Digital Leaderships in Schools

Leading with Technology, Communications and Public Relations

Leading with technology is no different than any other change process.

Using technology appropriately effectively models the important skills students can use as they develop their own advocacy roles.

Digital Leadership

7 Pillars of Digital Leadership

  • Effectively communicating with stakeholders
  • Establishing a consistent public relations platform
  • Developing a brand presence that promises value
  • Authentically engaging students in the learning process
  • Providing a cost-effective professional development that is meaningful
  • Discovering opportunity
  • Rethinking how the learning environment was structured

Leading with Technology

To initiate and sustain change you need the following:

  • Connectedness matters - knowledge is everything and it influences our decisions and opinions; being connected allows for collaborative partnerships with stakeholders who can help
  • Vision - establish a coherent vision with stakeholders stating why and how technology will be used to support education
  • Value - true value of technology is how it is used to support learning and create experiences that students find meaningful and relevant; technology has the power to engage students, unleash their creativity, and allow them to apply what they have learned to demonstrate conceptual mastery
  • Support - certain level of access to tech and removing the fear of failure and encouraging risk-taking environment that fuels innovation
  • Professional Development - opportunities to learn how to effectively integrate technology
  • Embracement - empower staff to embrace technology compared to securing by-in
Six Stages of Systematic School Improvement


Traditionally, schools have used newsletters, automated phone system (e.g., SynerVoice), and school website to communicate with parents and the community.  Nowadays, schools can differentiate their communication by using traditional methods and social media methods (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, blogs, wikis, SMS).  Social media allow leaders to create unique communications for their schools/districts, establish a digital presence, construct feedback mechanisms on websites on other spaces, and welcome stakeholders in a conversation.

Digital Leadership

  • demands that we reach our stakeholders through the use of tools and social spaces that they frequent
  • driven by the desire to meet our stakeholders where they are, even if it is not comfortable at first
  • calls for getting information out to stakeholders through a variety of media, anticipating the tools to which they might have access, and fostering a culture that supports and promotes two-way communication

Social Media

When you use social media, a voice is created, stakeholders are engaged, thinking is shared, and consensus can be built for facilitating change.  Social media tools can be used to create a global footprint, becoming leaders in transforming teaching and learning.  Social media tools allow leaders to establish a digital presence, construct feedback mechanisms on websites, and welcome stakeholders into a conversation.


Twitter offers convenient, real-time mechanism for bouncing off ideas and learning from others, especially since the principal role is often isolated and lonely.  It can be used for own professional learning and developing connections with educational leaders around the world.  Twitter can also give the school a voice and connections to stakeholders, other educators, politicians, inventors and business leaders regionally and nationally.

Clarkson uses Twitter to repeat morning announcements, events, sports, achievements, share photos, videos and learning that occurs.


Clarkson uses Instagram to share photos and videos of classroom activities, sports, and school events.

Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a presentation application as an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi.

School Website

Peel Board Policy 78

Public Relations

Sometimes perception is reality!

    Whether you like it or not, you want to promote your school and work on the public positive reputation.  

    Therefore, it makes total sense that you be your own PR department, as not only a cost saving pathway to sharing positive news, but also a practical means to get this information into the hands of the stakeholders who frequently rely on and use these tools. Examples of tools you can use include newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, picture tools (Flickr, Picasa, Instagram), video tools (YouTube, Vimeo, Vine), blogs (Google Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad).

    Digital leadership is about building the capacity to create a solid foundation for positive public relations using social media that complements communications efforts.  Social media allows us to take sole control of our public relations and tell our school stories consistently, accurately, and transparently. Leaders are making a difference every day and these success stories resonate with local, national, and even international stakeholders.

Creating a brand is important.  A brand name is a word(s), number(s), letter(s), or some combination of these elements that identifies a product of a specific business but cannot be a word of general use that can be used to describe a number of products. A brand name should create a positive image of the product/service in the customer’s mind through the use of a simple, easy to remember, catchy word or phrase.  Branding helps with consumer awareness and customer loyalty. They also serve to distinguish one product from another.

Branding is all about heart, head and hands - what do you feel, think and what action will people take?  Like the printing press, digital devices connected to the Internet are unequivocal game changes.

The goal of mainstream media is to increase viewers, ratings and circulations.  The mainstream media rarely shares the impactful work in schools that is actually making a difference in the lives of students. Countless innovative practices that showcase student learning are never covered by the news.  Unfortunately, more often than not, the story that is told about schools is negative and ignores the many great things happening within and beyond the walls.  When it comes to education, the stories that most often help the media improve their bottom line are those with a negative spin.

Get connected, tell the story, and do not walk alone.  Become the storyteller-in-chief to create the constant flow of information that highlights and focuses on schoolwide success and positive culture.  If you do not tell your story, someone else will!  Never underestimate the power of your stories.

Today, any person, any age, anywhere, at any time can connect with any person, any age, anywhere, at any time to share thinking and create, and the outcomes are “going viral”

Exit Ticket - Reflection

Thank you for listening to our presentation

Presented by Cathy Haskett-Morrison, Audrey Parker, May Wong

Comment Stream