As schools prepare their budgets for the new fiscal year, the time comes when either new positions or vacancies must be filled. In most instances, the hiring process can be quite labor intensive. Assistant heads, division heads, teachers, and students are often involved in the process but in an effort to reduce load, I simply propose that your school consider this, when you hire someone you hire their network. While the concept of networking is not a novel one, I would emphasize that my definition of network is better suited to the personal learning network. If your school is serious about developing 21st century skills, developing relationships with other schools, and making better global citizens, then it is essential that those doing the hiring recognize the importance of the network potential employees can bring to their school.
After reviewing resumes, like many organizations, I head to the web to see what kind of digital footprint the potential candidate has. Essentially, does the candidate Google Well. If things go well for the candidates, they are present in some of the following digital arenas:
- they have a blog or they post comments regularly
- preferably about their educational philosophy or activities that convey that philosophy
- they have an active twitter account with useful tweets
- they actively participate in educational nings
- they have their own website
- an ePortfolio of activities
- their Facebook page does not contain questionable material
Will one miss a jewel in the rough? Possibly, but one can certainly glean a great deal more from a candidate who participates regularly online. While this method works when looking for instructional technologists, tech directors, and tech coordinators, it is time for schools to be more selective and expect candidates to Google Well because it is no longer good enough to simply know the material.