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Connected Administrators

Page history last edited by Steven W. Anderson 13 years, 1 month ago

The Connected Administrator


Most schools and districts spend lot of time and effort trying to get their teachers up to speed on technology and its use/place in the classroom. And honestly that is where a majority of effort should be spent; working with those on the frontlines of instruction. However, rarely, if ever, is much time spent with administrators, working with them on ways they use technology to enhance what they are doing. What can administrators do?


I have put together what I am calling The Administrators Technology Toolkit.  There are some simple, easy to use tools that Administrators can be using right now to, just like teachers, integrate technology into what they do daily.


The Connected Administrator Presentation




Tool 1

Google Docs/Forms


Its time to go paperless. Flash Drives and External Hard Drivers are great inventions. I carry at least two of them with me where ever I go. However, neither of them have any documents or presentations on them. I exclusively use Google Docs. Everything I need is there. I honestly don't remember the last time I opened a Microsoft Office product. Even if I get an attachment I open it in Google Docs because I know I will have access to that document not matter where I am. No need to hunt down a cable or USB port for my drives. I access the Internet and have all my documents.


Part of Google Docs is a great feature called Forms. As an Administrator you are probably constantly giving and recieving feedback from your teachers, parents, colleagues, and community. Again, go paperless. Create a Google Form that instantly captures data and enters it automatically on a spreadsheet for analysis. Having your faculty vote on an important issue? Use the Google Forms. (Then you can create snazzy graphs to impress them at the next meeting!)

Google Docs In Plain English


Google Docs In The Classroom


10 Ways To Use Forms

You Tube-Principals Talk about google docs from below...

Check out this site for some great information on Google Docs. Be sure to watch the "Google Docs In Plain English" and "Principals Talk About Google Docs" videos.


Sample Walkthrough Form Using Google Docs

Tool 2



I can't do what I do everyday without Skype. In a district of 80+ schools it is hard for me to be everywhere. And with our travel budget getting smaller and smaller I have to be creative with the way I provide support to my administrators and schools. Skype is that tool. Skype allows me to keep in touch with all my schools, troublshoot problems, have meetings and so much more. I am part of a chat group of other NC Edtech folks that everyday share links and resources, lesson ideas, and provide support.


First, what is Skype?


Need Some Help Getting Started? Check out this Livebinder all about getting started with Skype


There are also some really cool projects that educators are doing with Skype. Like this one where one teacher wants to connect her classroom to 80 others around the world. This project is so popular many others have joined in to help. 


Or maybe you want to Skype An Author




Tool 3

Social Bookmarking


I crave resources. Its part of my job. However, the resources I collect do no good if I don't share them with anyone. Social Bookmarking services like Diigo and Delicious allow me to share websites, lessons, videos and more with anyone who wants them. Both these services allow you to tag your bookmarks making it even more easy to find the resources you need.


Administrators can use Social Bookmarking in one of two ways. If they are like my good friend Eric, they are constantly on the hunt for teaching resources for their teachers. So Eric spends time searching and sharing and making what he finds available through his Delicious Account. The other way administrators can use them is to just search. Sometimes these Social Bookmarking services can be more efficient at finding what you need than a regular Google Search. Also, you can search your friends' bookmarks, further enriching the experience.


Social Bookmarking In Plain English



Either Delicious or Diigo are great for Administrators. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Here is a really good Delicious Tutorial and one for Diigo.


My Diigo Account

Taking Diigo Beyond The Bookmark


My Delicious Account


Social Bookmarking And Annotating

Tool 4

Social Networks


As I mentioned before it is important for all educators, including Administrators, to create networks of other professionals to connect with. Why not take the idea of social networking one step further and enrich the experience with video and file sharing, discussion forums, events and specialty groups?

Ning bills itself as the social network you create. Nings are very popular among educators because there isn't lot of the "junk" you will find on other social networking sites. Nings are great because you can really customize the content and you can create private spaces for your school or district.


Social Networks In Plain English Video


Then check out this Ning tutorial for more information on how to sign up and get started. You will also need some Nings to visit. Here are just a few:

Educational Administrators Ning

The Educator's Personal Learning Network Ning

More Educational Nings


Edutopia also has some really great groups that you can join for free to pose questions to other administrators and learn about the things they are doing. 

Edutopia Groups



Why Use EDge

Tool 5


Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big advocate for Educators to use Twitter for Professional Development and growth. The job of an Administrator is a tough one. Twitter can serve as a place to connect with other professionals and see whats working in other buildings or districts that might work in yours. There are tons of Asst. Principals, Principals, Superintendents and even a few School Board members that I interact with on a daily basis.


Twitter In Plain English



Steven Anderson on Twitter


Check out this site for tons of resources on getting started and find a several lists of Twittering Administrators and other Education Professionals created by a great friends of mine, Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) and Shelly Terrell (@shellterrell).

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