A Principal's Reflections

The Pedagogy of Digital Discussion

A Principal's Reflections

I wasn’t an overly confident student when it came to engaging in open conversations during class. If one of my teachers posed a question, I only raised my hand if I was 99.9% sure that I knew the correct answer.

Reflective Learning as the New Normal

A Principal's Reflections

The quest to improve pedagogy, and in turn learner outcomes, is a focus of many schools. We toil away at chasing the next big innovative idea, trend, or tool as a path to improvement yet little changes. Maybe success lies in taking a more detailed look at daily practice.

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Preparing Learners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A Principal's Reflections

Do you like change? If you do, then living in the present is an exhilarating experience. For those who don’t, buckle up as we are only going to see unprecedented innovations at exponential rates involving technology. You can’t run or hide from it.

Using Feedback Logs to Empower Learners

A Principal's Reflections

The most successful companies are successful because they are always looking for ways to improve. When it comes to their employees, there is no ceiling as they are continually pursuing pathways and allocating resources to help the best get even better.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Relevance is the Fuel of Learning

A Principal's Reflections

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the importance of focusing on the why as it relates to learning. Here is a piece of my thinking that I shared: The why matters more than ever in the context of schools and education. What all one must do is step into the shoes of a student.

Digital Leadership is Not Optional

A Principal's Reflections

“ Leadership has less to do with position than it does disposition.” – John Maxwell I am currently working on a new edition of Digital Leadership for Corwin and I am very excited, as it will be in color.

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Teachers are the Driving Force of Change

A Principal's Reflections

During virtually every keynote, presentation, or workshop that I give, the topic of change is very much a part of it. Leading the effort to uproot the status quo and prepare kids for anything as opposed to something is easier said than done.

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Five Components of Good Feedback

A Principal's Reflections

Everyone needs feedback in order to improve. You would be hard-pressed to identify any profession where it isn’t a central component to success.

Finding Comfort in Growth

A Principal's Reflections

" Comfort is the enemy of progress." - Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman Have you ever been complacent when it comes to undertaking or performing a task? Of course, you have, as this is just a part of human nature.

A Practical Way to Increase Access to Mobile Technology Regardless of Age

A Principal's Reflections

More and more schools are either installing or improving WiFi networks in schools. We still have a long way to go in many places, but the increase in access provides kids with an array of innovative learning opportunities that continue to evolve.

Power Up Your Spaces

A Principal's Reflections

Times are a changing in case you haven’t noticed. We have seen disruptive innovation across so many different sectors of society. If you were to go back in time and pinpoint when disruption began to take off, I would wager that it correlates with the proliferation of the smartphone.

Tic Tack Toe in the Blended Classroom

A Principal's Reflections

The other day I was conducting some learning walks with the administrative team at Wells Elementary School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD).

Scaffolding Questions to Develop Deeper Understanding

A Principal's Reflections

Over the past couple of months, I have been working with a variety of schools and districts in the role of a coach.

A Pedagogical Shift Needed for Digital Success

A Principal's Reflections

In a previous post I discussed in detail strategies to help ensure the effective use of technology to improve learning outcomes. You don’t have to be a fan of technology, but you do need to understand that it’s a catalyst for some exciting pedagogical changes.

Cognitive Flexibility: Paving the Way For Learner Success

A Principal's Reflections

A few years back the World Economic Forum came out with an article titled The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To Improve Outcomes, We Need to Take a Critical Lens to Instructional Design

A Principal's Reflections

No one can deny the fact that we are seeing some pretty exciting changes to teaching, learning, and leadership. Advances in research, brain science, and technology are opening up new and better pathways to reach learners like never before.

Shifting from Passive to Active Learning

A Principal's Reflections

“ Nothing could be more absurd than an experiment in which computers are placed in a classroom where nothing else is changed. ” - Seymour Papert When it comes to improving outcomes in the digital age, efficacy matters more than ever.

Ownership Through Inquiry

A Principal's Reflections

As a child, I was enamored by nature. My twin brother and I were always observing and collecting any and all types of critters we could get our hands on. Growing up in a rural area of Northwestern New Jersey made it quite easy to seek out and find different plants and animals on a daily basis.

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Critical Thinking in the 21st Century and Beyond

A Principal's Reflections

One of my fondest memories of school was my science teacher, Mr. South. Having attended a K-8 consolidated school in rural NJ, we knew who all the teachers were. However, Mr. South stood out.

Pushing Learners to Think with Performance Tasks

A Principal's Reflections

Pedagogy has been at the forefront of my thinking and work as of late. Decades of solid research have laid the foundation for current studies that bring to light how we can improve teaching, learning, and leadership.

Blended Instruction vs Blended Learning

A Principal's Reflections

Schools continue to make investments in technology to engage students better, improve outcomes, and prepare all learners for the new world of work. We are beginning to see more and more innovative uses of technology not just to personalize, but also to make the learning process more personal.

The Journey to Becoming an Author

A Principal's Reflections

I never imagined I would have authored or co-authored a book, let alone six. My unexpected journey began with a decision to give Twitter a try in 2009.

Change the Narrative

A Principal's Reflections

No matter our level of digital proficiency, educators grapple with the rough-and-tumble pace that professional connectivity demands in our new age. A change of thinking is in order if we are to face a hyperlinked world of education.

Achieving a Balance

A Principal's Reflections

When it comes to work, I have had to battle some internal conflicts over the years. Early on in my career as a school administrator, and then again in my work in my current position as an ICLE Senior Fellow , I had to be put in place, thankfully, by those who care a great deal about me.

The Lost Art of Listening

A Principal's Reflections

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and knew with certainty that he or she was not listening? Of course, you have. It is fairly easy to tell when someone is not engaged in a conversation either through lack of eye contact, facial expressions, or the loathed phrase "What did you just say?"

School of Dreams

A Principal's Reflections

As many people know I am originally from the Northeastern part of the United States. I was born and raised in New Jersey, where I also became a teacher and eventually a principal. After meeting my wife in 2002, I moved to Staten Island, NY and resided there for thirteen years.

Keys for a Successful Digital Transformation

A Principal's Reflections

Nobody likes change, but the fact is that change is at our doorstep. Changes in technology are quickly beginning to force the hands of schools and districts across the world.

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Learning Transformed #LT8Keys

A Principal's Reflections

It has been quite the ride since I changed my perspective on teaching, learning, and leadership eight years ago. Prior to 2009 I basically saw technology as just an add-on and something that could spruce up a lesson.

Bridging Connections to Empower Learners

A Principal's Reflections

The other day I was working from home, which is a rarity for me these days. I huddled in my home office and focused my attention on email, writing a blog post, tweaking some presentations, and updating the digital handouts that all participants get during one of my keynotes or workshops.

Humanity's Gift

A Principal's Reflections

“ Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. ” ― Dalai Lama Typically, I am a very focused writer. Each post, for the most part, contains ideas and strategies focusing on improving teaching, learning, and leadership.

Learning Transformed Course

A Principal's Reflections

The reaction to Learning Transformed has been truly humbling. Tom Murray and I have watched many book studies and Twitter chats unfold since the release of the book in June of 2017. We have also had the honor of co-presenting workshops across the United States.

The Impact of an Educator

A Principal's Reflections

I fondly remember when I was first asked to consider what my future career path might be. Mrs. Williams, my kindergarten teacher, asked the class to draw a picture that articulated what we wanted to be when we grew up. I immediately knew exactly what I was going to draw. That was the easy part.

Stop the Homework Insanity and Let Kids Be Kids

A Principal's Reflections

I have so many fond memories of my childhood. Growing up in a relatively rural area of Northwestern New Jersey sure had its benefits. As we returned home from school each day, my brothers and I would jump off the bus and diligently make our way about a half-mile back to our house.

Student Agency: Moving From Talk to Action

A Principal's Reflections

When I reflect back on what we were able to accomplish at New Milford High School, I am overtaken by a great sense of pride. We were able to transform the learning culture of a traditional school and in the process got results while becoming an example that others emulated.

Why Learning and People Should Come First

A Principal's Reflections

I was recently working on my slide deck for a three-day workshop that will take participants on an immersive experience into digital leadership and learning.

Leading is Not Easy

A Principal's Reflections

This post, like so many, has been inspired by something I read. One of my favorite sites to glean more insight and knowledge on leadership is Inc.

To Fail Forward You Need to Believe in Yourself

A Principal's Reflections

" Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry A. Ford I was never one to embrace the mindset that failing at anything was good for you.

Competencies vs. Skills

A Principal's Reflections

The 21st Century skills discussion and debate has waged on even prior to the onset of this century.

Efficacy in Digital Learning

A Principal's Reflections

As a principal, the buck stopped with me. I was reminded of this by numerous superintendents during my tenure as a school leader.