Topic 6 New Technology for Leadership

Discussion Topic: Identify one new technology to which you have been recently exposed that you see as useful to enhance your leadership skills. Discuss why you chose this specific technology and its application in your personal leadership craft. If you do not have an example to use, research current technologies and find a new technology that may be applicable.
We know that people learn or absorb information in different ways (Gardner 1994).  Most of us as teachers use this information to provide a variety of ways for students to receive information -- sometimes with project based learning, other times by letting a peer lecture or demonstrate a procedure.  Teachers can become facilitators instead of "sages on the stage."

I have been relying on three types of technology by blending them together.
a)  I find an inspiring or informative youtube video (video sharing website)
b)  I strip away the video part by downloading an .mp3 audio file (file conversion website)
c)  I burn the audio bits on a compact audio CD (Apple's iTunes)

I find it effective to "quote" Dan Pink and Ken Robinson "directly" by giving the audience the experience of a dose of these experts' opinions.  

I proposed to my sub-group (we are presenting books by Friedman, Chad Heath and Steve Levitt) that we grab snippets of lectures on youtube and distribute the CD to the class -- after they heard the pieces (below), they agreed.  (I could have stated this idea, but I preferred to use a Level 3 approach by letting them make a choice -- audio CD or emailed link to youtube?).  By using a 1980s technology (audio CDs are 30 years old!), we can make videos distributed by Youtube (a 2005 invention) to get something created today or 50 years ago into the ears of our target audience.   People can misplace a sheet of paper, they can "intend" to watch a link on youtube, but everyone gets stuck in traffic.  "Oh, well, I might as well use this time productively.  Let's see what's on this audio CD."

When I want to persuade students and principals to allow me to introduce projects for learning, I give the principal the Dennis Littky and Dennis Yuzenas links.  When I want to engage parents and students, I send home an audio CD.   Duplication is about a penny per disk, including the cost of buying the item, and I use a one-to-three duplicator by  The copying costs are less than making a two-sided sheet of paper.  Most people are unwilling to sit down to wade through 500 words, but many of them will listen to an audio CD -- and I can usually get them hooked with a short piece by these skilled presenters on (which also distributes through Youtube).

Anyone who is interested in receiving a free copy of my favorite CD (Dan Pink, Sugata Mitra and Ken Robinson) is invited to send me an email message and I'll bring one for you to the December meeting.

Gardner, H. (1994). Intelligence reframed.  New York: Basic Books.

The YOUTUBE link is an excellent type of technology

Here is a list of some of the videos that might be related to some of the books my team will be presenting in December.

Book videos…


I've found some interviews with the authors we are reading.  As a bonus (and to show what diligent and out of the box people we are), we're going to share an audio CD with these interviews burned on a CD... The cost is about 15 cents per CD, which I'm willing to absorb just for sheer memorability.


here are some links 

if you find better interviews, let me know.

Chip heath

T Friedman

Mihaly Csi (a.k.a. “Santa Send a Holly,” according to Kathleen)

Levitt and Dubner


SuperFreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

 4 minutes


18 min

Steve Levitt - Why Incentives Don't Work

5 minutes

TED lecture

Freakanomics (Part 1/2)    14 minutes

TED lecture levitt

Freakanomics (Part 2/2)

 7 minutes

1.8 hours… too long

Friedman World is flat


Thomas L. Friedman - The conception of "The World is Flat"

6 minutes



What Thomas Friedman Didn't Tell You

The global mindset


globalization 3.0   T. Friedman

Chip Heath interviews with Fast Company

shrink change  3 minutes

Switch, situation, not person

Chip Heath 3.23 minutes

Why change is hard 2 minutes

chip heath

make change happen chip heath

fast company interview 3.3 minutes

6 minutes

Chip heath stick

Thank you for listening... 


Other answers   DASHBOARD

 20 years ago, many recall that higher education, along with many industries, adopted the practice of having a personal computer on every desk. What started with as an aid to drafting documents and summarizing limited data has developed into an absolute necessity for  almost any operation for colleges and schools. As systems became more sophisticated, the practice of utilizing computer generated data in decision making has become the standard. In addition, the user friendly qualities of Excel and SPSS have made the novice a researcher. Administration, frequently a generation or two further along, dazzled by pie charts and graphs, demanded summaries that allow for comprehensive planning in the blink of an eye, using data that frequently take years to compile. While data bases and operating systems are not a new technology, the absolute reliance of comprehensive dashboard reporting will be the new standard. Even rural community colleges such a Tompkins Cortland Community College and Raritan Valley College are “in the process of creating a dashboard for its executives that will provide enrollment and admissions statistics via cell phones” (Madocks, 2006, p. 36). Today’s higher education leader quickly grasps data, analyzes the information to the task at hand, and defends positions with statistics. However, as we know, statistics can be skewed or may be misinterpreted. Administration should consider the standard practice of human interaction beyond the photo opportunity or a ceremonial had shake at graduation.

Madocks, B.  (2006). iNNOVATIVE iNSTITUTIONS Leverage Latest Technology to Reach Learners. Community College Journal, 77(2), 34-37. Doi:1274331131

Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler Schools of Education Dean H. Wells Singleton convened the administration, faculty, and staff on September 27-28, 2011 for a retreat.  One informational session focused on the introduction of a dashboard based business intelligence system to improve business performance in the Department of Human Resources.  Hall, (2003), an expert in computer decision systems and technological forecasting defines Business intelligence systems (BIS), as interactive computer-based subsystems designed to assist decision makers to use communication technologies, data, and knowledge, to identify and solve problems.  The use of BIS systems serve as tools to improve operational and strategic performance for organizations (Hall, 2003).

The Fischler School’s technology team engaged in a data-warehousing project to develop an interface tool to generate a variety of reports and analyses of information related to applicant tracking and performance data.  The Dashboard system helps to support analysis and integrated decision making throughout the Fischler School’s departments.  Dr. Singleton indicated that the Dashboard system would serve to facilitate decision-making based on evaluation of current enrollment trends, historical performance metrics, and forecast planning.  He pointed out that this type of system allows presentation of complex relationships and performance metrics in an understandable format to all administrators, faculty, and staff.

One assigned responsibility as an administrator at Fischler is the recruitment of potential students to enroll in the Charter School Master’s degree and Doctoral Minor program.  The business intelligence system will assist to report results to date as well as to indicate the potential for continuing success as students enroll and progress through the university system.  The dashboard affords the capability to identify new service opportunities to enroll, retain, and graduate students.


 Hall, O. P (2003) Using dashboard based business intelligence systems: An approach to improving business performanceGraziadio Business Review, 6 (4). Retrieved from

This morning, while reading through the e-mailed version of The Chronicle of Higher Education, I came across a Prof Hacker article on a new service called Ask Me When you subscribe to this service, the company will text you at your preselected time with your preselected question and then graph your progress depending on your answers. Anyone who has used a buddy system to ensure that they get something done knows how effective it can be. In fact, the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness relates a story of how the first author motivated his graduate student to complete his dissertation. The student committed to produce a certain number of words of dissertation each week or face a financial penalty. Each week the student would prove he had met his obligation or else pay his advisor some amount of money. The student finished his dissertation with only a couple of payments to his advisor. Another reason Ask Me Every seems like a service that will work is the graphing feature. Nudge also writes about the importance of making information salient. One of those methods is to graph results. Knowing how faulty my memory can be, especially when I'm in denial, I really like the idea of a graphical representation of how quickly I'm progressing toward my goal.

How will this service improve my leadership? I am a firm believer in leading by example, so if I can inspire anyone to become more efficient and productive by modeling that behavior, I will have done well. Second, I've been reading and re-reading David Allen's Getting Things Done: , and I have come to agree with one of his central tenets: in order to work at peak efficiency, it is necessary to calm the mind by putting all the things that need to be done into a system where you know they won't be forgotten or slip through the cracks. Using the Ask Me Every service seems like a good supplement to Allen's work. If I have more mental wherewithal available to me, I can think about bigger projects, some of which involve leadership.

Allen, D. (2001). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Jones, J. B. (2011, October 3). Lean about yourself with Ask Me The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from f

Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness.  New York, NY: Penguin Group