Five-Year Professional Growth Plan (PGP)

Educational Technology Leadership: Philosophy

Last updated August 12, 2018

I have had the fortune to work directly with many great leaders over the past twenty years working in public education at the classroom, school, district, and university, state and federal level, as well as a few not so great leaders. Each experience has provided me with opportunities to learn how to think strategically, inspire people, solve complex problems, collaborate effectively, make tough decisions, and equally important, what not do. These experiences have shaped my educational leadership philosophy, which can be summed in three simple principles: always do the right thing, lead by example, and most importantly live by the golden rule, “do to others as you would have them do to you” (“Golden Rule”, n.d.).

My first principle, always do the right thing, has served as my moral compass and guided my decision-making process. When undertaking a project or presented with an issue or problem, I ask myself which approach will lead to the best outcome for the children I serve and lead accordingly. At times, there is a lack of consensus for what is the best outcome, however I have learned to trust my core instincts, a leadership approach Northouse defines as authentic in that “it incorporates the leader’s self-knowledge, self-regulation, and self-concept” (2013, p. 254).

My second principle, lead by example, can be defined as a willingness to undertake anything I would ask of my staff and expect others to act accordingly. Leaders whose actions match their words have earned my loyalty and trust. Conversely, I have learned what not to do from those whose actions diverge dramatically from their statements.

Finally, my third principle living by the golden rule is the most important. I like to be treated with respect and a genuine interest in my well-being and opinions, always trying to be “attentive to the needs and motives of followers and … help followers reach their full potential”, matching Northouse’s transformational leadership approach (2013, p. 186). Similarly, I would like both my concerns to be addressed and a leader to be interested in nurturing my professional goals, an approach Northouse defines as servant leadership. A common misconception with this parable is that it conflicts with making hard decisions that lead to negative consequences, such as closing a department causing the layoffs of staff members. In this example, I would like to be addressed with honesty about the motivation behind this decision and provided the opportunity to continue with the organization in a different capacity and would therefore lead accordingly.

Educational Technology Leadership: Vision

Technology and innovation has transformed nearly every aspect of business (Bessen, 2015; Satell, 2013) and has been a critical driver behind our economic growth (Margolis, Goode, & Bernier, 2011). Technology holds tremendous potential to transform K12 education to provide personalized learning opportunities for all students (Duffey & Fox, 2012; NMC & CoSN, 2017; U.S. Department of Education, 2017) and better prepare students with the computational thinking and digital literacy skills necessary to meet the growing demand for computer science (CS) jobs (Kessler, 2017). Unfortunately, the current strategies utilized in classrooms and schools throughout the world “have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances” (OECD, 2015). Additionally, underrepresented minorities and females have dramatically limited access and enrollment to CS in K12 education (Wang, Hong, Ravitz, & Moghadam, 2016). My educational technology leadership vision is to assist educators help students struggling to meet state standards reap the benefits of educational technology and provide ubiquitous access to robust CS programs.

Educational Technology Leadership: A Five-Year Plan

  • 2018-2019
    • Serve in a leadership capacity in educational technology and CS with the Newark Public Schools (NPS), New Jersey’s largest district servicing the largest population of students struggling to meet state standards.
    • Develop measurable goals and objectives to assist NPS educators improve student academic performance through the identification and use of strategic applications of technologies aligned to research-proven teaching and learning methodologies.
    • Design the foundation for a robust K-8 CS program at NPS by providing every student the opportunity to learn CS computational thinking on an annual basis as either a separate class or integrated within their core classes.
    • Identify existing and build new CS offerings in the NPS high schools through multi-year sequential course offerings through college or career tracks with industry recognized certifications.
    • Enroll in the Educational Technology Leadership doctoral program at New Jersey City University (NJCU) to develop a stronger research foundation in the educational technology field and prepare me with the required accreditations to work in higher education.
    • Complete the Google Certified Educator Level 1 certification and renew my Google Certified Trainer certification.
  • 2019-2020
    • Directly support 25% of NPS schools meaningfully integrate technology.
    • Expand NPS CS programs in 25% of K-8 schools and CS offerings to 50% of high schools.
    • Complete the Google Certified Educator Level 2 certification maintain my Google Certified Trainer certification (annual).
    • Present at a minimum of one state and one national conference.
  • 2020-2021
    • Directly support 50% of NPS schools meaningfully integrate technology.
    • Expand NPS CS programs in 50% of K-8 schools and CS offerings to 75% of high schools.
    • Graduate with a doctoral degree in Educational Technology Leadership from NJCU.
    • Complete the Google Certified Innovator certification and maintain my Google Certified Trainer certification (annual).
    • Present at a minimum of one state and one national conference and publish an article in a professional journal or publication.
  • 2021-2022
    • Directly support 75% of NPS schools meaningfully integrate technology.
    • Expand NPS CS programs in 100% of all schools.
    • Maintain my Google Certified Trainer certification (annual).
    • Present at a minimum of one state and one national conference and publish an article in a professional journal or publication.
  • 2022-2023
    • Directly support 100% of NPS schools meaningfully integrate technology.
    • Teach aspiring educators at the university level in a tenure track position.
    • Maintain my Google Certified Trainer certification (annual).
    • Present at a minimum of one state and one national conference and publish an article in a professional journal or publication.

References

Bessen, J. (2015, April 29). How Technology Has Affected Wages for the Last 200 Years. Retrieved August 12, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2015/04/how-technology-has-affected-wages-for-the-last-200-years

Duffey, D. R., & Fox, C. (2012). National educational technology trends 2012: State leadership empowers educators, transforms teaching and learning. (Rep.). Retrieved August 12, 2018, from State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) website: http://www.setda.org/master/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/National_Trends_Web-11.pdf

Golden Rule. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/golden%20rule

Kessler, S. (2017, March 09). 2015 college computer science graduates v. open computing jobs. Retrieved August 10, 2018, from https://www.theatlas.com/charts/B1rFqVkjl

Margolis, J., Goode, J., & Bernier, D. (2011). The Need for Computer Science. Educational Leadership, 68(5), 68-72.

New Media Consortium (NMC), & Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). (2017). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report 2017 K–12 Edition. Retrieved August 12, 2018, from New Media Consortium (NMC) website: https://cdn.nmc.org/media/2017-nmc-cosn-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2015, September 15). Education, New approach needed to deliver on technology’s potential in schools. Retrieved August 11, 2018, from http://www.oecd.org/education/new-approach-needed-to-deliver-on-technologys-potential-in-schools.htm

Satell, G. (2013, April 10). 4 Ways In Which Technology Is Transforming Business. Retrieved August 12, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2013/04/02/4-ways-in-which-technology-is-transforming-business/#655e101ad9c7

U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Education website: https://tech.ed.gov/files/2017/01/NETP17.pdf

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