Digital Leadership can serve as inspiration and an effective starting point for administrators and/or teachers who have realized that they need to (1) infuse their practice with more progressive techniques or (2) entirely revamp their work to support in providing students with more contemporary and relevant learning experiences. Also, if you find yourself working in a district where administrators simply do not “get it,” I would highly recommend Digital Leadership as an administrative book study in order to stimulate conversation in regards to how the district can make the shift from where it is to where it needs to be.
Sheninger’s work is valuable because he writes with a tone that is confident, passionate, and convincing. After reading the book it would be difficult for anyone to argue “He’s completely wrong,” or “This wouldn’t work in our district.” I would find it hard to believe that a group of administrators could read Digital Leadership and then determine that they do not need to change what they do in one way or another.
Please keep in mind that the book is not your one stop shop for all things related to digital leadership (in fact, nothing is). For example, you are not going to read through the book and instantly know how to implement such initiatives as BYOD, 1:1, getting other educators on Twitter, etc. In other words, it is a book, not a step-by-step user manual. However, you are provided with solid starting points in regards to all the hot topics, and it is left up to you as to whether or not you would like to learn more through other resources (something that Sheninger would probably encourage). Also, for all of these topics the author provides the reader with essential names and case studies, which can serve as starting points for additional research.
Digital Leadership is one of the first educational technology books that I have ever read. While it has inspired me, I can also see myself referring back to it when collaborating with teachers on technology integration and progressive practices. Also, once again, I would not hesitate to recommend the book for an administrator book study.
Some Highlights (literally, what I highlighted while reading)
“Leaders who position themselves to be outliers are, in a natural way, facilitating the type of innovative and creative thinking that is necessary to thrive in an information-based economy.”
“Leaders today actually have to be outliers to some extent in order to initiate and sustain the type of change needed in our schools.”
“Studies on school change indicate that schools successful in sustaining school improvement build capacity for leadership within the organization (Harris and Lambert, 2003).”
“Schools that have moved away from a hierarchical structure support learning cultures that are innovative.”
“It wasn’t until I became connected that I truly understood the error of my ways and views.”
“The effective integration of readily available technology – especially social media – serves as the main foundation of each pillar [of digital leadership].”
“With the tools that are now available, connectedness should be the standard, not just an option in education.”
“The job of the digital leader is not just to model the art of being connected; it’s also to model the art of human conversation and unplugging the devices.”
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