Using iPads to Become Tech-Savvy Leaders

Conference News Online – 2013

By Terri Fuller

“When my iPad arrives, I’m going to be in business! I’m going to be able to complete observations with quick feedback; maintain a multi-tiered, but feasible schedule; keep and manage student data; download apps that will improve my job performance; and, most importantly, be a technology-savvy administrator!”

These were my initial thoughts when I was told I’d be receiving an iPad. A year and a half later, I couldn’t say that I’d become a technology-savvy administrator yet. But that’s about to change, thanks to Justin Baeder of Eduleadership.

Baeder’s two-hour workshop, “iPad Essentials for School Leaders” was a thorough and carefully designed presentation. He challenged attendees to consider, “How can we use the iPad to increase our productivity in accomplishing the work of school leadership?” I didn’t have the answer beforehand, but I’m in business now!

In his presentation, Baeder shared apps that are helpful for managing workflow. At first, I worried the information would be too complex. But Baeder was explicit and detailed in his explanations of apps and their efficiency. Evernote, for instance, is free (all of us budget-conscious administrators can appreciate that), and it supports rich text, photos, and files. Most importantly, Evernote allows for secure document storage. While I downloaded this app a year and a half ago, I never knew how powerful it was and how it could create efficiency. Now, I know how it can be used to download attachment documents, save them, and email them all in one place!

In addition, Baeder showed attendees several techniques to quickly respond to and manage emails. Nudgemail is my new go-to resource for managing emails on the go. In the past, there were several occasions when I couldn’t immediately respond to an email due to lack of information or insufficient time to process all the details. Nudgemail allows you to receive a reminder to respond to the email at a later time that you suggest. It offers prioritizing and time management all in one!

Lastly, Baeder’s session also empowered me with a tool to create forms. I’m on a mission to create forms: forms for observations, forms for student discipline, forms for professional development. Baeder introduced us to Wufoo, which makes forms a cinch. No more writing on paper, typing, and making copies! With this program, I can now create a form, type it in, and email it quickly and easily.

These iPad tips and tricks can empower principals to become “powerful forces in leadership,” as Baeder calls it. This session armed me with the tools I need to increase my productivity and elevate my school leadership practice. Thank you and cheers to the 2013-2014 school year!

Terri Fuller is assistant principal at Ben W. Murch Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

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