Leading AMS in the Digital Age

Article excerpt

The phenomenal growth in the use of the Internet worldwide and the falling barriers to global communication are having a dramatic effect on associations, including our American Montessori Society. Internet use as a percentage of world population has grown from just 0.4% in December 1995 to an impressive 13.9% in March 2005. According to the website www.internet worldstats.com, if the current rate of Internet growth continues, the world will have more than 1 billion Internet users by December 2005.

Central to my AMS leadership role will be the strengthening of our Internet presence for a truly global-and electronically connected-Montessori audience. Here are a number of avenues I plan to pursue, given the momentous digital challenges and opportunities we face:

* Updating the AMS Strategic Plan to include concrete actions to harness new technologies

* Ensuring that we are in regular online contact with AMS members who have e-mail addresses, with a goal of reaching 100% of those members by the end of 2006

* Communicating with members on a more frequent basis through electronic newsletters

* Securing the resources to completely redesign and reinvigorate our website (www.amshq.org)

* Disseminating knowledge via our website about Montessori methods and exemplary practices

* Facilitating the work of AMS committees and task forces who choose to meet online and work virtually

* Encouraging more electronic social networking among members with the goal of strengthening mutual support relationships

* Expanding education and professional development opportunities through a variety of Internet-based technologies such as computer conferencing

* Promoting a spirit of community among our membership, using the power of the Internet to connect us and promote a sense of belonging

I invite you to join me in mobilizing change in the larger Montessori community in this exciting digital age! …