Tom Murray

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.

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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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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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.

9 Great Nonprofits to Support School Leaders

Tom Murray

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.).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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The Problem with Prepackaged STEM Products

Tom Murray

The following is a guest post from Ross Cooper. Connect with Ross on Twitter. Over the last handful of years we have seen an explosion in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

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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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9 Ways to Upgrade Professional Learning in Your District

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. The notion of “effective professional learning” is something that has been discussed for decades.

Student Data Privacy: What’s Your Obligation?

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For over two centuries, student information and data was kept in paper form, often in filing cabinets in a school or district office. During this time, there was little concern over security breaches, improper data sharing, or student privacy issues. Similar to other industries (healthcare, financial, etc.),

Hacking Project Based Learning: A free webinar!

Tom Murray

School leaders across the country are working to create meaningful, authentic, and real-world learning experiences inside their schools and classrooms. Hacking Project Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom , by authors Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy , is a dynamic read and addresses many of the myths associated with leveraging a PBL approach to teaching and learning.

3 Keys to Designing Learner-Centered Spaces

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. The average high school classroom, if drawn on a map, resembles a cemetery. Last summer, I co-authored a piece on “ avoiding the cemetery effect ” for this exact reason.

The New National Education Technology Plan: What’s in it for Me?

Tom Murray

** This blog was originally posted at futureready.org/netp. In December of 2015, on the same day that President Obama signed the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education released the 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP).

Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K–6 Classroom

Tom Murray

From coast to coast, U.S. schools are buying tremendous amounts of technology, placing these tools in classrooms, and often are left wondering what to do with it. So, what is it that actually works? On Tuesday, September 12th, from 2:00-2:30 pm EST, join author and long time educator, Kristin Ziemke and me as we discuss: Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom ! Join us next week! More here: (Note: The webinar will be archived on the same URL after the event.).

Redesigning the Learning Experience

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

16 Great NonProfits Working to Support EdTech in Schools

Tom Murray

Prior to my role as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools ® , I spent 14 years in a public school in Pennsylvania as an elementary and middle school teacher, middle school and elementary principal, and district level technology director. During my time as a public school employee, I’d occasionally hear about educational organizations that were working to support schools in some capacity.

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Open Education – Where do I begin?

Tom Murray

This blog was originally posted on the Future Ready website at [link].

Every Day…She Ran to You

Tom Murray

At the end of last summer, my wife and I watched our little girl step on a school bus for the very first time. With tears in our eyes, we wrote the post, “ Written With Love On Your First Day of Kindergarten ”, as a piece of our collective heart forever took her first real steps without us by her side. Her smile radiated and her confidence sparkled, but for her mom and dad, letting her grow wings, we’ll admit, was hard. For us, it meant that it was time to start to let go, even just a little bit.

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7 Great NonProfits Changing the Face of Professional Learning

Tom Murray

As mentioned in my previous post 16 Great NonProfits Working to Support EdTech in Schools , prior to my role as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, I spent 14 years in a public school in Pennsylvania as an elementary and middle school teacher, middle school and elementary principal, and district level technology director. During my time as a public school employee, I’d occasionally hear about educational organizations that were working to support schools in some capacity.

"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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Learning Transformed: A Free Webinar!

Tom Murray

Good Afternoon, Friends! This Thursday, September 21st, from 3:00-3:45 pm EST, my co-author, Eric Sheninger and I will join former Governor and Alliance for Excellent Education President, Bob Wise, for a free webinar on our new book: Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today. We can’t thank enough the thousands of school leaders who have already invested in the book and are using it as a roadmap to transform teaching and learning in their schools and classrooms.

9 Steps for Choosing a Device

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Having worked with almost 500 school districts and 3,000 school leaders over the past year, I’ve often been asked, “What type of devices should we buy?” The problem with this question, is that quite often this is the leading question – the initial area that the district is investigating.

Ensuring Access and Opportunity; Supporting At Home Connectivity

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. According to a report released by the Pew Research Center, approximately 5 of the 29 million households with school-aged children lack access to high quality broadband internet while at home. The research indicates that almost one-third of households whose incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high-speed internet connection.

What Makes a Great Education Tweet?

Tom Murray

Since getting its start less than a decade ago, more than a billion users have signed up for Twitter, with an estimated 320 million of them currently active. While Katy Perry ( @katyperry ) may top the charts with the most followers (80 million and counting), the average number of Twitter followers for those of us who aren’t pop sensations is a more modest 208. Regardless of who the user may be or the number of followers one may have, each tweet is restricted to a simple 140 characters.

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 Ways to Build Culture When Leading a Digital Conversion

Tom Murray

This post originally appeared on www.futureready.org. The shift to Future Ready Schools with blended and digital learning is dramatically changing the role of the school leader and requires focused attention on the critical importance of school culture in a successful transition.

Hacking Leadership: A Free Webinar!

Tom Murray

It’s not every day that I get to interview someone who I consider one of the top educators in country and say that the person also happens to be one of my best friends. If I could sum up Joe Sanfelippo in one sentence, it would be that he is an incredible family man, an amazing school leader who walks the walk, one of today’s best thinkers on the topic of school leadership and the notion of branding, and the exact type of educator I want leading the way for my own children.

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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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.

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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.