A Principal's Reflections

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.

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.

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Unearthing the Why

A Principal's Reflections

There are so many important questions that we have to ask and attempt to find answers to. Many of these questions start with what, how, and why. Simon Sinek reminds us that the most important questions we should be asking need, and should start with, a focus on why.

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Is Technology Being Integrated Effectively?

A Principal's Reflections

In many cases, there seems to be a tendency to water down expectations when it comes to integrating technology.

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.

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.

Better Decisions, Better Leaders

A Principal's Reflections

The only thing that might be harder than embracing change is making tough decisions. A hallmark of great leadership is creating the conditions to arrive at consensus when major decisions will impact the entire school or district.

The Significance of Trust

A Principal's Reflections

“ The glue that holds all relationships together — including the relationship between the leader and the led — is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” ~ Brian Tracy Success in life hinges upon the ability to build and sustain relationships with others.

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.

Join SETDA: Affiliate Memberships Now Accepted

SETDA's Affiliate program connects non-profit education membership organizations with state leaders. SETDA's mission is to build the capacity of education leaders to improve learning through technology policy & practice. Benefits include: SETDA conferences, webinars and news feeds.

Rise of the Edupreneur

A Principal's Reflections

Entrepreneurs love what they do. They do what they love, are dreamers, but they also are doers and go-getters. Entrepreneurship may be missing from your resume, but shifting your perspective will change this as you experience the rush and benefits of an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Potential of Virtual Reality

A Principal's Reflections

Many educators, including myself, routinely talk about the need for innovation in education. If we continue to employ the same type of thinking then we will get the same or results. We also run the risk of taking a step backwards and experiencing worse results than anticipated.

Improving Instruction in a Digital World

A Principal's Reflections

The Rigor and Relevance Framework —an action ­oriented continuum that describes putting knowledge to use—gives teachers and administrators a way to develop both instruction and assessment while providing students with a way a way to project learning goals.

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.

The Process of Change

A Principal's Reflections

There is always a great deal of discussion about change in education in order to better prepare students for success. The stakes have become higher as changes in a globally connected world are far outpacing those in our schools.

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Why Every Leader Needs a PLN

A Principal's Reflections

The concept of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) has been around for a couple of years now. Educators who have embraced this concept have experienced firsthand the positive impact on professional practice that being a connected educator brings. The premise is relatively simple.

Associate for Success

A Principal's Reflections

I cannot overstate the importance of trust in establishing the foundation for relationships. In addition to trust various other elements contribute to the growth and strengthening of relationships. One that might not readily come to mind is association.

Our Work is Our Message

A Principal's Reflections

The following post is adapted from BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning. Branding matters in the changing world of learning, fueled by powerful digital resources (Sheninger, 2014). It’s time to make a choice – define or be defined.

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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Ideas and Tools to Give Everyone a Voice

A Principal's Reflections

Whether during a class, meeting, presentation, or workshop it can be at times extremely difficult to give everyone a voice.

Learning is Not Linear

A Principal's Reflections

I think, for the most part, everyone strives for success. We want to be successful in our professional as well as our personal lives. I strived to be the best possible principal for my students, staff, and community. Whether I was successful is a matter of perspective.

Relationships Are Everything

A Principal's Reflections

I recently had the honor of being a guest on Dr. Will Deyamport’s podcast called the Dr. Will Show. You can view the Google Hangout video HERE.

10 Strategies to Improve Instructional Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

I still vividly remember my early years as an assistant principal and principal. Instructional leadership was a routine part of the job along with the budget, master schedule, curriculum development, meetings, email, phone calls, and many other duties.

10 Tips to Make Learning REAL

A Principal's Reflections

Another Christmas has passed and I am continually amazed by the technologies that kids now have access to. For example, my son received a drone from my mother-in-law and has been playing with it non-stop for days now. At first, he was focused on just the basics of flying the device.

The Challenge of Change is Not You

A Principal's Reflections

The Need for More Play in School

A Principal's Reflections

As I kid I loved play. Countless hours were spent building forts in the woods, creating sand castles at the beach, riding bikes, playing Atari (then Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, etc.) or just running around for no apparent reason.

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The BrandED Conversation

A Principal's Reflections

“ People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ” – Maya Angelou When I was asked a while back to write a book for Jossey-Bass, I was relatively non-committal.

Educators are the True Rockstars

A Principal's Reflections

" To recruit the brightest and best, teaching needs to be a high status occupation " - Lord Adonis It is interesting how our culture works, especially here in the United States. We idolize those who entertain us such as actors, actresses, rockstars, and professional athletes to name a few.

Show You Care

A Principal's Reflections

As an identical twin it was always a challenge going through school. Initially my brother and I had to deal with the fact that our teachers could not tell us apart. My grandmother rectified this problem by outfitting each of us with belts that had our first initial on them.

Preparation for the New World of Work

A Principal's Reflections

A great deal has been written about the future and the importance of preparing students with the skills, mindset, and attributes necessary for success in a rapidly evolving world.

Making is a Process

A Principal's Reflections

“ No two makerspaces should be exactly alike, because no two school communities are exactly alike. Properly planning your makerspace will ensure that you uncover themes that are unique and meaningful to your school.

Implementing Mobile Devices With a Focus on Learning

A Principal's Reflections

The following post is a modified excerpt from Uncommon Learning. Mobile learning provides enhanced collaboration among learners, access to information, and a deeper contextualization of learning.

Leadership Transformed

A Principal's Reflections

For every education professional, adversity is a constant reality: lack of time, not enough resources, outdated facilities, resistant staff, and a slew of mandates/directives, to name a few.

Pay Attention to Your Digital Footprint

A Principal's Reflections

“ Your digital footprint paints a portrait of who you are as an educator, leader, school, or district.

Against the Flow Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

Change is uncomfortable for virtually everyone. I am the first person who will say that the process is not easy or absent of difficult challenges. The challenge of change becomes even more difficult when the main adversary is always right in front of us – our mindset.

Inspiring Students: Bringing Awe Back to Learning

A Principal's Reflections

Awe might seem like just another three-letter word, but it is so much more. A recent New York Times article detailed how humans can get goose bumps when we experience awe, that often-positive feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.

Be Wary of Putting the Cart Before the Horse

A Principal's Reflections

" Unless you get instructional design right, technology can only increase the speed and certainty of failure " - William Horton As budgets expand or money becomes available at the end of a school year, the knee jerk reaction of many schools is to go all in and spend it as quickly as possible.

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The Need For Digital Literacy

A Principal's Reflections

The following post is cross-posted at edu@scholastic. With 1:1 technology initiatives and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs increasingly being implemented in schools across the globe, the need for digital literacy education has become more important than ever.

Design Empowers Learning

A Principal's Reflections

All one has to do is look around and see the amazing changes that are taking place in workspaces across the world. I have always been enamored with what Google and Pixar have done to improve working conditions for their employees.

The Will and Courage to Lead

A Principal's Reflections

Over the past couple of weeks I have been either keynoting conferences or facilitating workshops focusing on digital leadership and learning. I relish the fact of being able to talk about creating schools that work for kids and leadership in the digital age.