Yet again, within K12, there is change happening in the form of Common Core, but there is a slight difference. This time both sides agree that there is some common ground in where collaboration is needed, and this is encouraging. But, I am starting to see a clear line that is forming. There is a lot of emphasis and discussion among K12 IT folks on the technical support of the TEST, but little emphasis and discussion on support the student, class, teacher, or admin on implementing Common Core on a continued basis.
Ok, lets get back to change and leadership. How many IT leaders have taken the time to observe a classroom, or have a teacher explain what their curriculum goals are, or talked to the EL teacher? How many IT leaders have gone to an overview of Common Core as it relates to the classroom? One of the biggest components about change is that it requires people to affect it. The people that are going to have the most influence on whether or not Common Core will be a success will be the teachers. Technology is a big part of the Common Core, and the IT community can help teachers and students by helping teachers and admins to recognize where technology will help them in their lessons and help them in learning how to effectively use technology within their classrooms. But, that will not happen unless there is relevant communication between teachers and IT leaders.
So the bottom line is that IT leaders in K12, need to be proactive in talking with teachers and admin about what is their curricular goals to be, and then help them by suggesting solid technology to help them reach it, by providing ongoing professional development that is tailored to their curriculum goals, and by constantly getting feedback that will assist the admin team with the overall calibration and resistance management of the Common Core implementation.
Image attribution by Ontario Ministry of Education [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons