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Showing posts from July, 2015

Life Lessons Learned from Co-Writing

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Writers develop their own style and voice over time. We also tend to find a niche for our work in certain topic genres. There is no way I would ever claim to be at the peak of any profession, especially writing. There is always room for improvement and I have a long way to go. Editors have provided feedback that has helped me think about my content, voice, structure, and style. I couldn’t be more grateful for their help. I’ve recently discovered there is another way for writers to develop. In the past two months I have had the privilege of co-writing for publication. In both instances, my co-authors had much to teach me. The first was an article about the benefits of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in schools with award-winning former principal Daisy Dyer Duerr. Daisy taught me that we should not shy away from sharing success in the name of humility. You see, culture among educators is mixed when it comes to celebrating great achievements. Teachers start their careers with a love for chil…

Embrace, Don't Ban

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Daisy Dyer Duerr and I both have a passion for the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement, especially in schools and districts where 1:1 is not possible. I'm honored to have the chance to co-write with Daisy about the importance of access to mobile devices in school and the transformational learning experiences that are possible.

This Op-Ed was originally published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.



Across the country, parents, administrators, and teachers are discussing how to best leverage mobile technology to benefit students. Today 88 percent of teens have access to a cell phone or smartphone. Naturally, students are bringing their phones to school. As a result, educators are confronted with the challenge and opportunity of harnessing these pocket-sized devices to make a positive impact on student learning. The near-ubiquity of mobile computing poses challenges in the classroom. But a recent report suggesting that mobile computing bans increase standardized test scores is misguid…

Is Social Media the Key to Communicating Education Leadership?

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Perhaps the most important thing leaders in any area of expertise can do is communicate. They must clearly express certain messages to the people they lead and the people they hope to impact:

brand of the organizationpersonal brand of the leadermission and purpose of the organizationhow the organization will accomplish the mission This past week I had the privilege of working with some high school student leaders from all across the country as part of the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Student Leadership Institute in Walt Disney World. The institute is called Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT). From the outset at the evening kickoff event, I told the students we would be communicating their week-long journey of leadership to the world on social media.

Communication is not just something we should be doing in the classroom, at faculty meetings, or at conferences. If education is to move forward in a meaningful way that includes the perspectives of educators, parents, and student…

I Want to Teach with Technology! Now What?

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When Corwin-Connect associate editor Ariel Price invited me to write for them, I obviously accepted enthusiastically! My first post with Corwin tackles a common situation my school and district technology departments face: How do we work with teachers who are willing to use technology, but don't know where to start?

The article opens with behavioral theory from Everett Rogers called Diffusion of Innovation. The diagram below shows his theory in part. It goes on to use real examples from my experiences as an instructional technology coach.  Please click here if you are interested in reading the post. I'd love to read and respond to your comments as well.



I'm honored to write for Corwin-Connect and look forward to doing so again soon!

Finding Your Swagger #beyouEDU

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Dr. Will defined swagger in his opening podcast by saying, "Swagger is about your confidence. It's about what you bring to the table, your essence."

Beautiful, right?

My take on this month's #beyouEDU focus is to encourage educators to reflect on how that swagger can help or hinder the most important people around us: students and colleagues.  Please click the image below to read my post on Dr. Will's blog.


Passion First

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This week I'm officially moving into the role of Technology Integration Specialist. Although my former role was middle and high school history teacher, it feels like I've been a tech coach for a while organically, anyway. Since I post about my students' technology enhanced learning experiences and paperless method quite a bit, word got out at my school and on social media.  Most school days I get a question or two from colleagues passing in the hall or via direct message online.

Although I know I have a lot to learn about my new school and the individuals who make up the dedicated faculty there, one thing I'm sure of is that the people will always come before the technology. Getting to know the people and the passion that motivates them to be educators is the first step to for any successful instructional coach, whether focusing on technology integration or not.

Fortunately, I was able to attend ISTE last week with a few of my new colleagues. While grabbing a bite to e…

How Edtech Entrepreneurs Should Talk to Teachers

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Edtech entreprenuers, teachers, and administrators all need one another. Sometimes, however, we are not speaking the same language even though we are all trying to be a part of the same conversation.  After attending both an EdSurge Summit and ISTE within the past three weeks, I've had the chance to meet with many enthusiastic programmers and designers. Some are doing a better job than others at connecting with their allies on the ground -- the teachers. The ones that are doing it well are using these tactics during those precious few minutes they have a chance to interact with an educator.

1. Have a quick 2 sentence passion statement ready.
The good news is that if an educator has made her way to your booth, she is already interested in what you have to offer. Start by clearly defining your mission and how your product accomplishes it. Do it in 2 sentences. No more. At this stage, all you want is for the teacher to have a clear understanding of the pain points you are trying to t…