Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting Your Administration On Board

In 7 steps to success when working with administrators from Dangerously Irrelevant by (Scott McLeod), he gives a list of things that technology integrationists can do to assist their principals and superintendents. This made me think that about actual ways to show how technology actually works in the classroom. I think if people can see real life examples of the way things work, it is easier for them to understand how this might work in their particular situation. Suppose you had some software that you think the entire school should know about and use because it will enhance instruction and improve student achievement. Here are ways you can go about getting your administration on board.

1. Plan your presentation. Practice it in front of someone who can play the devil’s advocate. Note their opposition so that you can come up with answers to counter these negative thoughts.

2. Keep in mind that administrators are busy people and that the world doesn’t revolve around just you. This means that you might have to make an appointment with them and give them a estimate of how much time you need to meet with them. If you need them to come to your classroom to see how something works, make sure you have everything set up before hand and that it all works. If they have to sit there to watch you set it up, you might lose their support. Once you get their support on the actual thing you want them to see, then you can discuss set up and logistics.

3. Give them short examples that show evidence of how things work. As busy people, their attention may wander to other thoughts if you take too long or the presentation is boring.

4. Let them see how this might help more than just in your class. If they can see how it will help more students or teachers, they will feel more justified in helping you.

5. Offer to be the “to go” person if this is implemented. Someone will need to spearhead the training and installation of a program or software that you are trying to implement. Offer to do a presentation to the faculty too. If the administration knows that you will take care of this, it will go a long way to getting it accepted.

6. When the administrator has questions, be prepared to answer them. If you can’t answer them, be honest and do not make up an answer. Offer to get back with them with an answer. Don’t tell them to go somewhere for the answer. If this is a demo piece of software, you might be able to get someone from the company on a Skype call during your presentation to answer any questions that might come up.

7. Make sure you send an email later to thank them for taking the time to hear your presentation.

I think by following these steps, an attempt to persuade the administration to get on board with your ideas would be successful. They might not approve this request immediately, but you will have your foot in the door for future attempts. After seeing the time and effort you put into this presentation, they will know that you are serious about implementing technology in the classroom. A presentation like this might encourage them to think more about the possibilities rather than immediately turning you down.

Original image: '3D Team Leadership Arrow Concept' by: Scott Maxwell

1 comment:

Char Paul said...

I think this is very important for research students, post grads and teaching staff.