1. Visionary leadership

Visionary leadership in ISTE standard for coaches

Technology Coaches inspire and participate in the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment. (ISTE 2011)

The first standard in the set of ISTE Coaching standards is about visionary leadership.  When I first read this standard, I immediately thought about the TED talks by Sir Ken Robinson – with my favorite being an older TED talk (2010) titled ‘Bring on the learning revolution‘.  However, in researching this standard, I came across a quote made by another visionary over a hundred years ago that I use as my teaching inspiration.

If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.

– John Dewey

This quote led me on a journey to explore more of John Dewey’s work.  In particular, Dewey’s book on ‘Experience and education’ is particularly relevant to my teaching journey, as I came to teaching after 30 years of experience in the computer software industry.  However, the point that Dewey makes in this book that also inspired me concerns student’s experiences.  In particular, Dewey believed that education must adapt to the needs and experiences of the student.  Dewey went on to explain that it is a contradiction for education to ignore a student’s life experiences.  Today, we know that students are well versed in technology – and that this technology will be a large part of their life in the future.  In order to meet the needs of these students, we must provide an education using this same technology that matches the student’s life experiences.

It is visionary leaders like Sir Ken Robinson and John Dewey that inspired me to pursue a career in teaching.  My experiences with the performance indicators for the ISTE visionary leadership standard listed below have deepened my understanding of how technology can transform the learning experience.

1A. Develop, communicate and implement a shared vision
1B. Build and maintain a technology-infused strategic plan
1C. Advocate for policies, procedures, programs and funding
1D. Initiate and sustain technology innovations and manage the change process


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