A Principal's Reflections

Special Education (SPED) and Remote Learning

A Principal's Reflections

In a previous post , I shared some ideas as well as strategies that districts could embrace to establish a realistic remote learning plan taking into consideration both digital and non-digital pathways.

Distance Learning Resources

A Principal's Reflections

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting us all to the test both mentally and physically. Schools across the world have begun to shut down for extended periods of time and distance learning plans are either being developed or put into effect. I will be the first one to say that this is no easy task.

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Tips for Engaging Families in Remote Learning

A Principal's Reflections

Throughout my #remotelearning series , I have tried to provide practical ideas and strategies that can be used now. One aspect that needs more attention, at least in my opinion, is how we can assist parents throughout this ordeal.

Navigating Your Journey to Remote Learning

A Principal's Reflections

The COVID-19 pandemic has jolted the world in ways that many of us have never seen or could have predicted. Social distancing has quickly become the thing to do and will soon be the cultural norm.

Need Remote Learning NOW? Get Online Quickly & Easily With This Can’t-Miss Guide

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!

Students Remember Experiences, Rarely Grades

A Principal's Reflections

As a kid, my parents used to take me to professional baseball and hockey games all the time. Even though I was an avid sports fan, I think I looked forward to the food and walking around the venue more than watching the sport that was being played.

Great Leaders Embrace Multiple Styles

A Principal's Reflections

We have all heard the saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It represents a sound piece of advice for any leader, especially in the field of education.

Overcoming Fear of Change

A Principal's Reflections

" I have accepted fear as a part of life - specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back." - Erica Jong We are in the midst of disruptive times. Some might say that this has always been the case, and that is true.

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How to Improve Checks for Understanding

A Principal's Reflections

A great deal of time is spent developing and providing feedback on lessons with the goal being student learning. Regardless of the terminology that is used, virtually every plan follows a format to help achieve this outcome.

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Creating Interactive Lessons Through App Smashing

A Principal's Reflections

Remote learning has been thrust upon school districts. The result has been disruptive change like we have never seen before. In a previous post, I shared some broader ideas to help navigate these uncharted waters.

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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.

Knowing Where We Are Paves the Way for Change: The Impact of Coaching

A Principal's Reflections

I often tell audiences during keynotes and workshops that my role isn’t to tell anyone what to do, but instead to get educators to think critically about what they do.

The Stages of Innovative Change

A Principal's Reflections

Change isn't coming as it is already on our doorstep. Granted, this has been the case for thousands of years thanks to either discoveries such as fire and cultivated crops or inventions that led to the creation of electricity, manufacturing, and expeditious travel.

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Where is Your Learning Culture?

A Principal's Reflections

There are many factors that inhibit change. In some cases, comfort is the enemy of growth. We teach the way we were taught or lead the way we were led. Now I am not saying that this is bad per se, but the bottom line is whether or not the practice is effective.

6 Ways to Improve Professional Learning

A Principal's Reflections

No matter your position in education, you have gone through some form of professional development. In many cases, the act of being “developed” comes in a variety of standard types such as workshops, mandated PD days, presentations, conferences, book studies, or keynotes.

EdTech at School

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

Opening Lessons With a Bang

A Principal's Reflections

I t seems like ages ago that I was taking courses to become a teacher at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. My professors were huge proponents of the Instructional Theory into Practice (ITIP) model developed by Madeline Hunter.

10 Ways to Empower Educators

A Principal's Reflections

What motivates you to be your best, take risks, and seek out opportunities to improve? I’d be willing to wager that there are an array of responses you would give to this question.

Questions to Guide a Reflective Conversation on Learning

A Principal's Reflections

Most educators desire meaningful feedback that can be used as a catalyst for growth. When it comes to improving learning, criticism will rarely, if ever at all, lead to changes to professional practice.

Bookend Pedagogy

A Principal's Reflections

As I work with more and more schools in a coaching role, I am beginning to see specific trends emerge. Now, before I go any further, it goes without saying that I see fantastic examples of sound pedagogical practice and innovative strategies that are leading to improved learning outcomes.

6 eLearning Trends in Custom eLearning Solutions

Most digital learning trends focus too much on the "digital" and not enough on the "learning". It is not enough that content builders master available tools. We need a return to core learning fundamentals. Get Inno-Versity's eBook for 6 of the most important trends coming to digital learning.

Edtech Tools for SPED, Math, and Reading

A Principal's Reflections

Over the past two years, I have been blessed to partner with District 205 in Elmhurst, IL.

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If It's Easy Then it Probably Isn't Learning

A Principal's Reflections

What is the purpose of education? To many, this might seem like a ridiculous question with the answer being quite obvious. Or is it? For this post at least, let’s go with learning. Some might equate this with the successful ability to be able to recall or memorize facts and information.

It Won't Work.Or Will It?

A Principal's Reflections

When we look at various aspects of society, there is always an innate desire to improve through innovation. However, there seems always to be impediments to this process. Perhaps it is the little voice in your head that says any new idea or strategy is a waste of time, as it has no chance to succeed.

Bringing Out the Best in Others

A Principal's Reflections

It’s no secret that great cultures bring out the best in people and in turn, this leads to systemwide success. Success is a fickle thing, though.

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.

Flexible Spaces Need to Lead to Flexible Learning

A Principal's Reflections

Do you remember the classrooms that you learned in as a child? I sure do and not for many positive reasons. Each room was a carbon copy of one another, where you would have as many uncomfortable desks lined up in cute little neat rows. The exception was science classrooms flush with lab tables.

The Right Questions

A Principal's Reflections

“ We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell. ” - James Stephens Questioning techniques are one of the easiest areas of instructional design that can be improved, at least in my opinion. By looking at the question stems, one can determine the level of thinking our learners are expected to demonstrate. Low-level examples almost always begin with who, what, where, when. These aren’t bad per se as you need knowledge to move up any knowledge taxonomy chart. The problem is when questions reside here and don’t push kids to think and apply their thinking in more complex ways. Learners also don’t find much purpose with these beyond just getting them right. Herein lies one of my major issues with how I see many digital game tools used in the classroom as typically comprised of low-level, multiple-choice options. As I mentioned before, there is a time and place for this. However, it goes without saying that an emphasis on recall and memorization will not prepare kids adequately to thrive now and in the future. Disruption caused by the 4th Industrial Revolution , and living in a knowledge economy, continues to teach us this lesson. If a student can easily Google the answer, then it goes without saying that the question isn’t very challenging. In the end, questions are more important than answers if learning is the goal. More on this later. The image above provides a great visual to look at the types of questions that are asked in classrooms or on assignments and scaffold them in ways that empower learners to demonstrate high-level thinking as well as mastery of concepts. It is important to note that each and every question doesn’t have to be at the uppermost levels of knowledge taxonomy. The key is to try to bump them up when warranted, especially if they are at the foundational knowledge level. If question stems begin with who, what, where, or when then there is a natural opportunity to tweak them in a way to get up to at least the understanding level. Now don’t get me wrong; developing great questions that get kids thinking is excellent. However, the real goal should be the creation of performance tasks where learners are applying their thinking in relevant ways. This is where the role of instructional design is critical. When challenging learners through an authentic application where there is an underlying purpose, what results is natural inquiry. During numerous coaching visits with schools across the country, I have seen this play out over and over again. Students are so immersed in an activity that collaboration, creativity, and collaboration converge with thinking while they work to solve real-world predictable and unpredictable problems. What results is that the students then develop and answer their own questions. The Rigor Relevance Framework , of which an iteration is pictured above, is a great tool that can assist teachers and administrators develop better questioning techniques and learning tasks to engage kids with a higher purpose. What results is the process of inquiry, which fuels the learning process. The right question isn’t necessarily about arriving at an answer per se, but instead it acts as a catalyst for the development of more questions. inquiry questioning Rigor Relevance Framework scaffolding

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Buncee and Immersive Reader: A Winning Combination for Assistive Learning

A Principal's Reflections

I am a huge fan of Buncee. The following is a guest post by Rachelle Dene Poth ( @Rdene915 ), Spanish and STEAM Teacher at Riverview High School in PA. For several years, Buncee has been one of my favorite creation tools; both for personal use and for classroom instruction.

Learning Never Stops

A Principal's Reflections

“ Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” – Abigail Adams How do you make, not find, the time to learn and get better? Often the number one impediment in this area is fitting it into our busy schedules. Trust me; I get it.

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.

Return on Instruction (ROI) Revisited

A Principal's Reflections

The pursuit to improve never ends and nor should it. With all of the disruption we see as a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution, changes to how we educate kids have to be considered.

The Future of Work

A Principal's Reflections

The future of work should be on the top of everyone’s mind as it is smacking us right now in the face. As I have previously written, we are in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, where rampant innovation and exponential advances in technology are changing the societal landscape.

Removing the Stigma of Observations

A Principal's Reflections

As a teacher, I always dreaded observations early in my career. It wasn’t because I didn’t find them valuable or was torn apart. On the contrary, I found them to be an excellent opportunity to see how I was doing.

Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution

A Principal's Reflections

“ Don’t prepare kids for something. Prepare them for anything !” I remember a world without the Internet, smart devices, mobile phones, 3D printers, and 4K televisions sets. After all, this was the world that many of us grew up in.

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.