I love conferences. They are a place to look at common material in a much different way. You get to meet people in a way that you never have interaction before and see how they apply these ideas. It’s the potential for collaboration at its finest.
The camaraderie that ensues as a result of meeting someone who does what you do is powerful. The subsequent follow up of the conference leader to connect back with participants is where the learning continues.
The mystery about conferences is this whole hashtag thing. I’m about to travel to a content marketing conference in a few weeks and I’ll certainly need to know what it is before I arrive if I can ever expect to keep up! So while I’m figuring all of this out let’s address the 21st century conference session I attended, “When Leadership and Learning Collide.” It is based on the premise of “when there is good leadership learning can occur and innovation is spawned.”
Some of the key points:
We need to create a goal of innovative and creativity environment.
There needs to be a collision of leadership and learning. Is leadership embedded in our learning and where do they intersect?
People see the school as a barrier to learning and much of learning happens outside the walls of the school. Are we embedding leadership principles into our learning?
Are we allowing leadership principles (making sure students are allowed to lead and demonstrate ownership of learning in the classroom) to happen in the classroom?
4 Components of a 21st Century Workforce/Environment:
1. Relevant – Does your work have meaning? Does the curriculum have tangible benefits?
2. Support – Do you have the support to make learning happen?
3. Resources – do you have the tools you need? Do you have a culture that allows you to learn in your style? Are they given enough time? Can they take risks and reward?
4. Rewards – Do they have assessments that are punitive or ones in which learning continues to take place.
Schools Become a Barrier to Learning
Why are we not allowing access to students through social networks? It’s happening in the business sector (social media and lifelong learning) and what our students will enter.
Leaders become managers of standards and compliance. Is learning the constant and time is the variable? Are we allowing students to learn at different rates?
Leadership in Learning
Are we allowing students to lead their own learning? It’s a reflection of student learning, professional learning and system learning. There is an accountability to have ownership of learning.
He addresses “The Resiliency Wheel” to build support networks around those involved in the learning process. We are all learning at all levels.
The 5 Tenets of a 21st Century Leader
Are these happening in the classroom? Does leadership and learning and collide?
- Solve problems creatively
- Develop and communicate vision
- Creates community – builds relationships
- Creates challenges – allows risk and rewards innovation
- Removes barriers to learning
Good Leaders L.I.E. – Lead, Innovate, Empower
- Lead – lead and champion for innovative creativity
- Innovate – allow learning to be the constant, they innovate and model what they want to see
- Empower – allow students and teachers to take ownership of learning
4 Essentials to Innovation
This is true for all levels.
- Believe that kids can learn
- Understand that students need relationships
- Know that they want to belong to something
- Allow failure to be an option
Each role plays a part. The one commonality is there needs to be a risk-reward culture.
- Student level – Learning needs to be constant.
- Teacher – Engagement needs to be constant.
- Principal – Change needs to be constant in how students learn.
Unreasonable Institute – Using open resource networks to develop entrepreneurship. Addresses how learning with innovation occurs in the workplace.
A blog to check out: Superhero School: An Epicenter for Disruptive Innovation
Finally, one of the most powerful ideas come from this blog on Managing or Leading.
“Our educational systems are full of managers who need to become leaders. There is a distinct challenge in the 21st century economy to promote innovation and creativity – both of which cannot necessarily be measured. The industrial age focused on managing resources and measuring results – and if you couldn’t measure it, there were no results. While there are many great leaders of the industrial age, the primary skill set was the ability to manage people and resources. Productivity was measured by the quantity of results and the quality of the product. This industrial paradigm still is pervasive in our educational system structure. We are focused on measuring “tangible” outcomes, managing resources (people, time, materials, budgets) and maintaining traditions that are ineffective and do not allow for innovation and creativity to be fostered. Leadership is all about relationships. Leadership fosters innovation and creativity at all levels.’
So what are we going to do about this? Where do we start?