July, 2011

Qualities of Effective Principals

A Principal's Reflections

Cross-posted at the Huffington Post: Effective Leadership in the Age of Reform. School improvement efforts rely heavily on quality leadership. Educational leaders are tasked with establishing a collective vision for school improvement and initiating change to spur innovation, ensure student learning, and increase achievement.

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More PD In Your PJs-The Reform Symposium #RSCON3

The Web20Classroom

Starting today is the Reform Symposium. It is 3 days full of free, online professional development. Started by several of my friends, most notably Shelly Terrell the Reform Symposium brings together educators from across the globe to learn from and with each other. There are several keynotes over the 3 days, lots of panel discussions and you could even win an iPad. You can read more about the Symposium itself here and be sure to check out the list of sessions here.

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My Preliminary Google+ Resource List for Educators

The 21st Century Principal

I have been exploring the capabilities of Google+ for just a few days, and I can already say there are f eatures that might make it so much more functional for administrators and educators. Select Sharing: The Google Circles idea is genius. Users can set up groups called circles and place whomever they wish in each of the circles.

Video on Direct/Indirect Language


RSA Animate is a wonderfully creative resource that provides sketch visualizations of interesting talks and lectures. I recently watched this one by noted linguist Stephen Pinker, discussing what we would refer to as "indirect and direct" language and social relationships. It is well worth a look and would perhaps be worth using in segments if you work with adult clients that have high-level social pragmatic issues. Summer food-for-thought! social pragmatics social thinking videos

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Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

Seven reasons teachers should blog

Learning with 'e's

I have written extensively on what makes a good blogpost and why it is so powerful. F rom personal experience blogging is one of the most beneficial professional development activities I have ever engaged with. I learn more from blogging than I do from almost any other activity I participate in. Here are 7 good reasons why teachers should blog: 1) Blogging causes you to reflect. Donald Schon suggested that reflection on, in and through practice were vital components of any professional practice.

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More Trending

The Noblest Profession

A Principal's Reflections

Cross-posted at the Huffington Post: What is Wrong With This Picture? All across the country, education is under attack on numerous fronts. No matter where you look, educators are to blame for the economic woes in many states. This is extremely puzzling to me, as it is well known that this downturn in our economy was a result of misguided, unregulated, or greedy practices of the private sector. Educators then became the scapegoats as a message of “shared sacrifice” swept the country.

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The #140EDU Conference

The Web20Classroom

You might remember a year back I was able to participate in one of the first #140Confs in Los Angeles and the another in NYC. This year Jeff Pulver has teamed up with the most awesome Chris Lehmann to bring the #140EDU Conference to the masses. This 140 is different from the others in that it''s focus is all on education. More importantly how real-time information sharing is changing education. Now, I have had the opportunity to meet with some pretty cool people at past conferences.

Is Education Your Job, Your Career, or Your Calling?

The 21st Century Principal

I n his success psychology book entitled The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt states that there are three ways people approach their work. People approach their work as a job, a career or as a calling, and their approach often determines their attitude and level of commitment to that work. Those who approach their word as a job, "do it for the money."

I'm on the EDceptional Podcast this week!


I was really honored to be asked to be part of the EdCeptional podcast offered through the EdReach Network of education-related audio broadcasts. EdCeptional is a weekly show that features a panel of great educators (including fellow SLP Deb Truskey) discussing news and technology through the lens of special education.

The Guide to Accessible Learning for Associations

Speaker: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn

In this 45-minute webinar, we’ll share real-world accessibility solutions and hidden tools in the applications you use every day such as Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Articulate Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise 360. This webinar will help you evaluate the accessibility of your current learning efforts and learn about the tools needed to ensure your eLearning is in alignment with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (proposed WCAG 2.2).

Learning is learning

Learning with 'e's

I got embroiled in a Twitter discussion today with Mark Childs and Fred Garnett on whether the word andragogy is actually helpful to our understanding of learning. I'm not convinced. As ever, I like to promote argument, so here on this blog, I offer you my own views on what is quite an old debate. For the uninitiated, Andragogy (from the Greek Andros, meaning man) was a term made popular in the education world by Malcolm Knowles.

Facebook for Professional Learning


If you''re reading this post, I''m going to assume you are an active reader of blogs or Twitter or both. Are you also leveraging Facebook for your professional learning? Many of the educators and educational organizations you follow through Twitter or on blogs are also maintaining pages on Facebook. If you log in to Facebook and "Like" their page, you can get their updates in your news feed, right along with all of the life updates your friends are posting.

Framework for Embedded Professional Development

A Principal's Reflections

Life-long learning is an essential characteristic found amongst effective educators and something that should be modeled for our students. With so many changes occurring in the field of educational technology, curriculum, pedagogy, and law, it is imperative that educators receive opportunities for growth in their school. Additionally, they should be provided with the knowledge and foundation to develop a Personal Learning Network.

Digital Cleansing.

The Web20Classroom

7 days I was unplugged. For some one who is plugged in just about 24/7, having nothing that connected me to the outside world was interesting to say the least. I normally have a computer, iPad or Galaxy Tab, and phone within reach at all times. But for my annual vacation I didn''t even bring these things with me. (I I did take a phone just for emergencies but it was in my truck the whole time.) I got up every morning and drank coffee and watched the morning start over the ocean. I read 5 books.

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Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

Change or We Die: Lessons from the Borders Experience for Education Leaders

The 21st Century Principal

This evening I received a email from Borders that basically thanked me for my patronage and for being a "Borders Reward Member." The truth of the matter is, I haven''t been in a Borders store since our local store closed about a year and a half ago. As far as purchasing books online, Barnes and Noble and Amazon have done such a fantastic job of making it easy to purchase physical books and ebooks that I had absolutely no incentive to order from Borders.

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Ah, summer. A great time to laze on a hillside and look up at the clouds. Clouds are an interesting context for language development as well. One can list the different kind of clouds and what comes out of them (categories). The process by which clouds are made, the water cycle, is a key curriculum topic (sequence). They are also just sort of fun, because they are shapes and different people see different things in them (description).

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Using Diigo for Student Portfolios


I had some great comments from my last post about student portfolios, Diigo, and blogs. This post is a continuation of that conversation. Traditional Portfolios When I think back to my beginning years in the classroom, I remember my student portfolios were in manilla file folders. Later, they became gorgeous construction paper books. On both accounts, they were linear, and you would view it from left to right, one page after another.

Digital age learning

Learning with 'e's

In my Learning is learning post yesterday, I started a debate about andragogy and pedagogy. I held the position that the theory of andragogy (Malcolm Knowles) adds very little to our understanding of learning. In some ways, I argued, andragogy theory seems outmoded in the light of recent rapid developments in new teaching methods, learning resources and digital media.

Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

Turning the Tide

A Principal's Reflections

Over the past two years I have seen some dramatic shifts in an effort to transform New Milford High School into a 21st Century institution of teaching and learning. With a change in mindset and a great deal of support, I have been able to successfully empower my staff to integrate a variety of digital tools, including social media, to engage learners.

Where Am I?

The Web20Classroom

Flickr CC-Puffsdaddy So if you are seeing this post you might be wondering where I am. Or maybe not. But the story is still interesting none the less. Each year I go on vacation. And starting 2 years ago when I go on vacation, I go on vacation. I don''t take any technology with me. Nothing that will connect me with the outside world for 7 days. No computer. No Kindle. No phone. Well, I do take a phone since I will be driving somewhere but it stays in my truck.

2 Ways For Administrators (And Other Educators) to Use Evernote

The 21st Century Principal

Evernote is one of the most versatile note taking tools available on the web today. With it''s syncing desktop app, iPad apps, and smartphone apps, it is the most useful application in a school administrator''s arsenal.

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Essential Skill for SLPs: Saving Images from the Web, Part 2 (iOS Edition)!


Cross-posted on Therapy App 411 In a related post , I described the important skill of saving images from the Web on standard laptop and desktop operating systems (i.e. Mac OS X and Windows whatever), which SLPs would need to do in order to create visuals using web images and utilize the features of inserting images in many web tools (e.g. Glogster, Voicethread, and countless others).

Unlock the Power of Formative Assessment

Learn how a thoughtful formative assessment approach can help teachers understand where students are in their learning, inform instruction, and in turn, positively impact student learning outcomes. Get the guide today!

Student Portfolios, Diigo and Blogs


I''ve had several people ask me about how to start blogs and portfolios with their students next year, and what''s the best approach. Purpose of Student Portfolio? Portfolios are collections of student work/artifacts that represent the process and progress of their learning. Typically the stronger artifacts document reflection and feedback. Some of the artifacts in the portfolio are then selected to present to others, such as at a parent-teacher conference.

Reasons teachers don't blog

Learning with 'e's

I'm a little overwhelmed by the response to my post yesterday entitled Seven reasons teachers should blog which as I write this, is racing toward 2000 views in just 24 hours. Thank you to all those who have taken the time to stop by and read it. It is turning out to be one of my most successful posts of the year, and not just because of the hit rate. It seems that many teachers are interested in blogging (or edublogging), but for various reasons are not yet in there, getting their hands dirty.

Stop Going to School for your Education

The Electric Educator

Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn put out an insightful and daring article in Harvard Magazine this past week in which they discussed the possibility of Harvard Business school, of which they are both affiliated, being adversely impacted by the growing popularity of online learning. The focus on Harvard was meant to demonstrate how even the most respect, well established learning institutions are likely to be impacted by the disruptive innovation of online learning.

Innovation In Teaching Follow-Up

The Web20Classroom

Earlier I asked for y''all to tell me what you though innovation in teaching and in the classroom looked like.I got a ton of great responses. Here are a few that stuck out to me. Innovation is about flexibility, adaptability and related to that infamous "with-it-ness" that educators are supposed to have.

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The Best Ways to Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, How to Best Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School, hear the real-world experience of Steven Palomo, IT Director at Beverly Public Schools, regarding how he successfully managed his entire tech stack.

Adopting Cloud Solutions: Making a Smooth Transition to Google Apps

The 21st Century Principal

My school district just passed it''s one year anniversary using Google Apps. We have saved a considerable sum of money while enjoying the robustness of Google''s Gmail, Google Docs, and other Google apps such as Google Sites and Google Reader.

Essential Skill for SLPs: Saving Images from the Web


This past Thursday, I had the privilege of doing a fly-by at Mindwing Concepts day-long workshop, Narrative and Expository Writing with the Story Grammar Marker® in order to cover a few tech complements to their great tools, including the Mindwing Blog that I help to write. During my presentation I talked about Popplet , which is a terrific tool for concept mapping and breaking down expository text.

Reflection of ISTE from a Newbie


This was my first time going to ISTE and Edubloggercon. So, what were my favorites and takeaways? I found that Jackie Gerstein ''s session on the Flipped Classroom at Edubloggercon gave me incredible perspective. We were given snippets of information filled with examples, interspersed with discussion points as small groups and the whole group.