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.

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.

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.

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?"

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.

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.

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.

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.

Learning is the Reward

A Principal's Reflections

Let’s face it, school, as we know it is driven by grades as the main reflection of what students do, or do not, know. What has resulted is a rat race of sorts where many kids and parents alike have their eye on the prize.

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.

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.

Research-Influenced Learning Spaces

A Principal's Reflections

Empathy and Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

“ It is easy to knock people down. Building people up is at the heart of empathetic leadership.” - @E_Sheninger No significant relationship can exist without trust. Without relationships, no significant learning occurs.

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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Authenticity in Leadership

A Principal's Reflections

Leading change in any organization is a difficult task. In many cultures the status quo is so entrenched that shifting mindsets and behaviors can be daunting. Clearly establishing the why is a natural starting point and can help to propel the change effort at hand.

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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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.

Be the Example

A Principal's Reflections

“ The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion. ” – Paulo Coelho Change is hard. I have been writing about this fact for years now. It becomes even harder when we are not modeling the expectations that we set for others. This was the case for me early on during my days as a principal.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Challenge of Change is Not You

A Principal's Reflections

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.

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.

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.

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.

Value-Added Schools

A Principal's Reflections

No, this is not a post about value-added evaluation practices. I believe that ship has sailed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Pulse of a Learning Culture

A Principal's Reflections

What makes a great and successful learning culture? If you were to ask the majority of stakeholders, they would typically say that a school or district that has high levels of achievement in the form of standardized test scores represents success.

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.

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.