Tom Murray

Stop Celebrating Low-Level Learning

Tom Murray

In the spring of 2002, I was teaching 4th grade in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a teacher in my second year, my classroom had a 1:1 student-to-device ratio. That’s right, in 2002, 17 years ago, we were 1:1. Palm Pilots. Yes, Palm Pilots. Remember those things?

Start with One Thing

Tom Murray

We all know the feeling… Being overwhelmed. Not knowing where to start.Being paralyzed by fear.Feeling like we’re juggling too many balls in the air. In the #LeadershipMinute video above, I connect with my good friend, Shannon Miller, who addresses this issue in which we can all relate.

Creating Future Ready Schools and Classrooms

Tom Murray

What is it that today’s modern learners need to thrive? How can schools and districts systemically create a vision of teaching and learning that’s personal, authentic, relevant, and harnesses the power of technology?

The Hidden Stories of Those Around Us

Tom Murray

Each one of us has a story. How much of your story do those around you know? Earlier this week, I boarded the 7:15a train to Washington, D.C. from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. As I do regularly, I found a seat, opened my laptop, turned up the volume in my headphones, and got connected so that I could do some work. Like I do many times each day, I took a moment and scanned my Twitter feed. While scrolling through, I came across The Hidden Story, a video shared by FranklinCovey Company.

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.

The Work You Do Has Power

Tom Murray

Blockbuster. Netflix.Toys ‘R’ Us. Amazon.Radio Shack. Amazon.Kmart. Amazon.Taxicab. LyftNewspapers. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. YouTube. On demand content.…and …and now Sears. Amazon. Advances in technology are disrupting almost every industry, and in almost every country.

Our Kids Need You

Tom Murray

You’ve heard it said countless times… “Kids today…” and it’s often not said in a positive manner.

Are You In Your Own Way?

Tom Murray

I often wonder how many times it’s been me. The roadblock. The great idea diverter. The dream killer. The innovation crusher. How many times has it been my own lens that has gotten in the way? …and I never even realized it?

Failure: A Part of Learning

Tom Murray

Adam Bellow joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. Blog #LeadershipMinute Adam Bellow BreakoutEDU Failure

How Do You Model Risk-Taking?

Tom Murray

I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was looking back through my notes as I sat next to her in a post-observation meeting, about to give feedback on the lesson from the day before. Two days earlier, I had run our faculty meeting. As a principal early in my career, so many of these meetings looked the same. They were one directional and primarily used to disseminate important information, complemented with the occasional team discussion.

Today’s Curriculum for the Higher Ed HR Leader

Speaker: Joseph Clay, Business Transformation Strategist at Oracle, and Jeffrey Haynes, Director with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Today’s universities and colleges face many challenges ranging from reconciling financial pressures, to ensuring student success, to managing complicated workforce dynamics. One thing they all have in common: Their head of HR must align the HR function to best support the institution as it navigates this current landscape.

In the Presence of a Hero…and How it Challenged Me as an Educator

Tom Murray

This post is dedicated to my new friend, Scott. Thank you, Scott, for challenging me to be a better educator, and more importantly, a better person. Recently, I had an experience that I can’t stop thinking about.

Designing Inclusive Learning Spaces

Tom Murray

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ” – Jonathan Swift Over the past few years, learning space redesign has become one of the trendiest topics in education. Yet, it’s imperative to remember that redesigning learning spaces is about how design impacts the brain and learning; NOT about being pretty for Pinterest.

300+ Digital Tools Crowdsourced by Educators #LT8Keys

Tom Murray

Simply put, educators are some of the most dynamic, creative, brilliant people on the planet. When we work alone, our effectiveness will be capped at our own potential. When we work together, our brilliance will only be capped by our own egos and pride.

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Free Resources to Support Your Work

Tom Murray

Yesterday, I joined former Illinois Superintendent Dr. Greg Goins, on the Reimagine Schools Podcast. You can listen to the podcast episode here: If you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear Greg and I discuss a variety of resources such as Future Ready Schools and Digital Learning Day, issues that we are all facing, ways to advocate for some of our children most in need, and the work of my home organization, The Alliance for Excellent Education, each of which I share below.

No. Your 3D Printer Does Not Make You Innovative.

Tom Murray

Few will disagree that over the past few years the notion of 3D printing in schools has gained incredible steam. It’s certainly one of the latest bandwagons.

7 Ways to Close the Access Gap

Tom Murray

Over the past few years, districts have been working diligently to close the access gap (coined in D.C. as the “Homework Gap”) to support students, particularly those most in need. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 5 million families do not have connectivity at home.

The Waze of Great Leadership

Tom Murray

Being one who travels virtually every week, I often find myself in remote locations, driving to hotels I’ve never seen, in a town I’ve never been.

6 Questions to Consider as You Start the School Year

Tom Murray

It was August of 2000. I was about to enter my very first year teaching fourth grade in Pennsylvania. At 21 years old and a new college degree in hand, I thought I had a clue as to what it would take to be a new teacher.

Teaching the “Netflix Generation” #LT8keys

Tom Murray

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” ” – John Dewey, 1915. The availability of content and the multitude of distribution platforms have grown exponentially in recent years.

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Learning Transformed: A PLC Opportunity

Tom Murray

This June will mark one year since my coauthor Eric Sheninger and I released Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today with ASCD. I feel blessed to say that the response by school leaders has been overwhelming.

Teaching the “Netflix Generation”

Tom Murray

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” ” – John Dewey. The availability of content and the multitude of distribution platforms have grown exponentially in recent years.

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8 New Books to Jump-Start Your Summer Learning

Tom Murray

It’s that time of year again. School leaders begin to make their plans for the summer months; from professional learning days to administrative PLCs. The best teachers begin counting up the time remaining to make a difference in the lives of their kids.

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In the News…2019

Tom Murray

January K12 Education Paves Its Own Path, District Administration Magazine, Link.

Why EdTech Initiatives Fail (…and a support to help!)

Tom Murray

Over the past decade, as school district budgets have remained relatively stagnant, spending on educational technology has continued to accelerate.

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8 Ways to Redesign on a Minimal Budget

Tom Murray

Redesigning learning spaces is far easier feat if the money exists to support it. However, the vast reality is many, if not most districts, don’t have the budget available to purchase new furniture, no less at scale. Thus when redesigning spaces, affordability and sustainability most always remain part of the conversation. Educators are some of the most creative, problem solvers on the planet, as many continue to develop cost saving hacks to create dynamic spaces for kids.

One Nice Thing.

Tom Murray

I’m amazingly blessed. My daughter attends an incredible public school district with dynamic leaders, and is in a first grade classroom with an amazingly talented teacher who truly loves and cares about the kids she serves. As two educators, my wife and I couldn’t ask for more for our own child.

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Changing the Way We Think About Technology in the Classroom #EdWriteNow

Tom Murray

This past July, after four straight weeks of travel, I’ll admit, I was tired. A few months earlier, I had been asked to join a team of ten authors on a project to benefit an amazing cause, The Will to Live Foundation ; an organization founded to support teen suicide prevention.

7 Ways to Build Trust with Your School Community #LT8keys

Tom Murray

If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you. – Unknown. In many schools, the community,—particularly parents—feels left in the dark. Within their own walls, schools often work diligently to communicate the latest initiatives, results, and grading practices, or they discuss things such as the Common Core State Standards.

"I Just Want to be Normal, Daddy."

Tom Murray

Finding strength in the midst of heartache Today was one of the those days. The kind of day that’s difficult to forget and one that rips your heart out as a parent. What started out as any Monday would, ended with me appreciating life and the love of my little ones that much more.

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ALMA SOLVES PROBLEMS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAD (Like Smartphones and Tablets Did)

Tom Murray

You may have seen my friend, Eric Sheninger's recent post, "Finally, an SIS Worth Switching For". Eric and I are both on Alma's Advisory Board and like him, I'm excited about this platform. As an SIS, it's the best-in-class.

Finally, an SIS Worth Switching For

Tom Murray

I’ve recently discovered an exciting new company called Alma, which has built a groundbreaking new Holistic Student Engagement Platform (an SIS/LMS hybrid) that I believe in so much that I’ve joined their Advisory Board.

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5 Concerns School Leaders have about Digital Transformation

Tom Murray

From Atlanta, Georgia to Vancouver, Washington, I've had the opportunity to travel and work with over a thousand district leaders over the past year. Regardless of which region of the country the conversation takes place, a number of concerns arise regarding a district's digital tranformation.

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6 Benefits of an Android Tablet

Tom Murray

A recent article in Fortune entitled, “Ultra cheap Chromebooks are killing it this year”, highlights the explosive growth of mobile devices in schools, and specifically relays how 72% of Chromebooks sales were to schools.

16 Questions for School Leaders Going Digital

Tom Murray

When implementing a digital conversion, it’s imperative for school leaders to have a systemic plan of implementation.