A Principal's Reflections

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.

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.

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.

Data 74

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

BYOD 101

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.

3 Simple (Yet Powerful) Leadership Lessons

A Principal's Reflections

There is no shortage of leadership advice available to anyone who wants some. A quick Google search of the best lessons or advice in the topic will unveil a treasure trove of tips, strategies, and ideas that can help anyone become a better leader in a classroom, school, district, or organization.

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.

Clean Slate

A Principal's Reflections

All kids have greatness hidden inside them. It is the job of an educator to help them find and unleash it. To make this goal a reality, we must change our thinking and believe in our abilities to improve learning for all kids.

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.

Stories Link Us Together

A Principal's Reflections

I absolutely love hearing and telling stories. There is so much magic in them and a good story can captivate an audience.

Learning Walks

A Principal's Reflections

Successful change and consistent improvement rely on many interconnected factors. I mention this, as it is important to note that it isn’t one particular action or person that ultimately moves an idea or initiative into something that positively impacts school culture.

Research-Influenced Learning Spaces

A Principal's Reflections

Measuring Impact with the Digital Practice Assessment (DPA)

A Principal's Reflections

Note: This post is directly related to my work at the International Center for Leadership in Education Efficacy has been on my mind a great deal as of late, and as a result, it has been reflected in my writing.

To Move Forward We Need to Let Go

A Principal's Reflections

“ We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea.

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.

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.

Scaling Change to Create Schools Learners Need and Deserve

A Principal's Reflections

We live in exciting times although it is often difficult to keep up with how fast society is changing. Many of us can remember a world where there was no Internet or smartphones.

Avoiding Initiative Overload

A Principal's Reflections

As many of us know all too well, the process of change is not always a successful venture. It is fraught with twists and turns, not to mention challenges that come in all shapes and sizes. Out of the chaos excuses materialize, further complicating the process.

Will You Step Up?

A Principal's Reflections

" The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others." - Albert Schweitzer A major Category 4 Hurricane hit the Corpus Christie area in South Texas last Friday leaving a path of destruction.

Get Your SWOT On

A Principal's Reflections

Leaders often find and leverage tools, frameworks, and systems to support their own change, as well as that of their school or district. There are many great options out there.