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?

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?

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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.

Leadership Starts with You

Tom Murray

I’ve had the privilege of working for some amazing leaders over the years. Those leaders that had courage. Those leaders with an articulate vision. Those leaders who valued people first. Those leaders who helped foster cultures of risk-taking and innovation.

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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.

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.

Overcoming Social Media Fears

Tom Murray

Recently, I had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Amy Fast at one of our Future Ready Institutes.

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?

How Does Your Community Know?

Tom Murray

Matt Miller joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. To see other #LeadershipMinutes, click here. Every day in your school and district, great things happen. How does your community know?

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.

Custom eLearning: What to Consider as an L&D Manager

A custom eLearning project is an exciting opportunity, but any L&D Manager will also tell you it can be challenging. Inno-versity shares 5 points to consider before kicking off your project. These concepts are critical to addressing the most common pain points which, IF addressed, will ensure success.

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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How Do You Maintain Balance?

Tom Murray

Jessica Cabeen joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. I’ll start by saying I feel like a complete hypocrite writing this blog post as balance in life is something with which I struggle. There. I said it. I struggle to maintain a proper balance in life.

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.

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.

Teachers’ Guide to Plagiarism

This article provides teachers with a step-by-step guide on how to handle plagiarism in the classroom: it examines the definition of the term "plagiarism" and its types with examples, describes common reasons students plagiarize, and provides tips for teachers to detect and prevent plagiarism among students.

Culture Building: One Day at a Time

Tom Murray

Traveling the country and working with school and district leaders over the past four years has significantly altered my lens. Spending fourteen years in the same district in Pennsylvania was an incredible blessing. I worked with so many dynamic, kid-loving people.

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.

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.

Key Elements for Successful eLearning Projects

Discover how this rapid development process creates engaging, custom learning solutions on a timeline that works for you, why a strong learning culture is important, and how to showcase your Return on Learning (ROL) using data to tell the story.

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.

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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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.

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.

The Ultimate 12 Step Guide For Choosing The Perfect Learning Management System

Picking the wrong LMS can cost you. Don’t settle for a disconnected, hard-to-use, expensive system that doesn’t meet your needs. Follow these 12 steps crafted by Lambda Solutions' LMS experts, and find your perfect eLearning solution!

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 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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Ensure Equity to Break Patterns of the Past

Tom Murray

Pedro Noguera (@PedroANoguera) joins Thomas C. Murray for this #FutureReady minute. Blog Equity future ready Pedro Noguera

9 Great Nonprofits to Support School Leaders

Tom Murray

As shared in my previous posts 7 Great NonProfits Changing the Face of Professional Learning and 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. When I got connected on social media, my lens was expanded and I became aware additional organizations, as well as their supporting tools and resources. Upon moving to my role in Washington, DC, and working at the national level, I was quickly in awe at the sheer number of organizations that were working to support schools, as well as the many dynamic resources that they offered free for schools, many of which I had no idea were available when I needed them most. This is the third post in a short series meant to highlight the great work of many nonprofit organizations that are working diligently to support students’ learning on a daily basis. Many of the organizations, which are listed alphabetically, have free tools, research, case studies, and resources that can seamlessly be utilized and implemented at the district and school levels. All of these organizations are shifting the needle and working diligently to support school leaders nationwide. 1. The School Superintendents Association (AASA). Connect: www.aasa.org , @AASAHQ. Founded in 1865, AASA is the professional organization, comprised of over 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA members range from chief executive officers, superintendents and senior level school administrators to cabinet members, professors and aspiring school system leaders. AASA members advance the goals of public education and champion children’s causes in their districts and nationwide. As school leaders, AASA supports their members in setting the pace for academic achievement as they work to shape policy, oversee implementation, and represent school districts throughout the nation and worldwide. 2. The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) & Future Ready Schools (FRS). Connect: www.all4ed.org , @all4ed | www.futureready.org , @FutureReady. The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. The Alliance focuses on America’s six million most at-risk secondary school students—those in the lowest achievement quartile—who are most likely to leave school without a diploma or to graduate unprepared for a productive future. Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, supports school leadership teams in implementing high quality personalized student learning, based on the Future Ready Framework. The Alliance also has run Digital Learning Day for the past five years. 3. ASCD. Connect: www.ascd.org , @ASCD. Founded in 1943, ASCD is a global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. The association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. Comprised of over 125,000 superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from over 125 countries, ASCD also has 52 affiliate organizations. 4. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Connect: www.ccsso.org , @CCSSO. The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public. CCSSO also creates and shares a variety of tools and resources for school leaders. 5. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Connect: www.fi.ncsu.edu , @FridayInstitute. The mission of the Friday Institute is to advance education through innovation in teaching, learning, and leadership. Bringing together educational professionals, researchers, policy-makers, and other community members, the Friday Institute is a center for fostering collaborations to improve education. FI conducts research, develops educational resources, provides high quality professional learning programs for educators including leadership massive open online courses (MOOCs), advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policy-making at a regional and national level. 6. Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL). Connect: [link] , @IELconnects. The Institute for Educational Leadership, founded in 1964, works to equip leaders to rise above institutional barriers and to build effective systems that prepare children and youth for postsecondary education, careers, and citizenship. With a vision of society using all of its resources to effectively to provide an equal opportunity for all children and youth to learn, develop, and become contributing citizens of our democracy, IEL, works to serve as a catalyst to helps policymakers, school leaders, and practitioners bridge silos and undo gridlock to improve outcomes for all young people and their families. 7. National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Connect: www.naesp.org , @NAESP. Founded in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), is a professional organization serving elementary and middle school principals and other education leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and worldwide. NAESP advocates for the support principals need to be successful 21st century leaders; so that they can achieve the highest results for children, families, and communities. 8. National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Connect: www.nassp.org , @NASSP. Founded in 1916, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), is a professional organization serving secondary school principals and other education leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and worldwide. NASSP advocates for the support principals need as well as policies and practices to support their leadership in today’s public schools. 9. State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Connect: www.setda.org , @SETDA. SETDA, a nonprofit organization, was launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations. SETDA’s mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. From Connectivity and e-Rate to Open Education Resources, SETDA provides a variety of papers, tools, and resources to support state and district leaders in their digital transition. I encourage school leaders to check out the work of these dynamic nonprofit organizations, share them with those who could benefit, and leverage the free tools and resources they provide to support high quality teaching and learning. Our kids need and deserve high octane, authentic learning opportunities and these organizations are working to support educators at all levels in making it possible. All for the kids we serve, Blog AASA All4ed Alliance for Excellent Education ASCD CCSSO Council of Chief State School Officers Friday Institute Future Ready Schools Institute for Educational Leadership NAESP NASSP NonProfit SETDA

Leveraging Learner Variability to Elevate Equity in EdTech

Speaker: Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer & Executive Director, Learner Variability Project

In this webinar, Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer of Digital Promise, will share his insights into the modern boom in neuroscience and learning sciences research. You'll discover how much more we know now about how students learn - and how we can use that knowledge to create EdTech-enabled classrooms that can meet the diverse needs of all students.

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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Getting to YES!

Tom Murray

Chris Craft (@crafty184) joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. Blog #LeadershipMinute Chris Craft

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Getting Started with Design Thinking

Tom Murray

Juliani joins Tom for this #LeadershipMinute. Blog AJ Juliani Design Thinking Thomas C. Murray

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Technology Is An Accelerant

Tom Murray

Tom shares some thoughts from a recent keynote in Kansas on the effective use of edtech for this #LeadershipMinute. Blog edtech future ready Technology

EdTech at School

This E-book is designed to support educators with case studies of education technology use at school.