is KEY. You should feel uncomfortable if mixed media/video isn't your preferred medium of communication and that is OK! You're an excellent writer and that will provide you with a good base for getting your point across in mixed media. This won't be hard for you as you are an innovative administrative leader. You're transparent, you share openly in a variety of online communities, you present at conferences, you model risk taking, you ask tough questions, etc...just bundle this up in a 60 second video. The video need not be perfect either-just the fact that you (and other admins who are applying) are putting forth the effort counts for something!

I agree with you on #3 by the way...deploying a google apps for ed network should not be one of the requirements of participants at all. While Google Apps for Ed is great (we have Gapps for our school and we totally dig it), it is NOT for everyone.

Go for it, Miguel!
pete reilly said…
"Improve Education Leadership in the Age of Google?" Who declared this the Age of Google?

But I digress...Nothing I see in the outline addresses improving the leadership of administrators. I see tasks that improve the tools they use.

If I am an administrator that is a control freak, a micro-manager, or the opposite (no followup); if I am a an administrator that doesn't take responsibility when things aren't going well but takes all the accolades when things go well, if I am afraid to take risks, or if I am a political animal that wants to look good above all; if I am someone who is super judgmental and negative about the people I work with, if I talk behind people's backs, if I am not organized, if I don't listen well, if I am motivated only by my own agenda, if I say one thing and do another...(the list goes on)...I respectfully submit that the items on the Google list miss the mark.

An ineffective leader using the latest tools will remain an ineffective leader.

In my experience developing leaders requires developing people.

If we are going to transform teaching and learning, we need a new generation of innovative and transformative leaders.

in gratitude,
Alice Barr said…
I hope you will consider applying because your voice needs to be part of what Google is thinking about with schools. I found the task daunting until Cheryl Oakes pushed me to read Kevin Jarrett's blog post http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=1729 about applying. You have a great start on your video, you already wrote the 5 Essential Tools for Campus Administrators. You are an innovator, and as Matt said, you ask tough questions. Those are the people that need to be part of the GTA for Administrators. I hope you go for it.
Kevin Jarrett said…
Dude. Seriously.

Apply! Ok?



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