Take USies not Selfies

You say the word selfie and so many images come into your mind (and some you don't want). But mostly it is ONE person taking a photo of themselves. By definition, a selfie is a self-photo done with a smartphone held in your hand so you can share on social media. I mean really, we... Continue Reading →

Legendary #LearnFestATX

I felt so lucky to be asked to be a featured speaker at LearnFestATX in January and didn’t know the impact the experience would have on me. Now I do and want to share the experience. I didn’t know what exactly I would be doing, and then I get the email. I was excited to... Continue Reading →

Creating Impactful PD for Teachers

Developing impactful professional development can not just “happen.” It takes careful and purposeful planning. Over my many years as a principal and district leader, there have been a few common elements that need to be a part of the planning and launching of impactful PD. Creating the schedule is my first step. Trying to balance... Continue Reading →

Moving from Dioramas to Dynamic Projects

I had a great two days of learning at the Blended & Personalized Learning Conference in Providence (#BPLC19).  The sessions I found myself in focused on blended and personalized learning design (great session @csanford42 and @ShawnCRubin) , increasing student voice, and supporting educators take the next step in their own growth. Today’s students are experiential learners;... Continue Reading →

Report from ASCD, Part 1: Sessions Covered, Classroom Coding, Leadership Strategies and More

More than 7,000 educators from around the globe gathered in Chicago March 15-18 for deep dish pizza, green drinks for St. Patrick’s day, and to participate in ASCD's #Empower19 conference. From the opening welcome reception to the final moments, the keynotes, sessions, and conversations were free-flowing and high level.  #Empower19  kicked off with an opening... Continue Reading →

Harnessing Parent Engagement Outside of the Classroom

Technology and digital communication are changing at a rapid pace. As school and district leaders strive to implement more effective communication with families, they must take these changes into consideration. Communication is critical to student achievement. Leaders send communication to parents via emails, newsletter, and tweets, just to name a few. As new platforms for... Continue Reading →

Leadership Q/A

A leader is someone who has a certain amount of expertise in a field and actively shares their insights with those around them through writing, speaking, and acting. Leaders take pride in teaching others how to apply knowledge and reach their full potential. I believe a school leader has two main responsibilities: ensuring students have... Continue Reading →

10 Tips for Turning Ideas into Action Reflection in Education

Co-Written with Rae Hughart. Rae Hughart (@RaeHughart) is a Middle Level Math Educator in Illinois and the Director of Training & Development for Progressive Mastery Learning, LLC. Conference presentations, networking, and notebooks filled with innovative next steps—oh, my! At the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando in January and Illinois Computing Conference (ICE)... Continue Reading →

Using Voxer and QR Codes to enhance Instruction

Changing pedagogy is not only about thinking differently, it’s also about acting differently. The key to this is determining first what we want our students to know and, second, letting them have choice in how they will demonstrate, or apply, their learning. One tool that teachers can use to change their pedagogical approach is Voxer.... Continue Reading →

The Future of Field Trips

I am very excited to be speaking at the Illinois Computing Educators. The ICE Conference is a teaching and learning conference that attracts educators, educational leaders, and pre-service teachers from PreK - Higher Ed. The conference engages educators  in an exploration of pedagogical strategies and resources connected to instructional technology. Last year was the biggest... Continue Reading →

Think Like a Leader

Schools are experiencing a dramatic shift from how they’ve been run and structured for over a century. Leaders must establish direction, influence others, and initiate sustainable change as they navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education. Such leadership requires a dynamic combination of positive mindset, influential behaviors, and effective skills. Stepping into a leader role requires... Continue Reading →

Importance of a Leadership Entry Plan

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools.” -Jim Collins, Good to Great As we enter the season of applying, interviewing, and moving into leadership roles (new or upward movement)... Continue Reading →

Blended Learning

In my opinion, one of the keys to academic achievement is active student learning. Research tells us that personalized, collaborative, and connected learning experiences enhance student engagement, in turn, driving student success. By integrating blended and digital learning into the classroom, educators can take learning experiences to the next level and improve student performance.  ... Continue Reading →

Lesson Plan Buzz Words

The last blog post focused on components of a lesson plan.  Part of that planning is discussing and understanding the educational language involved in lesson planning and collaborating around instruction. We as educators throw around buzz words and not know the meaning or the purpose. But you maybe nervous to ask because you feel “everyone... Continue Reading →

Lesson plan structure

A solid lesson plan should provide you, the teacher, the direction and the ability to visualize the path of learning that consists of the “what, why, and how” of the teaching-learning activities. Your lesson plan is a sequence of well-organized learning experiences that connects instructional events. I believe an effective lesson plan also provides opportunities... Continue Reading →

Creating the Dynamic Classroom

Shifting students from absorbing information to becoming creative thinkers Information from an interview with Dr. Rod Berger and his thoughts about our conversations.  Click here to listen to interview. I sat down to talk with Dr. Matthew Joseph recently and we discussed his current role as the Director of Digital Learning and Innovation at Milford... Continue Reading →

EdTech Coaching in Today’s Classrooms

It was a great pleasure to attend the New Hampshire Christa McAuliffe Tech Conference (@nhcmtc) recently, where I had the opportunity to facilitate three sessions. On the second day, the morning keynote was delivered by the talented Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) from Future Ready. Tom made many points that resonated and motivated me. But one made... Continue Reading →

Intentional Act: Give Credit

I have been a dedicated listener to “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd for years. One of his many rants (when he is not loving up Lebron, or busting on QB’s for wearing their hat backwards…or many fun Russell Westbrook rants) is that we have to work to GET IT RIGHT, not rush to just “be... Continue Reading →

Teacher Instructional Treats

Today is Halloween, traditional associated with “candy day” or “where’s the treats”. This is also associated with kids (unless you get that awesome neighbor handing out “adult” Jell-O shots during a candy visit). Well, how about some “treats” for teachers. We are all looking for strategies to increase student engagement, so today I thought to... Continue Reading →

Ideas to Avoid Burnout

Today  Sylvia Ellison‏ @SylviaEllison asked the question on the #hacklearning daily chat  Q1 What are some practical “hacky” ways we build positive environments that support educators and help avoid burn out? 280 characters were not enough for my answer - so added a blog post. Here are a few ideas leaders you CAN put into place tomorrow... Continue Reading →

Are you R.E.A.D.Y. as a school to be good digital citizens

Todays’ students are using technology to collaborate, learn, research, and communicate while at school. Blended and personalized learning with digital tools has flooded classrooms, but most teacher-prep programs do not incorporate digital citizenship as requirements for teacher certification. This leads to a cross roads of districts pushing digital learning into schools with teachers who may... Continue Reading →

Tech Tools for Active Learning Classrooms

One of the latest buzzwords in education is “active learning,” but what does this really look like in the classroom? Active learning refers to the idea that students are actively engaged in the learning process, rather than passively absorbing content. The benefits of using such activities are many, including improved critical thinking skills, increased retention... Continue Reading →

#excitement day 1 to day 180

This morning I logged into twitter and what do I see… Craig Martin (@CraigCMartin12) having a dance party in his office and over-the-top fired up for a day of school. So of course, I joined in because enthusiasm is contagious. I promptly responded with my own video sharing my excitement for the day and WHY.  This... Continue Reading →

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