Friday, April 30, 2010

What Leaders Tweeted This Week (Week of 4.26.10)

Here are what ed leaders have tweeted this week. Thanks for leading and learning.

@jorech Thanks for your input on "What Blogs Should Administrators Be Reading"
@jeffekirby Courageous Leadership
@ericconti RT@angeliqueinva Teachers Ought To Tweet
@Ed_Leadership Read the Digital Edition of EL's provocative May 2010 issue on changes to the teaching profession:
@kycommissioner Interesting article from AASA daily brief concerning minorities enrolled in charter schools in NYC
@ACinIowa:#WINS Blocking SM sites like FB, YouTube, Twitter, etc., is like teachng kids n shop class about hammers w/o giving them nails.
@RonnieGonzalez @NMHS_Principal If schools don't take the opportunity 2 teach our students about social media and digital citizenship, then who will? #WINS
@WiscPrincipal In Shake-Up, Principals May Get More Say Over What Is Taught -
@mwedwards RT @mjgormans: Stdnts won't solve 2morow's probs with tools of 2day, but 2days tools do faciltate skills stdnts will need in their 2morrow!
@pjhiggins Steven Covey's foray into the crisis in education:
@tgwynn @edtechsteve Makes me sad when people end things instead of taking the time to understand it, or even join in.
@dpeter From Google Reader: Aren't Schools Supposed to Help Students Change the World?
@phsprincipal The need for personal glory while folding oneself into the "what is best for the good of all" is the downfall of many! That Brutus! #mrogle
@chuck_Bell_ The Window: Here's to Teachers or How to Improve Education: via @addthis
@fliegs @EduTechSmith @averyteach I do believe we as principals need to model and share with our staff. @bhsprincipal may be doing this #edchat
elem_principal How can Admin do better? RT @akenuam: need quality admin, my principal made everyone feel at fault instead of empowered to change. #edchat
@baldy7 New Post: The Personalization of my PLN (with mobile tools)
@johnccarver @DeronDurflinger Oregon DE signs landmark deal w/ google #vanmeter #i11i #edchat #education #google
@edReformer What we're talking about when we're talking about learning on @edreformer these days:
@clindhol Superintendent using blog to support PLC work in the community.
@21stprincipal Poster makes sense, "Running schools like business is not the answer."
@ChadRatcliff Excellent piece by @pammoran: "Learning Leadership Lessons: Culture, People, Determination"
@bjnichols Leadership 2.0 #leadership
@principaldavies Innovative joint venture between my school and local college to support students: email me 4 info
@principalwells VT not applying for "Race to the Top" Commissioner Vilaseca states "The focus of Race to the Top is not aligned with our statewide approach"
@8Amber8 used wth k-5, its GR8!! RT @aaallain: CyberSmart! Education Company also offers a free K-12 Student Curriculum
@tee62 I was reminded today just how energizing, rewarding and exhausting a first grade classroom can be!
@NMHS_Principal Thanks PLN! Banning NOT the answer: my interview w/ 1010WINS in response to NJ MS Principal
@sfree23 Had fun skyping with one of my 4th grade classes today! Can't wait to get more classes on board!
@bestofclass @dlourcey if leadership does not embrace there is little hope. We will not get different results if we continue with the doing the same
@kylepace Building a Strong Network Starts with a Foundation: (by @hrmason) #edtech #edchat
@innovativeEdu The Innovative Educator discusses harnessing the power of cells even when they're banned happening in 5 mins
@web20classroom Another Great @CommonCraft Video I'm using today: Protecting Reputations Online:
@tomwhitby PLN : When standardized test scores assess TEST PREPARATION and not learning, the students may pass, but the system FAILS.

Leading by Example (Pt2): Blogging with Purpose and Meaning

Two weeks ago, I began a series of posts for district and school leaders called Leading by Example, strategies and tips to become models in chief and to engage in conversations that promote 21st century skills, themes, and concepts. This became even clearer to me when I spent some time this week with my daughter's principal. I have been volunteering to meet with the school's administrative team, helping them develop an innovation roadmap, to strategically plan and implement integration of technology--in short, a learning by doing approach. Mr. H. said to me, "I need pushing and accountability. There is such a gap between what my teachers can do and what I can do. I need to set the bar and lead them rather than my teachers lead me." After having this conversation, I went to the only place I knew that would provide insight, advice, suggestions, first steps--My PLN. I created the followingWallwisher that captures some compelling advice from best in class 21st century leaders. Please add your own strategies that work:

My first Lead by Example post dealt with principals beginning with understanding the 21st century framework and being intentional with 21st century conversations.

For this second post in this series, I want to focus on developing a purposeful and meaningful blogging strategy as an initial step for building and maintaining a Professional Learning Network. I have written a couple of posts relating to the power of the PLN: Building Your PLN: Not Just Another Acronym and The Power of the PLN: What Administrators Should Know and Be Able to Do. Here is a recent blended training I conducted with a district in our state, which is part of the work they are doing with North Carolina Virtual's GO LIVE Approach: Getting Organized to Lead Innovatively for Virtual Education. This district is committed to integrating e-learning communities within their current learning structures. This training focused on the power of community. Use these slides in relation to the activities on this Just In Time training module (I owe many thanks to my PLN for activity suggestions and ideas)

This statement by leading edge Principal, Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal), captures the purpose and intent of not only why we do what we do, but the value of district and school leaders leading, modeling, and connecting with those they lead: "Administrators and teachers need to begin to embrace the effective use of social media for their own professional growth, to create authentic learning environments that engage students, and to utilize the expertise of professionals in a variety of content areas. The one thing that Twitter and social media have taught me is that people truly want to share their ideas, knowledge, and experiences for the collective good." In addition to
Twitter, Facebook, Ning, I see blogging accomplishing the same thing--sharing knowledge, ideas, and experiences for the collective good.

Mr. H. confessed (And I so appreciate not only his honesty but is transparency), "I know what blogs are, I have read many blogs, and have even begun my own, but I truly don't know what to write about and how to use my blog for strategic learning purposes." So, how can district and school leaders, lead by example though blogging?

Getting Started:
Okay, this is going to be a shameless add for Blogger (since this is the blogging platform I use). Watch this short video tutorial on how to create a blog with Blogger:

Here are some other resources to help get leaders started:

Blogging Ideas and Strategies:
  1. achievements and spotlights of district, school, classrooms, teachers, students
  2. how to use a blog, modeling for teachers just getting started,
  3. interpretation of particular board policy or district initiative for a needed change and its impact on district and school
  4. a schooling issue like closing the achievement gap, digital citizenship, social responsibility with social media, virtual schooling options
  5. catching principals, teachers, and students doing actions committed to the mission, vision and values of the district and/or school
  6. branding and marketing district, school or a special program (video casts working nicely here using Schooltube, Teachertube, or Youtube)
  7. thoughts on leadership and learning
  8. a weekly Principal's Corner, a video message to stakeholders, setting the learning targets for the week (or some other weekly focus)
  9. thoughts related NCLB, National Tech Plan, ISTE National Standards for Administrators, Teachers and Students
  10. academic successes
  11. videos that capture a compelling thought
  12. thoughts on e-learning and e-leadership strategies
  13. data analysis
  14. suggestions for district and school improvement planning
  15. a community perspective inviting guest bloggers
  16. something that happened at the school that seems contrary to the mission and vision of school and the leadership perspective of the situation. Invite feedback through commenting
  17. week in review with key days and events
  18. definition of 21st century learner (and leader)
  19. what it means to be literate in the 21st century.
  20. reflecting on a conference and its value-add to the work you do
Readings about blogging:

Blogging in Action (Examples of leadership blogs to add to Google Reader or any other RSS Feed):

The following list offer leading edge examples of how blogs can be used with meaning and purpose by implementing many of the blogging strategies mentioned above
  1. Moving Forward (a wiki dedicated to itemizing examples of classroom, school, and leadership blogs)
  2. #Vanmeter's School s Transforming the Educational System
  3. A Principal's Reflection
  4. PHSDirector Blog
  5. The 21st Century Principal
  6. Principal Thoughts
  7. The Principal Blog
  8. The Next Generation of Educational Leadership
  9. Practical Principals
  10. Georgetown Elementary
I hope these tips, strategies, and examples will help each leader reading this to develop the habit of blogging. For Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." Be excellent as you lead by example. For you, your teachers, and students will reap the rewards.

New Resources for Leading and Learning 04/30/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Resources for Leading and Learning 04/29/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Leaders Leveraging, Leaders Engaging

In his book, The World is Open, Opener #4, "Leveraging Resources," is one of ten Openers Curtis Bonk says will revolutionize education and industry. In the spirit of this Opener, I came across the following video by Hans Mundahl through many channels of my PLN: Twitter, Google Reader, Diigo.

What a practical way that administrators, district leaders, can leverage the power of the network, can leverage the power of learning not only to build leadership capacity, but revolutionize curriculum transformation, and bring a whole new behavior to Schooling 2.0.

Here is another video by Scott McLeod that provocatively demonstrates the changing milieu of how we power-up both school leaders and school learners.

New Resources for Leading and Learning 04/21/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

21st Century Framework, 21st Century Conversations: Leading by Example (Pt 1)

I work with principals and superintendents (and other district leadership) around our state (NC) to integrate a leadership for innovation approach called GO LIVE! which is an acronym for Getting Organized to Lead Innovation for Virtual Education, an approach dedicated to creating leading and learning blended models. One of the main tenets of this initiative is to build the capacity of district and school leaders to lead innovatively, to further our state's 21st century learning goals, to engage in purposeful and meaningful conversations about what 21st century learning and leadership is and is not, and to implement strategies to ensure leaders meet NETS-A and our state executive standards.

I often ponder the depth of leadership understanding of the 21st century skills framework, its relevance to closing achievement gaps, and creating schools that are not only blended, but creating an environment that supports global awareness and virtual options for students. Principals and other district leaders need new paradigms, new ways of thinking about schooling and reaching Generation Z, those digital natives "born into a world of ubiquitous , digital technology, multi-media and gadgets" (Schrum and Levin, Leading 21st Century Schools 33). At the risk of minimizing the skill, patience, vision--in short leadership--this involves, it is absolutely necessary that district and school leadership fully understand the 21st Century Skills Framework; this is not the single and only means to an end, but it is a step in the right direction.

I started perusing Slideshare for some great presentation resources on this subject. It was interesting to note that as I conducted a search on 21st century skills, most resources that came up in my search were 2-4 years old (with the exception of a few posts within last few days like this presentation on the Hybrid Classroom and Changing Paradigms). I thought: "Certainly this topic is still timely?" I know there are a lot of great blog posts, tweets, mashups out there on 21st century skills, but I was striking out on current presentations in Slideshare. So, it really challenged me that this subject must remain timely and relevant to district and school leadership. This is not just the work of teachers and students. Leaders at various levels need to understand their role and place in creating, maintaining, and encouraging a transformative 21st century culture.

The National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) presents a 21st century model for learning, illustrated by the figure below:

Goal 1 of NETP 2010 states "All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and outside of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society." The writers provide this statement in the first section entitled, "Learning: A Model for 21st Century Learning":
The challenge for our education system is to leverage technology to create relevant learning experiences that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures. We live in a highly mobile, globally connected society in which young Americans will have more jobs and more careers in their lifetimes than their parents. Learning can no longer be confined to the years we spend in school or the hours we spend in the classroom: It must be life-long, life-wide, and available on demand (Bransford et al., 2006).
NETP 2010 and the 21st Century Framework are mirror images of one another: they both are models for effective learning and create a picture of what 21st century looks like, they both present a common core of standards and assessment practices, they both agree that learning is not a one size fits all approach, and they both drive leaders to developing opportunities for learners to use 21st century tooling to promote media, digital, and information literacy and engage learners in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem solving activities.

What do district and school leaders need to know about 21st century learning? They need to know how to "empower learning experiences," how to prepare learners to be "active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants," they need to model these characteristics themselves, they need to know what "globally networked society" means and looks like, they need to know how to leverage technology, they need to create "relevant learning experiences" for both teachers and students, and they need to inspire life-long learners and continue to be one themselves.

How will district and school leaders learn and promote 21st century learning? By learning and leading themselves--in short, playing in the sandbox, getting dirty, making a mess, cleaning it up, inviting others to play along (nicely of course), It is essential to model and demonstrate consistent and purposeful 21st century conversations. What does that look like?

  1. Conduct the following activity with leadership cabinet, school improvement team, grade levels, departments, etc. This activity is taken from Schrum and Levin, Leading 21st Century Schools 25: A. Make a list of the ways technology is used in your school (or district) today, B. Consider instructional and administrative uses first, C. Classify whether these uses are collaborative, creative, or entrepreneurial, and D. Classify whether they require problem solving, critical thinking, communication, or innovation. Post these. Add to them. Create a visual board that captures this framework in action across departments and grade levels and divisions. Examine what is working and what is not.
  2. Create a definition of 21st century Learning, what a 21st century learner looks like and what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Post as a podcast or a mashable using Animoto (here are other Video creation tools).
  3. Create weekly videocast of catching students, teachers, and leaders in the act of furthering and promoting the above definition in #2. In the same vein, create a contest for the best video of a learning culture that supports the Framework--winner receives Ipad, netbook (okay, maybe stretch, but wishful thinking). This contest can be held at two different learning levels--the principal submitting to district panel and students submitting to school panel (all in the family of learners, right?)
  4. Conduct a gap analysis (or SWOT--Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, or Threats) of district and or school curriculum mapping. Where do the tech standards align? Where is the 21st century framework aligned? Does each curriculum objective have a Framework focus? Are the resources listed to show activities that engage students with 21st century assessments (problem based learning, e-portfolios, authentic assessments that apply concepts to real-world situations), or PD required for teachers (wiki support and resources, blogs focused on 21st century learning and instructional decision making). Here is an example of an Integrated Curriculum Mapping Chart and a Technology Integration Matrix
  5. Create weekly (or monthly) PD on 21st century literacy, the 21st century framework, National Ed tech Plan, National Education Tech Standards for Administrators, Teachers, or Students, and the like by using a Google Site. Ask grade levels or departments to be responsible for developing a module of the training to help build awareness and learning capacity--making it relevant to all teachers regardless of area of specialization; important to plug in the enhancement or wheel teachers (EC, art, science, PE, music)
  6. Have as a standing agenda item at monthly faculty meeting a 21st century literacy, learning, or leadership moment, first modeled by the administration (more on this 'show a little, teach a little" in future posts in this series); allow departments to share and show case how they are making 21st century themes and concepts a reality in their classrooms. Create an interactive and powering-up environment so that it is not a "sit-get-and spit" environment.
  7. Use Wallwisher to create a school-wide board to post 21st century learning in action with images and pictures; use this wall to celebrate teachers or students catching the 21st century fever. Here are some other examples of how Wallwisher can be used in the classroom and in the school:
  8. Conduct an administrative cabinet book study using Leading 21st Century Schools: Harnessing Technology for Engagement and Achievement by Lynne Schrum and Barbara Levine or The World is Open by Curtis Bonk or 21st Century Skills by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel
  9. Create Word Clouds (Wordle, Tagul, or Tagxedo) around the building that showcase a component of the 21st century framework, skill, theme, etc or the NETP, or the NETS standards for teachers, students, and administrators--post them on the district, school or classroom blogs; create a "guess the 21st century learning Word Cloud".
The above activities will aid leaders in being intentional about modeling and leading by example.

The following challenging questions will help leaders stay on point, focus on what really matters: Teaching and learning. Then "shift" will begin to take shape:

Be the change. Model the change. Lead the change. Stay on point and don't get mired in the operational, overwhelming feelings of being covered-up. Be vigilant. Be a crazy man or woman for a district or school culture that exemplifies new paradigms, that models the "shift". Clay Shirkey says, "The Revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new tools. It happens when when society adopts new behaviors." Adopt this new behavior. Speak it, live it, practice it.

Related Resources

21st Century School Leadership

21st Century Schools

Buzz Word: 21st Century Learning Skills (Blog post)

EnGauge 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Learners

Engage Learners with a Do Something Curriculum

Connected Administrators

21st Century Skills (A Series of Blog posts)

Next Post in this Leading by Example Series: Be the Model In Chief

New Resources for Leading and Learning 04/20/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.