Mercy Ed Tech Decisions Feature Distributed Leadership

Distributed Leadership for learning and teaching is a leadership approach in which collaborative working is undertaken between individuals who trust and respect each other’s contribution. It occurs as a result of an open culture within and across an institution. . . .It happens most effectively when people at all levels engage in action, accepting leadership in their particular areas of expertise.  — (Jones, Harvey, Lefoe, Ryland 2013, p.21).

Science Teacher Sara McGavin troubleshoots with iWizards

Distributed leadership characterized Mercy’s decision to adopt Schoology as its Learning Management System. Reasons for changing from Moodle were identified by the I.T. Department.  However, we immediately put the evaluation different solutions in the hands of a committee of faculty members who self-selected and participated at a level each person could determine. (All meetings were open).

After the teachers chose Schoology they helped introduced the product to their peers and delivered the rationale for changing  Subsequently these same teachers conducted all of our professional development and training for Schoology.

August iPad Orientation led by the iWizards

We have also decided to hand over an important technology decision to our students. Recently we asked an iWizard to evaluate photo editing apps for use at the iCreate Workshop. The one she recommended has been so popular it may actually enter the school curriculum through our Design Foundations class. At a recent meeting of iWizards we were chatting our favorite iPad apps  One of the new ninth grade members began describing a planning app which sounded like one every student could use. It occurred to me that we should place selection of “Mercy apps”* more or less in the hands of the students.

Consequently, we are asking the iWizards to assess all of our current apps. And at our next meeting we will ask them to pitch new ones. This is another great example of distributive leadership which has come to characterize decision making within our technology program.

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