Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Using Leadership Academies to Move School Systems Forward

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Tuesday, June 25, 12:15–1:15 pm
Location: 113A

Scott McLeod  
Learn about 5- to 7-day, year-long innovation academies that have been conducted in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Kentucky and North Dakota for school leaders. The academies have significantly impacted school innovation efforts in those states through deep immersion, shared understandings and collective commitments.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Leadership
Topic: Educational policy and leadership
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Excellence in Professional Practice
  • Facilitate and participate in learning communities that stimulate, nurture and support administrators, faculty and staff in the study and use of technology.
Systemic Improvement
  • Establish and leverage strategic partnerships to support systemic improvement.
Visionary Leadership
  • Inspire and facilitate among all stakeholders a shared vision of purposeful change that maximizes use of digital age resources to meet and exceed learning goals, support effective instructional practice, and maximize performance of district and school leaders.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to describe the 5- to 7-day innovation academies that have been conducted with numerous school districts in five states. Rather than a few school leaders attending a conference and then trying to mobilize their peers toward more innovation-focused learning environments, the academies have helped create a critical mass of administrators that together not only have shared understandings but also shared commitments. The academies allowed us to go both broad and deep, to chart a progression over time that built leadership understanding and capacity.

More detail at and


10 minutes - overview of statewide models (Iowa, Kentucky, and North Dakota)
15 minutes - overview of district-level models (Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa)
35 minutes - conversation, local implementation, and action planning

Numerous resources, facilitation activities, and academy agendas will be provided to participants.

Supporting research

Dintersmith, 2018, What School Could Be

McLeod, S. (2015, Winter). The challenges of digital leadership. Independent School, 74(2) 38-41.

McLeod, S. (2017, October). Change at scale: The 1:1 movement in Iowa. Empowered Learner, 1(2), 6-7.

Schrum & Levin, 2012, Evidence-Based Strategies for Leading 21st Century Schools

Senge, 2010, The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

Senge, 2012, Schools That Learn

More [+]


Scott McLeod, University of Colorado Denver

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