Tom Murray

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

9 Great Nonprofits to Support School Leaders

Tom Murray

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Media Literacy: A Moral Imperative (…and a guide to support your work!)

Tom Murray

I’ll admit, some days I sit back and watch in amazement and find myself imitating the eye rolling emoji. “All Facebook Posts will be Made Public.” ” “Share this link and get a $50 Lowe’s Mother’s day Coupon.” ” “[Politician’s Name] Investigator Found Murdered in D.C. Suburb.” ” “Disney is giving away…Share this post to be entered to win.” ” (HA-HA! This makes me laugh out loud every time.).

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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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Can Companies Like Facebook Help Close the Access Gap?

Tom Murray

This past weekend I was searching for a particular feature inside the Facebook app while on my cell phone. As I scrolled through some of the settings, I realized that a new feature had been added.

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Acceptable or Responsible? What’s Your Use Policy?

Tom Murray

A portion of below is an excerpt from the new ASCD book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today , and is co-written by Thomas C. Murray and Eric Sheninger.

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"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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From Heartache to Hope

Tom Murray

This post is dedicated to the five people that lost their lives and the many that were affected by the events at the Fort Lauderdale airport on January 6, 2017. January 6th began like so many other travel days for me. After keynoting an event the night before, I woke up, packed my belongings from the hotel where I was staying, grabbed breakfast with some new friends I had met while at the event, and later that morning caught an Uber ride to the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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13 Digital Tools to Empower Active Use

Tom Murray

Today’s digital world is littered with drill and kill technology, much of it no different than a digital version of the worksheets of years past. Simply digitizing past practice serves little instructional purpose and ultimately leads to low levels of learning. These types of practices have lead to a number of studies that have indicated that purchasing more technology does not increase student learning.

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10 Steps to Developing a Powerful Learning Culture

Tom Murray

“Be the leader you wish you had.” Simon Sinek. Professional learning in many districts must undergo radical reform, from a model that’s outdated and ineffective to one that’s personal, empowering, and owned by the learner. How can we create such a culture of ownership and empowerment? Clearly define and articulate the vision. Do all stakeholders understand the district’s direction? How should instruction improve with the time that’s invested? How will students benefit?

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4 Ways to Leverage Tablets Beyond the Classroom

Tom Murray

Routers on school buses to bring wifi to the poorest parts of the community. District wifi maps indicating free business hotspots throughout the community. Wifi kiosks in low income housing.

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Let's Celebrate Great Things in Education!

Tom Murray

Much of the great work being done in our schools every day by teachers, administrators, school staff, parents and students is unknown to the general public.

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Professional Learning that Connects and Empowers Teachers

Tom Murray

As educators, our core business is learning. We fulfill a multitude of additional roles that are also extremely important, yet, at its essence, education is about learning and our schools and school districts must be learning-focused organizations.

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5 Keys to Effective Digital Learning Implementation

Tom Murray

Each year, billions of dollars are spent on educational technology in the United States.

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Digital Learning Day Ignites the Blended Flame

Tom Murray

As part of the 3rd annual Digital Learning Day, educational leaders from all over country descended upon the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on February 5th.

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5 Key Takeaways from #edcampusa

Tom Murray

The energy at the end of the day was infectious. To hear Emily Davis from the US Department of Education speak with such passion about what had occurred at the DOE that day was both encouraging and inspiring.

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For My Prince and Princess on Father's Day

Tom Murray

In two days, my little boy will be one. In a blink of an eye, he’s gone from a sweet newborn baby, to a crazy babbling toddler on the verge of taking steps of his own. My princess, now four, talks about her wedding day, what she wants to be when she grows up, and her favorite app of the day.

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This One's for You, Grandpa!

Tom Murray

I can remember bouncing on your lap when I was about three. I remember the silly gifts you’d give, your incredible sense of humor, your amazing model of how to be a father and grandfather, and how to this day, I consider you the most brilliant man I’ve ever known.

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Four Ways to Support Your School's Digital Transformation

Tom Murray

Digital learning is an instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience.

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Every Child, Every Answer, Every Time

Tom Murray

For generations, a traditional one size-fits-all instructional model has reigned paramount in our nation’s classrooms.

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Learning Transformed #LT8keys Holiday Giveaway

Tom Murray

Friends, Regardless of which holiday(s) you may celebrate, we can all agree that the holiday season is more about giving than receiving. Whether it’s a gift during one of Hanukkah’s eight holy nights, presents under the tree Christmas morning, giving in celebration of Kwanzaa, etc.,

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Lessons from an Uber Ride

Tom Murray

Traveling often, Uber has become a regular mode of transportation for me. I often enjoy talking to the drivers and hearing their story. Many stories – and the lives of the people – have been fascinating.

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Does Your District Have a Solid Data Foundation?

Tom Murray

For over two years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel from coast to coast speaking and working alongside thousands of school leaders and hundreds of school district teams.

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6 Keys to a Successful 1:1 Implementation

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Over the past few years, as most school budgets have remained stagnant, spending in educational technology has continued to climb.

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