Miscellaneous

#EdTechBridge Past Chats

Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 26 min ago
Nurph Past Chats .topic { margin-bottom: 10px; } .topic a { color: #222; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1em; font-weight: bold; } .about { padding: 10px 0; width: 250px; } .questions { font-size: 12px; } .hosts { font-size: 12px; } .when { width: 105px; font-size: 16px; } .when .date { font-weight: bold; margin-bottom: 10px; } .when .time_zone { font-size: 9px; margin-top: 6px; } .participants { display: block; } .attendees_counter { background: #FFA70E; border-radius: 5px 0 0 5px; color: #FFF; float: left; font-size: 20px; font-weight: bold; margin-right: 2px; min-height: 32px; line-height: 32px; padding: 10px; text-align: center; text-shadow: 0 1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,.5); } .attendees { width: 240px; } .attendees img { height: 26px; width: 26px; } .rsvp { text-align: center; } .rsvpd { } The Game-Based Learning Gap

There's a gap between why games for learning are designed and the needs of educators to use games for authentic teaching and learning needs.

@, @, @, @ Wed, May 27 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 3 Using EdTech Tools for Content Creation

@ Wed, May 20 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 1 #EdTech to Support Pedagogy

How can EdTech products truly support pedagogy?

@, @, @ Wed, May 13 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 2 Educator/Developer Feedback Exchange

@ Wed, May 6 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 2 How EdTech supports Higher Order Thinking

Please add thoughts and resources to our google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kGG6WBbeW8wlWpQkXt3y1RrIQhY21dFe-8XCBelAJ2w/edit

@ Wed, Apr 29 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 2 Professional Development and Social Media

@ Wed, Apr 22 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 1 How to ensure your ed tech is aligned to a measurable problem that matters

@, @, @, @ Wed, Apr 15 07:05 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 1 How to ensure your ed tech is aligned to a measurable problem that matters

#EdTech needs to solve problems. Often, edtech is created to solve a problem that may not even exist. How can we solve this problem?

@, @, @, @ Tue, Apr 14 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 1 Networking and Funding: celebrating the launch of the EdTech Developer's Guide

Ed Tech Developer’s Guide http://tech.ed.gov/developers-guide/ Shared Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qpXA-4CE_lrKP8pQ02Uhv

@, @, @, @, @ Wed, Apr 8 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 1 #EdTechBridge and the Common Core

Let's chat about the intersection between #EdTech and the Common Core. Shared resource doc: http://goo.gl/LL6KhR

@, @ Wed, Apr 1 07:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) 2 ← Previous 1 3 4 5
Categories: Miscellaneous

8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader | The Principal of Change

Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 27 min ago

Pin It .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 !important;} .site-header h1 a, .site-header h2 { color: #444; } The Principal of Change Stories of learning and leading Menu Skip to content 8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader

“Why are we okay that management hasn’t seen innovation in a 100 or 50 years, but we demand innovation in every other aspect of our lives?” Jamie Notter

As we continue to look at teachers, students, and learning becoming more “innovative”, it is important that leadership changes.  As administrators often set the tone for their district or their building, if they are saying the same, it is not likely that things are going to change in the classroom.  Leadership needs to not only “think” different, but they need to “act” different.

For leaders to be effective in changing a school or an organization, they need to change themselves first.  It is way too easy to go a leadership conference and get ideas of things that you are going to do with your staff.  What is important is changing your own practice first.  So along the lines of what is happening within “pockets” of classrooms around the world, leaders must embody the characteristics that they seek.  As my good friend Jimmy Casas says, “what we model is what we get.”

So with that being said, here are some of the characteristics that I have seen in some of the most innovative leaders that I have encountered.

  1. Visionary – When I listen to some superintendents, the vision they share is inspiring and you can tell they see a new vision of school.  Yet what is important about these visionary leaders is that they can take this “powerful vision” and break it down to what it looks like in the classroom.  To create a culture of “innovation”, it takes small steps forward towards a greater vision, not a gigantic leap to the top of the summit.  Innovative leaders help people continuously grow with small steps that build both confidence and competence, so they are more willing to become more innovative themselves.
  2. Empathetic – Along the lines of design thinking, new ideas start with understanding the people they are created for.  When I first became a principal, I did not try to mirror the ideas of the principals before me, but I thought, “If I was a teacher in this school, what would I expect of my principal?”  That trickled down to trying to empathize with being a student in the school, and a parent in the community.  For example, as a teacher, I hated meetings that seemed to go nowhere and went too long.  So to respect the time of others, meetings became shorter and we spent more time learning, than we did on things that could have been simply emailed.  Is having a shorter meeting innovative? No.  But trying to put yourself in the place of those that you serve is where innovation begins.
  3. Models Learning – One of the superintendents that I have the great respect for is Chris Kennedy of West Vancouver.  He has shared his ideas that leaders need to be “elbows deep in learning with their schools”, and I think that is imperative to creating new and better ideas.  It is simple to fall into the trap of doing things that have always been done, or simply going with what you know.  This limits everyone.  If we want to do better things for students, we have to become the “guinea pigs” ourselves and immerse ourselves into new learning opportunities.  We rarely create something different until we experience something different.
  4. Open Risk Taker – This building upon the previous point.  The term “risk-taker” has become quite cliche in our work, as leaders often promote it, but rarely model it.  People are less likely to take risks in doing something different unless they see those above them in the hierarchical structure do the same thing.  If leaders want people to try new things, they have to openly show, that they are willing to do the same.
  5. Networked – Networks are imperative to growth and innovation.  It is easy to think you are doing something amazing when you are not looking beyond the walls of your school.  Great leaders have always created networks, but now this is not limited to face-to-face interactions.  It is also not as limited for those who live in rural areas.  Anyone willing to connect is now able to connect. It is simply a choice.  We can no longer be limited to the ideas in our own school. We need to connect with others outside and choose what works for our organization and remix it to be applicable.
  6. Observant – Great ideas often spark other great ideas.  Things like “Genius Hour” and “Innovation Week”, that have become synonymous with school, were probably sparked by seeing things outside of schools and modifying them to meet the needs of kids.  The power of the Internet is that we have access to so much information, not only from schools, but from outside organizations.  Although a business solution might not necessarily work “as is” for a school, if we learn to connect ideas and reshape them, it could become something pretty amazing.  What I am hoping to see one day is that although we can take great ideas from outside companies like Google, our practices in schools will become so innovative that people will look at borrowing from education.
  7. Team Builder – The least innovative organizations often seem to surround themselves with like-minded people.  Innovation often comes from conflict and disagreement, not in an adversarial way, but in a way that promotes divergent thinking. The idea is not to go with the idea of one person over another, but to actually create a better idea that is often in the middle of the two ideas shared.  If a leader is going to be innovative, surrounding yourself with people that mirror your personality is not the way to get there.
  8. Always Focused on Relationships – Innovation has become such a huge focus of schools, they we often forget that it is ultimately a human endeavour.  I don’t see a smartphone as something that is innovative, but it’s the thinking behind creating a smartphone where the innovation happens.  It is easy to lock yourself in an office, connect with people on Twitter, and appear from your room with some great idea or new thing.  The problem is that if you are want to become an “innovative leader” it is not only about you creating new and better ideas, but your staff.  If you have lost focus on the people in the building, new ideas might appear, but they might not be embraced.  Spending time with people and building solid relationships with them often leads to them going miles beyond what is expected and move away from “what has always been done”.  When people know they are valued and safe in trying new things, they are more likely to do something better.  This is at the core of an innovative school.

Ultimately, an innovative leader should try to create new ideas, but it is more important that they create a culture of innovation.  We often talk about empowering people and then getting out of their way, but what is often missed in the process is removing some of those barriers that they will encounter along the way.  This why it is so important to spend time in the classrooms, see what teaching and learning looks like, and then help to create a better tomorrow for our students and educators.  Again though, at the heart of innovation is people, not stuff.  If we always keep that at the forefront of our work, we are more likely to create an innovative culture.

(Below is a document on this topic that should help with discussion on the “characteristics”.)

The Innovative Leader Rubrics by George Couros

This entry was posted in Developing and Facilitating Leadership, Embodying Visionary Leadership and tagged , on October 3, 2014 by . Post navigation 12 thoughts on “8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader”
  1. Tracy October 4, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Amazing. I love this. After a very long and tiring week in the classroom – this is just what I needed to read. Re-energized around innovation and leadership. Thank you!!

  2. Rodger Price October 4, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I just had a business friend pass this along to me. We both live in Holland, Michigan. Not sure how he connected but I’m glad he sent it.

    I serve and coach leaders from all walks of life; executives, principals, pastors, etc. George, you are a great leader. Thanks for telling your stories – they remind us all that we are human not just students and workers… and it greatly honors your dad! Blessings, Rodger

  3. Paul Walker October 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Great article with great ideas!

  4. Peter Wholihan October 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    A great Saturday read!

    This really hit the nail on all heads. So much to share here.

    I love the quote, “Schools will become so innovative that people will look at borrowing from education.”

    I recall being at a NECC (pre runner of ISTE) conference in the early 90s. There were businessmen tripping over educators to see how to “cash in” and use the Internet. One fellow pulled me aside and said, “We need to learn from the amazing things you are doing with students and apply it to our business.”

    The unfortunate thing for both business and more so education is, that the Power-structures/Leaders now “get/know” the Internet/technology and have carried the old barriers into area what was once free from these hurdles.

    Today business pushes their ideas on to and into the education leadership.

    I long for the innovative freedom (including TIME & SPACE) and leadership that allowed for collecting ideas, reshaping them, thinking and acting different to better serve our community and the world.

    PS As much as the article was for educators, our political leaders need to invest in more non-adversarial, divergent thinking and problem solving pathways. More importantly voters must act DIFFERENTLY!

  5. Denese Belchetz October 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Well said. It seems really easy but in practice we know it is not. Question becomes how do we support our school and system leaders in this different kind of thinking about their leadership? Thanks for putting the thinking out there. Looking forward to learning more.

  6. Tara October 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Great and reflective post. I love the term “elbows deep in the learning” and I do believe this is the most important characteristic of an instructional leader.

  7. Darren Mitzel October 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    This is exactly the stuff I’ll be sharing with my Admin colleagues in our Oct. PD Session. My question to them will be “What 1-2 of these can you work on or improve upon tomorrow?” No matter how much we might rely on teachers in the building to make changes, it is us, school-based admin, who must make the changes first.
    I have found #3 to be the best characteristic that really drives change in the building. From there, others follow or definitely want to get on board.

  8. Lisa Boate October 10, 2014 at 2:51 am

    I facilitated a very challenging PD session today, came to your Twitter feed looking for some inspiration, Something to sooth my slightly bruised soul;) this post is exactly what I needed! Reading about the small steps reminded me that we are all on very different journeys, the small steps matter, the seeds planted, the slightly longer pauses showing that people are thinking. I can’t expect everyone to jump to the top of the mountain but I can work with people to find where the pathway begins.
    Thank you!

  9. Pingback: This Week’s Best of the Web Roundup: October 10 | Connected Educators

  10. Pingback: Blog Posts on Leadership Development | The Principal of Change

  11. Namrata October 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Great inspiring article !

  12. Pingback: 8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader (Document) | The Principal of Change

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I am the Division Principal for Parkland School Division and an Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant. I believe we need to inspire our kids to follow their passions, while letting them inspire us to do the same.

You can contact me at georgecouros@gmail.com

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Thank You, Grant Wiggins | ASCD Inservice

Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 27 min ago
May 27, 2015 by Thank You, Grant Wiggins

ASCD expresses our profound sadness upon learning of the loss of Grant Wiggins, an author, presenter, and lifelong educator. Grant’s many contributions to education throughout his distinguished career have provided students and educators with access to quality learning and increased achievement.

“With the passing of Grant Wiggins, the field of education has lost a most influential advocate and innovator,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD executive director. “As a key presence in national and international reform efforts, notably including widespread assessment reform initiatives, Grant has left a legacy that will continue to benefit generations of educators and students.”

ASCD had the good fortune of working closely with Wiggins over the past two decades, as he and Jay McTighe developed Understanding by Design® and shared its essential curriculum design concepts with educators in the United States and abroad.  Hundreds of thousands of educators have changed their thinking and their instruction because of Wiggins’ books and presentations; they serve as evidence of his innovative mind, captivating personality, and educational leadership.

“On behalf of my ASCD colleagues, I can say we have all been blessed by the opportunity to work with Grant Wiggins over the years,” said Stefani Roth, ASCD publisher. “Grant always focused on progress first, and he approached each project and initiative with enthusiasm, creativity, and vigor. We sincerely appreciate everything Grant did for teachers and for the field of education, and we will truly miss his presence.”

Ross Romano is the Publicist on the ASCD Communications team. He helps to maintain and grow ASCD’s strong relationship with the media and is charged with distributing important news to the press and ASCD constituents. He is also a contributor to the association’s social media channels and other areas of the group communications efforts. Prior to joining ASCD in 2014, he worked in media relations within Major League Baseball, both domestically in the US and internationally in Australia.

RELATED POSTS May 26, 2015 The Matthew Effect May 15, 2015 Book Excerpt: Becoming a Reflective Practitioner May 14, 2015 What Characterizes a Great Teacher? May 13, 2015 Resources to Help You Build Teachers’ Capacity Featured Articles
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      Seven Ways Principals Can Support Instructional Coaches - edu Pulse

      Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 27 min ago
      About this blog Subscribe to this blog May 26, 2015 | Posted At: 12:24 PM | Author: Scholastic Editor Seven Ways Principals Can Support Instructional Coaches .addthis_toolbox_margin{margin-bottom: 2em;} 7 Ways Principals Can Support Instructional Coaches

      School leaders need to communicate clearly and support both teachers and coaches. By Jim Knight

      In the past decade, I have worked with more than 20,000 instructional coaches from six different continents. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that a principal’s support or lack of support can make or break a coaching program. Below, I identify seven ways principals can and should support coaches.

      1. Time. The most important action a principal can take to support a coach might also be the easiest—ensuring he or she has sufficient time. Consider whether you’re overloading this person with extraneous tasks: If coaches are asked to write reports, develop school improvement plans, oversee assessments, deal with student behavior, do bus and cafeteria duty, and substitute teach, they’ll have little time left to partner with teachers. 

      2. An Instructional Playbook. Instructional coaches partner with teachers to increase learning by improving teaching, so coaches need to deeply understand a set of high-impact teaching strategies that will help teachers achieve their goals. I suggest coaches adopt teaching strategies that address the “big four” areas: content planning, formative assessment, instruction, and community building. Principals can support coaches by (a) ensuring coaches have adequate opportunities to learn the playbook; (b) learn the playbook themselves so that they can guide professional learning in support of it; and (c) filter district directives to maintain focus on a small number of teaching strategies.

      3. Partnership. An idea at the heart of instructional coaching as we describe it at the Kansas Coaching Project is that teachers are professionals and should be treated as such. What this means specifically is that teachers’ opinions should be encouraged, and teachers should make many of the decisions about what happens in their classrooms. During coaching, we position teachers as decision makers who identify goals, choose teaching strategies, and monitor progress toward the goal with the coach.

        If coaches take a partnership approach, they can provide teachers with many choices, encouraging teacher voice and taking a dialogical approach. It is crucial the coach and principal agree on this approach, which is essentially learning that takes place through dialogue. Principals can demonstrate their support by allowing teachers to choose whether they will be coached. When instructional coaching is compulsory, teachers often perceive it as a punishment; when it’s presented as a choice, they can see it as a lifeline.

      4. Role Clarity. Coaches should be positioned as peers, not supervisors; when this is the case, they shouldn’t be assigned administrative tasks such as walk-throughs and teacher evaluations. If coaches are given administrative roles, they need to have the same qualifications and training as any other administrator, and everyone in the school (most especially the coach) needs to know they are in that role.

      5. Confidentiality. Instructional coaching will be most successful in schools where there is widespread trust and transparency. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In settings where teachers do not feel psychologically safe, they will not be forthcoming with their thoughts and concerns if they feel their conversations with their coach are not confidential. What is most important with regard to confidentiality is that principal and coach clarify what they will and will not talk about, and that the principal clearly communicates that agreement to everyone involved.

      6. Meetings. There are few principals who want to have more meetings. However, one of the most important ways principals can support coaches is by meeting with them frequently. Meetings don’t need to be long—a lot can be accomplished in a 20-minute conversation—but they need to be frequent so that principal and coach are on the same page.

      7. Walking the Talk. Principals who want to foster a culture of learning and growth need to do what they expect their teachers to do. If they want teachers to video-record their lessons and watch and learn from them, they should record their own meetings and presentations and watch and learn from them. Principals who proclaim that professional learning is important should attend and even lead professional learning sessions. 

      Coaching is powerful because instructional coaches work shoulder to shoulder with teachers, helping them achieve their goals in the classroom. Coaching moves schools away from cultures of talking to cultures of doing. When principals support coaches using the seven factors described here, they greatly increase the impact coaches have on how teachers teach and students learn.

      Jim Knight is the director of the Kansas Coaching Project at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and is president of the Impact Research Lab. He has written two books on teaching: Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction and High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching.

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      Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in edu Pulse are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.

      Categories: Miscellaneous

      Education Week

      Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 27 min ago
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    • Response: The Kind of Professional Development We Need - Part Two Larry Ferlazzo Sun May 24 00:53:24 CEST 2015 Share

      (This post is Part Two in a four-part series on this topic. You can see Part One here.)

      This week's question is:

      What are the do's and don'ts of professional development?



      Today's post is the second in a four-part series exploring how we can improve the state of teacher professional development today.

      The series began with Part One of an essay by well-known educator and author Rick Wormeli, which finishes with Part Two today. You can also listen to a ten-minute conversation I had with Rick at my BAM! Radio Show. The final two posts in the series next week will include guest commentaries from multiple educators, as well as comments from readers.

      Response From Rick Wormeli - Part Two


      Rick Wormeli is a long-time teacher, consultant, and writer living in Herndon, VA. He can be reached at rwormeli@cox.net. His recently released book, The Collected Writings (So Far) of Rick Wormeli: Crazy Good Stuff I Learned about Teaching is now available from Association for Middle Level Education. He can be reached at rwormeli@cox.net and on Twitter at @rickwormeli2:

      Rick began sharing his professional development recommendations in Part One. They are continued here:
      • Teacher Smarter, Not Harder: Get on-line! Participate in the national conversations of your field. When we join the on-line discussion groups or single-event PD offerings, we get perspective and divergent ideas, and we see how the nation and profession are moving. It helps us make the small changes locally.Maintain a place on the school's Intranet to post notes from conferences, article summaries, relevant blogs, etc. as well as questions regarding a topic of interest to you and colleagues.Sign-up to receive updates from thoughtful bloggers whose thinking you value.Subscribe (It's free) to Smartbriefupdates, which is a Website dedicated to providing a brief description and clickable URL for the top 10 to 12 articles in a particular field every day. They do this for many professions, so go to the Education section and sign-up for the areas that interest you. Sample education topics include: Stem Education, Middle Level Teaching, Special Education, ASCD (general education), Ed Tech, Geography, English and Literacy, Social Studies, Math, Scientific Research, Education Leadership, Education Policy.Participate in E-Seminars, Webinars, and Webcasts by Ed Week, ASCD, Lead and Learn, and your subject associations.

        Join Twitter! It's free, and takes only 30 seconds to join. While on Twitter, we can see photos, videos, and thoughts of others real-time as they happen. In a few minutes on Twitter a few years ago, I saw educators post the links to live streaming video of Venus passing across the Sun, a famous author's keynote address, an orchestra's riveting performance of Edvard Grieg's work, a tour guide's explanation of sculpture in Florence, Italy, a surprise discovery under ice in the Antarctic, or the final moments of World Cup football (soccer), and it's only expanded since then. We can "sit in" on classroom lessons delivered all over the world, and if the teachers allows, we can interact with their participants as they happen.

        For a wealth of new ideas, explore the varied demonstration lessons at TeacherTube, SchoolTube, the Teaching Channel, on-line tutorials, and at publishers' Websites that often have education authors on video explaining their ideas. Here's one from Cris Tovani (Stenhouse author).
      • Mentor New Teachers. We learn most by explaining what we do and teaching others. All of us grow in our own thinking and pedagogy when we mentor new teachers in the field. It puts our philosophies to the test. Be willing to change your practices, however, if some come up wanting. It's wonderful when that happens. We can also become a Lab School for a local university, which will have professors and student teachers in the building conducting observations and analyses, elevating every conversation.


      • Video your Lessons and Obtain Collegial Critique. Every time we do this in schools, teachers comment that it was among the best PD they ever experienced. Start a peer observation program in which one colleague observes another then offers reflections on the observation afterwards. Video a teacher teaching, then sit in small groups and analyze what worked, what to improve for next time, and potential extensions of the lesson.
      • Read Professionally. Make it a regular part of the week. Read five articles a month from hardcopy or on-line sources you respect, or three education books a year, but be sure to annotate in the margins: personally interact with the text, agreeing/disagreeing, starring interesting points, making connections to other ideas, just as you would have students do, then share those insights with a colleague or three. It's the discourse following the professional reading that brings these ideas to life.
      • Regularly Discuss Hypotheticals and Scenarios. When we are emotionally safe and non-urgent, we think clearly. When we have the opinions of our respected colleagues in our heads, we are better fortified for the immediate responses we have to make dozens of times in every class period. So, identify 30 or more weird, not-easily-decided scenarios that happen in our classrooms, then ask colleagues to sit in groups of 4 to 6 and brainstorm successful responses to them: A student uses swear words in a heated argument with a teacher; one member of a small, student group is not pulling his weight; a student plagiarizes yet asks for forgiveness and wants to re-do the project ethically; three students are chronic disruptors; 11 students don't do their homework; a parent is angry over a grade you recorded on her son's assignment. Discuss these and other classroom challenges in advance and your responses will be more effective when they really happen.
      • Cultivate Personal Creativity. My whole lesson today is based on accessing those three Websites, but the school's Internet is down, so what can we do instead? Small groups are not working in my class, what can I do? How do I get these students to stay focused on their group tasks? I've backed myself into a corner explaining an advanced science concept, and it's not making sense to me, let alone to my students. What should I do? I'm supposed to differentiate for some of my students, but I don't see any time to do it. My school's current electronic gradebook system doesn't allow me to post anything but norm-referenced scores, and I want to be more criterion-referenced in my grades -- What can I do? Because I'm a veteran teacher, I've been asked to be the rotating teacher using a cart and moving from classroom to classroom each period so the new teacher can have his own room -- How will I handle this? These are all problems that can be solved through creative thinking. Unfortunately, teachers are not encouraged or taught to think creatively, nor do some teachers take the time to cultivate personal creativity. We can't get creative students, however, from non-creative classrooms. There is no book, video, or presentation we can see that will tell how to respond successfully to every classroom challenge, but we can solve our own problems if we are creative. This is not saved for, "When I have time," because we will never have the time. It's critical for students' success for teachers to be creative and to develop students' creativity. The quandaries listed above and many practical tips on how to cultivate creativity in others are available in my May 2012 article in the Middle Level Section of the NASSP Website:
      • Study Executive Function. Weirdly, many schools of teacher preparation don't teach this very often, but it provides the answers to many of the issues that flummox us daily. Executive Function in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain is where we find the capacities for time management, impulsivity control, being aware of the consequences of our words and actions, honoring deadlines, reading social situations correctly so we can respond appropriately, and more. These are all issues with which our students struggle. When we have the perspective and tools for helping students build executive function, we don't take students' digressions from these capacities personally; we are empowered instead. To get started in this area, read, Late, Lost, and Unprepared by Joyce Cooper-Kohn, Laurie Dietzel), Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson, Richard Guare, Smart but Scattered Teens by Peg Dawson, Richard Guare, and Colin Guare, or my piece, "Looking at Executive Function"
      • Conduct Instructional Roundtables. These are grassroots in nature, started and conducted by teachers. They are one hour or less and advertised in advance via e-mail or postings at the teacher boxes in the front office: "For those who are interested: Thursday, May 10th, 3:30 to 4:20 p.m, my classroom: How to Help Students Monitor Their Own Progress. BYOSS - Bring Your Snack and Strategy." Everyone who attends must bring one idea photocopied 12 times (because usually less than 12 show up). Each person presents one strategy he/she finds useful, and the group has to find a way to extend that idea to something else or improve it in some way. So, if 7 people show up, each one walks out with 14 ideas.


      • Ask the Larger Questions of What We Do. This shows us how our efforts fit in the larger enterprise, and it provides perspective for why we do what we do. Exploring our responses to these questions generates perseverance and solutions. On a regular basis and with each other, ask the big questions:


      Why do we teacher everyone, not just the easy ones?

      What is the role of a school?

      How does my approach reflect what we know about students this age?

      Why do we grade students?

      Do our current approaches serve students best?

      How do we communicate with parents?

      How does assessment inform our practice?

      Is what we're doing fair and developmentally appropriate?

      How can we counter the negative impact of poverty/mobility on our students' learning?

      What role does practice play in mastery?

      What is mastery for each curriculum we teach?

      What is homework, and how much should it count in the overall grade?

      How are our current structures limiting us?

      Whose voice is not heard in our deliberations?

      What do we know about the latest in cognitive theory and how are those aspects manifest in our classrooms? If not, why not?

      Are we mired in complacency?

      Are we doing things just to perpetuate what has always been done?

      Are we open to others' points of view - why or why not?

      Does our report card express what we're doing in the classroom?

      How are modern classrooms different from classrooms thirty years ago?

      Where will our practices look like 15 years from now?

      To what extent do we allow state, provincial, country, or international exams to influence our classroom practices?

      "Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task."
      • Clinical psychologist, teacher, author Haim Ginott


      Former Middle Level Director for NASSP, Patti Kinney, reminded me years ago that the most common place most school reforms fail is when leadership doesn't spend enough time building teacher capacity for the change. This holds true for individual professional development: We need to build capacity for PD in teachers. This means providing not only the tools, but also the time, access, and compelling invitation to make it a teacher lifestyle, 24-7. When interviewing for a new teaching position, let's ask about PD opportunities, and when interviewing applicants for an open position, let's inquire about their PD experiences and expectations. It's our culture.

      Great PD happens in schools in which we are encouraged to change one's thinking in light of new perspective and evidence. To do this, the emotional/political atmosphere must be accepting of candor and constructive criticism. Teachers don't always have the tools for critiquing colleagues constructively, so building those skills may be a prerequisite to new building initiatives or individual growth. As writer and educator, Margaret Wheatley, says, "We can't be creative unless we're willing to be confused." Effective schools can't afford to have teachers spending most of their daily energy convincing others that they know what they're doing. It needs to be a safe place to make mistakes, an inviting place to draw insights from those mistakes, and our passion that we improve classroom practice as result.



      Thanks to Rick for his two-part contribution!

      Please feel free to leave a comment your reactions to the topic or directly to anything that has been said in this post.

      Consider contributing a question to be answered in a future post. You can send one to me at lferlazzo@epe.org.When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it's selected or if you'd prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

      You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo.

      Anyone whose question is selected for weekly column can choose one free book from a number of education publishers.

      Just a reminder -- you can subscribe and receive updates from this blog via email or RSS Reader... And,if you missed any of the highlights from the first three years of blog, you can see a categorized list below. You won't see posts from school year in those compilations, but you can review those new ones by clicking on the monthly archives link on this blog's sidebar:

      Classroom Management Advice

      Student Motivation

      Implementing The Common Core

      Teaching Reading and Writing

      Parent Engagement In Schools

      Teaching Social Studies

      Best Ways To Begin & End The School Year

      Teaching English Language Learners

      Using Tech In The Classroom

      Education Policy Issues

      Teacher & Administrator Leadership

      Instructional Strategies

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      Teaching Math & Science

      Brain-Based Learning

      School Relationships

      Author Interviews

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      Education Week has published a collection of posts from blog -- along with new material -- in an ebook form. It's titled Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching.

      Watch for Part Three in a few days... Share Back

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      Categories: Miscellaneous

      Three Easy Tips for Teachers on Twitter — Bright — Medium

      Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 28 min ago
      Sign in / Sign up Rusul
      on May 273 min Next story Next story The author chose to make this story unlisted, which means only people with a link can see it. Are you sure you want to share it?Yes, show me sharing options Three Easy Tips for Teachers on Twitter
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      In response to Teaching the Teachers, 140 Characters at a Time Three Easy Tips for Teachers on Twitter

      By Rusul Alrubail

      It is often said that teaching is an isolated job. Sure, we might not feel this way while we’re teaching — after all, we’re surrounded by our students. The classroom noise, students’ laughter, and busy conversations often make us feel like we’re not alone.

      But what happens when class is over? What happens when the students leave? What happens when we are finally standing all alone in the classroom, packing up our folder, laptop, and water bottle, and reflecting on how the lesson went?

      Like Molly Robbins, Twitter for educators helped me see that teaching does not have to be an isolated job. In fact, Twitter for educators is about global connections, collaborations, and new opportunities.

      Twitter is changing the way of professional development, teaching, and learning in education. So if you’re an educator and would like to leverage the power of Twitter to become connected, there are several areas to focus on in your interactions to create and grow your professional learning network (PLN).

      Twitter chats: This is a great way to meet other educators and to discuss similar topics of interest. As a new connected educator, I used to frequent chats a lot. However, I found that the connections that I was getting out of them are much more important than being on the chat itself. In other words, it’s okay to have side conversations on chats, and it’s okay not to answer the posed question. Even more so, it’s okay not to join them all together.

      Chats, like the “slow chats” that I sometimes moderate, are a fun way to meet other educators.

      Twitter chats provide the pathway to building these connections, but they’re not what Twitter for educators is all about. Chats can be prone to becoming echo chambers. To prevent this from happening, you can ask tough questions, respectfully challenge others, and build on these interactions. If you’re looking for a schedule of all education Twitter chats, here’s a great one. It’s created and curated by Jonathan Rochelle, co-founder of Google Docs.

      Blogging: Tweeting is microblogging. 140-character thoughts on teaching, learning, and professional development. Blogging about the conversations and discussions that happen on Twitter with other educators helps us grow as individuals personally and professionally. Educators are often encouraged to blog their thoughts, then share their work with their network. My first blogging platform was Medium, where I wrote about my experiences from the beginning about becoming a connected educator.

      I tag my post here with #ellchat because it’s a chat about English Language Learners, related to my topic.

      By reading each other’s reflections of classroom practices, we learn from what works and what doesn’t. Twitter offers a strong platform for educators to brainstorm and have discussions, but it also uplifts educators’ voices by providing an outlet to share their writing, thoughts, and ideas, which in turn empowers educators to be autonomous of their professional learning.

      When educators share their writing on Twitter, they often tag people that were part of the conversation that they wrote about. Tweets of blog posts are often also tagged with an appropriate subject or Twitter chat hashtag, to open up a tweet to a wider audience.

      Signal Boosting: When educators get to know the “Twittersphere,” you’ll notice that people retweet & share a lot of work, resources, ideas, and blogs. Being a new educator on Twitter, it was easy to gravitate towards big names on Twitter to retweet and share. But I slowly began to see that it’s important to boost voices of educators that are marginalized and need support. A retweet may give a new teacher support to extend her network and hopefully answer her question.

      Twitter for educators is truly changing the way of not only professional development, but also education as a whole. Educators unite to create increments of change together. And it’s these little changes that give hope to all of us that we’re not alone in making change happen.


      Bright is made possible by funding from the New Venture Fund, and is supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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      Editor @synapsepub. Educator in residence @designco. Blogger @edutopia. Creator @thewritingproj. English/ELL. #EduColor #profchat. Mom of two.

    • Published on May 27. All rights reserved by the author.
      Categories: Miscellaneous

      Scholarship fund for undocumented students launches fundraising drive - The Washington Post

      Education (Spigot Aggregator) - 1 hour 28 min ago

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        Sections The Washington Post Scholarship fund for undocumented students launches fundraising drive Username Education Scholarship fund for undocumented students launches fundraising drive .hideText{position:absolute;left:-10000px} Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options Share on Whatsapp Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Tumblr Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on Tumblr Resize Text Print Article Comments 2
        Donald E. Graham speaks at a 2014 DC-CAP event celebrating students’ graduation from college. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post) By Emma Brown May 27 at 2:42 PM

        TheDream.US, the nation’s largest scholarship fund for immigrant youths who entered the country illegally as children, is embarking on a campaign to raise at least $30 million to help undocumented students pay for college.

        Donald E. Graham, a former owner of The Washington Post who co-founded TheDream.US last year, has pledged $15 million to kick off the fundraising drive, as has hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Their gifts were in addition to previous donations of $10 million each and were meant in part to spur other philanthropists to donate.

        The money will go toward providing $25,000 scholarships to undocumented students who have filed for temporary legal status. They may use the money to attend preapproved U.S. schools for higher education that otherwise would have been out of reach.

        Each year, an estimated 65,000 undocumented students, often called “dreamers,” graduate from U.S. high schools. But they are not eligible for federal Pell grants and other types of federal financial aid that make college more affordable.

        “How can we change the world? I will be betting on dreamers,” Graham said this month at the City University of New York, where more than 300 students have been awarded TheDream.US scholarships.

        Graham previously founded the District of Columbia College Access Program, which has helped thousands of D.C. students get into and pay for college. He co-founded TheDream.US in early 2014, after his company sold The Post to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos.

        TheDream.US officials said the organization has raised $81 million since its inception and has awarded scholarships to about 1,000 students.

        Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids. Continue reading 2 Comments .pb-feature.pb-f-page-comments .pb-comment-wrapper{padding-right:0;border-bottom:none}.pb-feature.pb-f-page-comments{border-right:1px solid #d5d5d5;padding-right:50px} 2 Show Comments Discussion Policy Comments

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        May 27, 2015 by Thank You, Grant Wiggins

        ASCD expresses our profound sadness upon learning of the loss of Grant Wiggins, an author, presenter, and lifelong educator. Grant’s many contributions to education throughout his distinguished career have provided students and educators with access to quality learning and increased achievement.

        “With the passing of Grant Wiggins, the field of education has lost a most influential advocate and innovator,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD executive director. “As a key presence in national and international reform efforts, notably including widespread assessment reform initiatives, Grant has left a legacy that will continue to benefit generations of educators and students.”

        ASCD had the good fortune of working closely with Wiggins over the past two decades, as he and Jay McTighe developed Understanding by Design® and shared its essential curriculum design concepts with educators in the United States and abroad.  Hundreds of thousands of educators have changed their thinking and their instruction because of Wiggins’ books and presentations; they serve as evidence of his innovative mind, captivating personality, and educational leadership.

        “On behalf of my ASCD colleagues, I can say we have all been blessed by the opportunity to work with Grant Wiggins over the years,” said Stefani Roth, ASCD publisher. “Grant always focused on progress first, and he approached each project and initiative with enthusiasm, creativity, and vigor. We sincerely appreciate everything Grant did for teachers and for the field of education, and we will truly miss his presence.”

        Ross Romano is the Publicist on the ASCD Communications team. He helps to maintain and grow ASCD’s strong relationship with the media and is charged with distributing important news to the press and ASCD constituents. He is also a contributor to the association’s social media channels and other areas of the group communications efforts. Prior to joining ASCD in 2014, he worked in media relations within Major League Baseball, both domestically in the US and internationally in Australia.

        RELATED POSTS May 26, 2015 The Matthew Effect May 15, 2015 Book Excerpt: Becoming a Reflective Practitioner May 14, 2015 What Characterizes a Great Teacher? May 13, 2015 Resources to Help You Build Teachers’ Capacity Featured Articles
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            Categories: Miscellaneous

            Analyzing the Social Web

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago
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            Jennifer Golbeck, May 27, 2015

            Sheri Oberman sent me this link to a set of video lectures on the topic of analyzing the open web. Topics include network basics, network structure, visualization, tie strength and trust, building networks, and more. Tools used include Gephi, "an open source graph analysis and visualization tool," and NodeX, "a graph analysis and visualization plugin for Microsoft Excel. Works on certain Windows platforms only. The unique feature of NodeXL is the 'spiggots' it has to import data from other sites, like Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. I often use NodeXL to import data and Gephi to visualize it."

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            Trends 2015: Learning and Teaching in European Universities

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Andrée Sursock, European University Association, May 27, 2015

            This is a survey of European higher education institutions in an effort to identify trends half-way through the 2010s finding that, in essence, "the following issues should be addressed if progress is to be continued and consolidated in future:

            • Lifelong access to learning for a diverse student body - "their success hinges on what takes place both inside and outside university classrooms, whether these are “ click or brick” .... with a stress
              on student engagement through their involvement in governance, volunteer activities in the
              community, etc."
            • Student-centred learning and preparation of graduates for the labour market and society - "the importance of promoting active learning and interdisciplinarity and ensuring that teaching is ICT-supported and research-led."
            • Development and implementation of effective internationalisation strategies - "as a mechanism for preparing students for global citizenship and for developing a range of partnerships and research collaborations."

            Links to a 133-page PDF.

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Tara C. Marshall, Katharina Lefringhausen, Nelli Ferenczi, Personality and Individual Differences, May 27, 2015

            According to this study, different personality traits can effectively predict what people will write about in their Facebook status updates. For example, "extraverts more frequently updated about their social activities and everyday life, which was motivated by their use of Facebook to communicate and connect with others. People high in openness were more likely to update about intellectual topics, consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information."

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            Linking Creativity to Entrepreneurship

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Chris Kennedy, Culture of Yes, May 27, 2015

            I like the second-last slide of the presentation, which depicts the idea as "replacing 'I wish' with 'I will'." Developing a sense of agency in people is urgent and crucial. But There's a lot more to the concept of 'entrepreneurship' in education than this, and it's all this baggage that gives me cause for concern. But according to Chris Kennedy, the concept is shifting. "  I know I held a traditional view of entrepreneurship, that the area of study was really about creating people for the world of business.   And yes, this is important, our schools are about so much more around the skills and qualities we want and the citizenship we want to foster."And the emphasis, he writes, is far more about the need for creativity and agency than business and finance.

            Maybe, but if you look at the examples in the post the idea of business and finance are still central: in Early Entrepreneurs, "participating classrooms each get a $100 micro-loan as startup capital" and create a business to send profits to charity; in Entrepreneurship – Ignite Your Passion students "engage in topics such as leadership, communication, marketing, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship; culminating with developing their own business"; and YELL (Young Entrepreneurship Leadership Launchpad) is "a hands-on, experiential accelerator for  high school students interested in gaining knowledge and developing experience in all areas of business  and entrepreneurship."

            Why do I dislike the idea of teaching entrepreneurship so much? Because it changes the child's perspective from the idea of serving social needs through work and learning to one of serving the needs of people with money. And when you have this perspective, you can never get at the question of why these people have all the money in the first place, and you can never perform work which changes that.

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            Categories: Miscellaneous

            Setting the PACE: Teacher Assessment Practices in a Competency-based Education System

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Jonathan VanderEls, Connected Principals, May 27, 2015

            Good though overly pandering discussion of the application of an accountability strategy called PACE (Performance Assessment for Competency Education) in competency-based classrooms. "The best performance assessments integrate multiple subject areas and are requiring students to be engaged in deeper levels of learning," writes Jonathan VanderEls. " Our teachers are now building cross-disciplinary assessments that require students to demonstrate varied competencies whereas initially we were generally focusing on one subject area."

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            Categories: Miscellaneous

            The mass university is good for equity, but must it also be bad for learning?

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago
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            Hannah Forsyth, The Conversation, May 27, 2015

            This article drifts a bit but is nonetheless an insightful look at the relation between mass learning, the academic tradition of informal learning, and class or background. People pine for the days when students eagerly discussed ideas at the café or in the pub, writes Hannah Forsyth, and they think the mass university brings that experience to everybody, but they forget that it is class, culture pedigree and background that gives them the skills necessary to flourish in this environment. I would argue that this is why so-called elite universities are values for their functions as  selectors of people based on class, culture pedigree and background, and not (merely) as academic institutions. That's why their  graduates continue to be favoured by employers, despite no obvious difference in experience or education. We need to understand in open online learning that what we are fostering is not just equitable access to a bunch of facts, but actual equity in the job market and society as a whole.

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            Categories: Miscellaneous

            How IT and the Role of the CIO is Changing in the Era of Networked Organizations

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago
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            Dion Hinchcliffe, On Digital Strategy, May 27, 2015

            I know that this is the way we want to go. But I also know it's really difficult. If I need a product built, say, how do I get that large cluster of self-managing units to do it? If I need email to function on the weekends, what motivation does the SaaS provider to do that? If I need to connect my laptop to the network, why would IT security enable that? A network structure does away with command and control, but to work it has to replace that with mechanisms that motivate mutually supportive practices. And these are hard to design.

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            Categories: Miscellaneous

            Working Out Loud 101 | Some Thoughts

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago
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            Sahana Chattopadhyay, ID and Other Reflections, May 27, 2015

            This post is a good overview of the concept of "working out loud", something we've visited in these pages from time to time. Here's John Stepper: "Working Out Loud starts with making your work visible in such a way that it might help others. When you do that – when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities."

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            The 75 (or so) most cited living philosophers with public Google Scholar pages

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Brian Leiter, Leiter Reports, May 27, 2015

            I don't always compare myself to the list of most cited living philosophers. But when I do,  I use Google Scholar, which would put me at 36th on the list, if I were listed.

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            A Licence With Limited Value: Copyright Board Delivers Devastating Defeat to Access Copyright

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Michael Geist, May 27, 2015

            The Copyright Board of Canada delivered what Michael Geist calls a devastating defeat to Access Copyright on Friday. Access Copyright is the organization that putatively collects royalties for the copying of books and articles at universities and public institutions. Basically, every one of their claims was rejected (Geist provides an handy-dandy table). The Board pointed out that Access Copyright only has agreements covering 0.005% of the copied works and that its incredibly narrow notion of 'fair dealing' is not accurate. The fact that Access Copyright does not actually own the right it's selling licenses for is to me the telling blow.

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            Hitting a little too close to home

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Toby Morris, The Wireless, May 27, 2015

            This is why education alone does not repair social and economic inequality. The comments below the cartoon are also worth reading. See also this item, from Buzzfeed. And this.

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous

            The OU is closing doors

            Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 2 hours 28 min ago


            Unattributed, Times Higher Education, May 27, 2015

            According to this letter in the Times Higher Education supplement, the Open University is closing regional offices in places like Leeds, Gateshead, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham. The author writes, "It seems to be odd timing when the political direction is to devolve power to English cities, with the university in an enviable position to take advantage of the possibilities that such devolution could bring." But the model of one central office with a bunch of branch offices isn't the same as decentralized. So what would a proper model look like? Each city and town with its own office, locally managed, with access provided to a variety of institutions, including OU, but also any other institution. Back in the 90s I called this 'the Triad Model' (I did not coin the term, but it fits perfectly).

            [Link] [Comment]
            Categories: Miscellaneous
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