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NetDay National Leadership Summit Program

The goal of the National Leadership Summit was to start a national dialogue around the need to support efforts by school site leaders to utilize technical tools to meet educational goals.

Opening Keynote Address:
John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office, Sun Microsystems and Co-founder of NetDay

Mr. Gage reflected on the leaders who made the NetDay effort back in 1996 a success and applauded the progress over the past five years. He shared leadership stories from various parts of the country and world based on his experiences as a co-founder of NetDay. Mr. Gage concluded by stating that "no leader can tell you what to do. Good leaders give everyone a sense that there's a bond that links everyone" to a common goal. He suggested that today's leaders need to form bonds in new and interesting ways to tackle the challenges of how to effectively use technology to enhance and improve the quality of education our children receive.

Introduction & Special Presentation:
NetDay 2001 Survey, "The Internet, Technology and Teachers" by Julie Evans, CEO, NetDay

Summary: Ms. Evans presented the results of NetDay's 2001 survey, "The Internet, Technology and Teachers." The survey was conducted to gather information from teachers about how they are utilizing the Internet and computers in classroom activities and in curriculum development. Mrs. Evans presented three key findings from the survey:

  1. Teachers' attitudes and viewpoints on the role of technology and the Internet in education have changed dramatically in the past couple of years.
  2. The Internet is primarily used by teachers as a research tool - a big electronic encyclopedia - and other uses of the Internet (communications, professional development, classroom projects) are not fully realized by teachers.
  3. Teachers face significant obstacles to using the Internet more regularly as an integrated education tool and resource.

Panel I: Leadership in Education - Defining the Challenges


John Bailey, Director of Educational Technology, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Dan Chernow, Executive Director, UCLA School of Management Program
Jon Schnur, CEO and Co-founder, New Leaders for New Schools
Kim Smith, President and CEO, New Schools Venture Fund
Barbara Stein, Senior Program Analyst, National Education Association
Moderator: Milton Chen, Executive Director, The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Summary: The group discussed the different challenges encountered by leaders in schools compared to leaders in the private sector. They concluded that there are some differences between how industry leaders operate compared to education leaders, which result in school leaders facing more complex challenges, especially with new tools, such as technology. Instead of being able to manage and lead a team toward a specific fiscal goal, school leaders are tasked with the responsibility of leading teachers and students toward specific educational goal. The group concluded by agreeing that because school leaders make public decisions, their leadership challenges are unique and hence present a unique challenge for technology integration.

Key Note: Leadership - a State Perspective: Dr. Eugene Hickok, Under Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education

Summary: Dr. Hickok joined the Summit via two-way videoconference. The three points that he stressed in his address were:

  1. Visionary Leadership: The need to have strong leadership with the vision and dedication to guide schools through this technology transition.
  2. Entrepreneurial Spirit: School leaders will have the greatest success if they embrace technology and the challenges accompanied with it as an opportunity to improve the quality of education student receive in a more efficient manner.
  3. Seamless Integration: Technology must become a natural element in classroom activities and curriculum preparation. In order for seamless integration to occur, technology must be embedded into every component of our school systems.

Case Study: Leadership in Action - A Discussion with West Bolivar Public Schools


Richard Thompson, State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi
Jordan Goins, Superintendent of Schools, West Bolivar Public Schools
Judy Cutts, Principal, West Bolivar Elementary Schools
Arthur Holmes, Technology Coordinator, West Bolivar Public Schools
Renee LaMastus, Teacher, West Bolivar Elementary School
Moderator: Jodie Pozo-Olano, Director, Communications and Outreach, NetDay

Summary: Drawing upon their daily experiences, the school leadership team from West Bolivar School District in Rosedale, Mississippi, shared their thoughts on how to build technology into the schools and classrooms. Although the school resides in an empowerment zone, every classroom has a computer with Internet access and teachers receive regular guidance on how to maximize technology use in classroom activities and to enhance student learning. Each grant application or policy that is written incorporates technology, even if it's for a non-technical program or subject. The team all agreed that successes could be attributed to the leaders involved - from the state department of education to the classroom.

The three tips they offered were:

  1. Vision: Leaders must have a vision of how technology can help achieve educational goals.
  2. Communication: Educational goals and technology vision need to be communicated among everyone - from the State Superintendent's office down to the teacher. They must all be working toward the same things.
  3. Assessment: It is important to regularly assess goals and the progress that is being made to reach these goals; adjustments should be made as they are needed to ensure that the educational goals are met.

Panel II: Leadership in Education - Empowerment through Technology


Kathy Klock, Program Officer, Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Leslie Saul, Education Industry Manager, Corporate Business Development, 3Com
Helen Soulé, Interim Director of Management Information Services and Director of Educational Technology, Training & Support, MS Department of Education
Rick White, President and CEO, TechNet
Julie Young, Executive Director, The Florida Online High School
Moderator: Ira Fishman, Executive Vice President, MindSurf Networks

Summary: Panelists shared their experiences and lessons learned on how to bring best business practices on technology integration to education. The group agreed that technology challenges exist at all levels of education - from school boards who often have to be convinced technology is worth the investment of valuable fiscal resources to quality professional development for teachers. In conclusion, the group agreed that there is a real need to demonstrate, with data, how technology impacts education. They suggested that more results and a higher level of data analysis would help school leaders make decisions about how and why to use technology. The group concluded by stating that change must be done by empowering and engaging the "whole" community with technology recommendations, rather than applying a top-down approach.

Conclusion & Announcements

Summary: NetDay CEO, Julie Evans, closed the Summit by announcing NetDay Leadership Campaign for Education Technology. This effort will roll into action in the fall of 2001 as a public service campaign to develop, nurture and promote effective models of education technology leadership for our K-12 schools. National activities and state-level summits will facilitate an exchange of knowledge and drive action on the development of models and a mentoring program for K-12 school leaders to support technology integration and management.