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Virtual shadowing: A Call for volunteers

To repeat, I’m teaching a fully online course this semester called “Educational Technology for School Leaders.”

The course site is almost ready for launch.

As part of the course, I’ll be asking the students to “shadow” a school leader who actively uses social media for professional purposes. My hope is that by virtually shadowing a sitting school leader, the aspiring school leaders in the course will see what’s possible and consider the affordances of social media for school leaders.

What is “virtual shadowing?” Heck if I know; I’m making this up, I think. You can read the current assignment description, but, basically, I plan to ask the students to:

  • Follow their mentor on Twitter (my preference is that the students actually start a Twitter account and follow their mentor that way, but they can also just regularly read their mentor’s Twitter page).
  • Read any blog posts their mentor writes.
  • Send an email to their mentor to find out if there are other spaces that are public where they might see their mentor engaged in professional practice.

I would ask the mentors to basically be themselves, to “act normally” (i.e. no dog-and-pony shows). The students will be shadowing their mentors for 6-8 weeks, so I’m not asking mentors to do any extra blogging (micro- or long form blogging) within any condensed period of time. I hope my students will reach out to you and interact with you online, but we’ll see; this is a new assignment/activity for me.

I only have five students right now so I need five fine school leaders to volunteer as mentors. If you are an educator in a formal leadership position1 who is an active user of social media (Twitter, blog, etc.), please be in touch.

Thanks for your consideration!

  1. yeah, I know that’s going to cause some unease, but I really want my students to see that there are folks in positions that require administrative certification who are active social media users []