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It’s a Digital Age for Leaders, As Workshop Participants Discover

The theme of this year’s AASA national conference is “Education in the Digital Age,” and one of Wednesday’s pre-conference workshops in Nashville fully embraced that, resulting in a highly interactive, immersive setting.

At the start of the session, participants were asked to write down what they wanted to learn about, using a digital classroom tool called Today’s Meet. Additionally, live links were available for participants to access throughout the session. Participants were encouraged live tweet about the workshop on Twitter as well.

“With the world changing rapidly, we have to depend on each other. We need to figure out how to leverage and maximize technology for students today,” said presenter Ann McMullan, former executive director for education technology with the Klein, Texas, Independent School District. Now an education consultant, she is a project director for the Consortium for School Networking’s Empowered Superintendents Program.

McMullan was joined at the workshop by Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN, a sister organization of AASA, which supports chief technology officers in school districts.

Kathy Hurley, CEO of Girls Thinking Global, rounded out the workshop speakers. She shared stories and perspectives on women in leadership.

“Everyone needs a mentor and needs to be a mentor,” said Hurley. “It’s the best way to become a leader.”

Hurley reviewed 16 key leadership competencies that are described her book, Real Women, Real Leaders, co-authored with Priscilla Shumway.

The top five competencies are: (1) takes initiative; (2) inspiring and motivating others; (3) driving for results; (4) building relationships; (5) collaboration and teamwork.

The interactive, immersive spirit of this workshop was exemplified after participants learned about the key leadership competencies. After Hurley’s presentation, participants reflected on which competencies compelled them the most and why. They then discussed their answers in small groups.

(Rebecca Shaw is a reporter for Conference Daily Online.)

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