Becoming a SMART Leader

Just as the original SMART interactive whiteboard transformed educational technology by providing a new way for teachers to engage their students, the latest offerings by SMART Technologies has the potential to change how school leaders interact with their stakeholders as they become tech-enabled leaders.

In a departure from traditional leadership that is often closed, top-down, and rigid, SMART leaders focus on interactivity to ensure that their tech-enabled leadership actions are opencollaborative, or dynamic.

Open Leadership Action:
SMART's Notebook Express web application facilitates the sharing of interactive materials even if some recipients don't have a SMART board or SMART Notebook software. School leaders can now easily share presentations and information covered during with meeting with stakeholders even with they were unable to attend. Open leadership actions and the sharing of information can provide teachers and parents with the vital information that is necessary for them to actively support the education process. An informed parent is better able to become the engaged parent that is necessary to support individual student success.

Collaborative Leadership Actions:
In contract to unilateral control and top-down leadership, the multitouch capabilities of the latest 800 series SMART boards can bring a greater level of the interaction  to collaborative planning and brainstorming sessions.

The decision making process becomes a collaborative endeavour when school leaders use the SMART Response interactive response system to engage stakeholders by allowing them to provide input the school's decision making process. When used during staff or parent council meetings, school leaders can get quick and easy stakeholder feedback that can not only influence the final decision, but also the impact of the decision. Research has noted that stakeholder participation in the decision making process can enhance decision quality and eventual level of participant acceptance and satisfaction (Yukl, 2010).

Dynamic Leadership Actions:
Rather than a solitary act, school leadership has become a process more than the job of one person. Dynamic leadership acknowledges that school success is enhanced when leadership is distributed and a variety of formal and informal leaders contribute to school leadership.  SMART's Bridgit conferencing software can be used to facilitate dynamic leadership by allowing a variety of leaders to engage in vital leadership actions even if they can't be in the same room, school or city.  Outside experts, consultants and district leaders can be easily brought into a school to share their insight with staff or students without added transportation cost or time lost traveling to the school. Because Bridgit allows anyone to contribute to a meeting, by screen sharing or adding digital ink notes or instant text messages, this software can serve to support the distribution of leadership. Harnessing the potential of dynamic leadership can provide schools with ready access to knowledge and skills that only a collection of leaders can possess.

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