Leading toward a more integrated application of instructional technology in complex times requires adaptation

Ron Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky in their book: The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World (2009, Harvard Business Press) write about adaptive leadership.  Their definition: Adaptive leadership is the practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive (page 14) sounds like the kind of leadership many of us might want to employ.  And when I envision thriving schools – I envision schools effectively and extensively integrating technology into their instructional fiber.

Adaptive change is about building on what is good from the past.  Change, if is to happen, will disrupt the status quo.  The status quo is not maintained and, yet the adaptations, rearranging, reregulating and/or displacing is not random.  The change within a school must be purposeful and be done with the focus on enabling the capacity of each individual student to thrive.

Obviously, technology effectively integrated into the teaching and learning environment has the potential to be very productive for student learning.

The authors state that:

Ø  Adaptive leadership is specifically about change that enables the capacity to thrive.

Ø  Successful adaptive changes build on the past rather than jettison it.

Ø  Organizational adaptation occurs through experimentation.

Ø  Adaptation relies on diversity.

Ø  New adaptations significantly displace, reregulate, and rearrange some old DNA. Meaning – leadership on adaptive challenges generates loss (and change).

Ø  Adaptation takes time. (pages 14 – 16)

Points to ponder:

As a school leader how can you help to frame the discussion so as to move this adaptation along?

What can you do to help school and community people want more technology opportunities for the young people you serve?

What conversations can you initiate that might help create an interest in exploring the use of more technology in your school?

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