Leading by Example: Leaders Who are Connected

There are many was to lead and sharing ideas is just one example.  Here is a guest post by Chantelle Davies on Leaders who are connected.

Currently, in our school board (HWDSB) there does not appear to be any obligation for leaders to use social networking.  However, more and more of our principals, instructional coaches, consultants, and superintendents are beginning to make greater use of social networking tools.

I don't believe that leaders need to be completely transparent on everything they do.  I think some decisions or thoughts are better kept between the leader and other people involved.  For example, if a principal is working with a few staff members to make decisions regarding the class placement of some more challenging students, it may be counter productive to have this conversation over twitter where the school's entire community may feel the need to weigh in on the decision.  On the other hand, I do think it's great when leaders take to tools like twitter to enrich staff discussions around topics such as higher order thinking and inquiry based learning.  Using blogs to share information with staff, parents and the general community they are leading is also a great way to keep others informed in a timely manner, while setting an example that encourages teachers an other staff to do the same in their work settings,  It's important to lead by example.

Here are a few of the leaders in our board making significant attempts to make social networking tools a regular part of their practice:

John Malloy:  Our Director of Education is a regular user of twitter, (@malloy_john) with about 2000 followers since he joined the social networking site in 2011.  He often retweets great ideas from educators in our board and he also frequently tweets inspiring or thought provoking statements.  Malloy also maintains a blog with posts for anyone connected to our school board, both staff and the greater community:  All Students Learning

Thomas Ro:  Thomas is a former consultant for the 21st Century Fluency department of our board and now is a vice-principal.  Thomas is a perfect example of "lead by example."  Thomas is an avid user of twitter (@Mr_Ro), both as a means to share great educational information, as well as be available to ansewr questions in relation to technology.  Thomas also runs his own professional blog, sharing much of his knowledge in the area of 21st Century Fluencies:  Roflections

Mrs. Anderson:  Also known as Principal Anderson on twitter, @JanetLeeHWDSB.  Anderson is the principal of one of our primary schools and uses twitter as a tool to communicate with the students and parents of her school community about school events such a the Terry Fox run and expectations such as gentle reminders that they are a nut free school.

These leaders, along with many others in our board are setting an example of our teachers and parents about changing world of education.  They are also proving that they are available and open to discussions and questions with their community of followers.

Do you think it should be an expectation that all educational leaders be avid users of social networking tools like twitter, facebook, linkedin and blogging?

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