When one Yes isn't enough

It worked! It worked quickly! It really put me in a state of shock. So what is the "it"? A couple of posts back I mentioned this session by Jason Levy that I saw on Ustream about how to change the Principal's "no" to a "yes" when it comes to technology and I finally put his ideas to the test. My thought was to start with a small idea just to see if it would work. The idea was to create a Twitter account for the school so administration could push out alerts, links, info, etc. My old strategy would have been to pop in my Principal's office (she has a great open door policy) and spout out my idea in a couple of minutes. In retrospect, this was a stupid strategy for a number of reasons and was the main reasons why so many ideas died. This time I would bite my impulsive tongue and develop a plan to get the "Yes" I was looking for.

To get the right answer, I had to make sure of a couple of things:
  1. I had to make sure my Principal understood the concept of Twitter. 
  2. I had to make sure she understood the educational value of Twitter. While I have been on it for awhile and understand this concept, this step was harder than I thought. Especially when you are battling the media and how they are portraying Twitter as a tool to say what is going in your personal like to a bunch of nobodies.
  3. I needed to make this process as easy as possible on administration. That meant researching possible account names, how would they have access, and how all parents would have access to the information even if they aren't on Twitter.
  4. All of this information needed to be in a format that was easy to follow.
Google Docs and the Common Craft Video series helped me a lot in this project! Even after I was done with the presentation, I resisted sending it off to administration and sent it to a tech-savvy colleague for feedback. This is a big step for me, but I as I have gotten older I understand the importance of peer editing/revision.  Not much to change, which was good but I still didn't share it with the administration. 

Why you ask? I wanted to wait until a Sunday to send. I know that on Sunday my Principal is less stressed, but is still connected to her email account. So I sent it and figured I might not hear back for a couple of days. I got an answer back in MINUTES! She was excited! She took the idea further by asking if this tool could be used with the staff.  It was amazing like a magic trick! 

I can't wait to use this method again! It is a method that really allows me to lead from below when it comes to technology. The whole experience made me appreciate what administrators deal with on a regular basis and the million decisions they have to make every school year.

Is there a downside? Unfortunately yes. When my prinicpal said yes, she also asked it was approved by the district. Twitter is not blocked, so I didn't think it would be an issue. I figured I would use my tech connections to get a quick okay, but it would not be quick. Turns out we are the first school in the district to make the request and that is a problem. A month later it is making it up the ladder to the superintendent for approval. No wonder schools are decades behind. I guess we all have to break down the barriers one "yes" at a time.