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rethink. redesign. go.

Back in May I shared our process at Prairie Lakes AEA for hiring our new technology integration team. Well, now our team has a new blog, rethink. redesign.

Rethinkredesignlogo

We’re just getting started, but we’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks talking about who we we want to be, what we’re going to be about, and how we’re going to do our business. Here’s our thinking behind our new name (and our work)…

#dreambigger. #designforit. #perpetualbeta. That pretty much sums up the work of my team and what we’ll be discussing on our blog. We hope that many of you will join us.

Want to work with us? Learn more about our core beliefs and processes. See how we’re using the Influencer framework to help guide our design work. Get in touch!

[personalize based on blog]

Deathbyfailing

Thought I’d share my favorite publicity solicitation to date…

Hi Dr. Scott,

I hope this message finds you well! I recently came across Dangerously Irrelevant and thought you and your readers may be interested in the recent infographic my colleagues and I at ???.com created (below). Our goal is to help delineate a few of the most popular routes towards becoming a teacher. I wanted to share it with you [because reason xyz -- personalize based on blog].

A little more about me — my name is ??? ??? and for the past year I’ve had the pleasure of helping grow our online community of educators. I’m very passionate about providing aspiring teachers with the resources they need to develop their career and maximize their potential.

As someone who comes from a family of teachers, I know that each public education teacher’s path to certification will depend on many different factors, but ultimately each will become certified! It is our hope that by offering this guide to aspiring educators that we can help them reach their goal by outlining the steps that lead to certification.

I’d be happy to write up a short article to go along with our graphic if that would be of interest to you.

Best,
??? ???

Gotta love that part in brackets! My response:

Thank you but I’m going to decline this [because reason xyz -- personalize based on blog]…

Funny. I never heard back from him…

Image credit: Danger of Death by Failing, AlmazUK

Here’s to the individual bloggers

Teach100

The Teach100 is an attempt to rank the top education blogs in the world. Most of the ranking system is purportedly objective, with 20% of the rankings an admittedly subjective factor. People will disagree about the order of the rankings, as well as whether we should even rank education blogs in the first place.

I want to focus on a different aspect of the Teach100: the role of individual bloggers versus those blogs that have a larger entity behind them. If you look at Teach100′s top fifty education blogs, most of them have a corporation or media company or some bigger institution behind them.

Mixed in with them, however, are Richard Byrne and David Warlick, former teachers who are now tireless advocates for powerful learning with technology. Larry Ferlazzo, who teaches ESL students in California. Vicki Davis, middle school teacher in Georgia. Shelly Terrell, international school educator. Eric Sheninger, New Jersey principal. Doug Johnson, the technology and libraries director for the Mankato school district in Minnesota. Jose Vilson, New York City math teacher (and the coolest educator I know virtually). And, yes, even a few university professors like Bruce Baker, Tom Whitby, and Jackie Gerstein.

I’m greatly appreciative of the work done by many of the institution-backed blogs. I learn lots from Edutopia, from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post, and from the ProfHacker folks at The Chronicle of Higher Education. But I’m in complete awe of the individuals who somehow find a way to stand side-by-side with The New York Times, ScholasticEducation Week, Inside Higher Ed, the National Education Association, and the United States Department of Education.

Here’s to the individual bloggers. All of you. Some of you make the big list, most of you don’t. But every day you enrich us in ways previously unimaginable. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for all that you share.

Keep on bloggin’…

Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2012

August is Connected Educator Month and Wednesday is the 6th anniversary of my blog. I can think of no better way to celebrate both than to host Leadership Day 2012! To paraphrase what I said five years ago:

Many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I’ve noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don’t know

  • what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (e.g., budget, staffing, infrastructure, training) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on…

Administrators’ lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Many of them didn’t grow up with computers. Other than basic management or data analysis technologies, many are not using digital tools or online systems on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So let’s help them out.

How to participate

  1. On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs, wants, resources, ideas, etc. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video or a voice-narrated presentation. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Create an app, game, or simulation. Draw a cartoon. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. If you participated in years past, post a follow-up reflection. Whatever strikes you.
  2. The official hashtag is #leadershipday12
  3. TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN FIND YOUR POST, please complete the online submission form AFTER you post, including a short teaser that will drive traffic to your post. Everyone then will be able to see your post in the complete list of submissions. If you want to link back to this post or leave a link to yours in the comment area, that’s okay too!

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective P-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What strengths and deficiencies are present in the NETS-A?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders?
  • How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders regarding technology?
  • How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment?
  • When it comes to P-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research?
  • What are (or might be) some successful models of technology leadership training for school administrators?
  • How might preservice preparation programs for administrators better incorporate elements of technology leadership?
  • When you think of (in)effective P-12 technology leadership, what comes to mind?

Here are the 353 ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT posts from the past five years (353!)

A badge for your blog or web site

I hope you will join us for this important day because, I promise you, if the leaders don’t get it, it’s not going to happen.

Checklist

Who’s Dan Meyer?

Writeintoexistence

BEFORE

Math Establishment: Who’s Dan Meyer?

Other: Some crazy young punk educator with radical notions about how we should teach math to kids.

Math Establishment: No worries. His ideas won’t go far…

 

NOW

Math Establishment: Who’s Dan Meyer?

Other: Some crazy young punk educator with radical notions about how we should teach math to kids.

Math Establishment: Wow. This guy’s got some following. And we can see him, hear him, read him for ourselves. Let’s invite him to be a featured speaker at the national conference.

 

Could this happen in the past? Sure, theoretically. But it was much, much harder. So probably not.

On the Web we can write (and podcast and video and Tweet…) ourselves into existence. Teach our children, please, how they can be Dan Meyer too.

 

Image credit: in order to exist online

I’m a blogger [VIDEO]

 

Yeah, what he said. Great video from Tyler Cowen!

Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2011

Since the past four have been so successful [last year we had 114 posts!], I am putting out a call for people to participate in Leadership Day 2011. To paraphrase what I said four years ago:

Many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I’ve noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don’t know

  • what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (e.g., budget, staffing, infrastructure, training) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on…

Administrators’ lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Many of them didn’t grow up with computers. Other than basic management or data analysis technologies, many are not using digital tools or online systems on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So let’s help them out.

How to participate

  1. On Friday, August 5, 2011, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs, wants, resources, ideas, etc. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. If you participated in years past, post a follow-up reflection. Whatever strikes you.
  2. The official hashtag is #leadershipday11
  3. TO ENSURE THAT I FIND YOUR POST, please add your info to the online spreadsheet AFTER you post. This will allow me to mention and directly link to your post when I do my summary post(s) a few days later. Everyone also will be able to see the complete list of submissions. If you want to link back to this post or leave a link to yours in the comment area, that’s okay too!

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective K-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What strengths and deficiencies are present in the NETS-A?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders?
  • How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders regarding technology?
  • How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment?
  • When it comes to K-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research?
  • What are (or might be) some successful models of technology leadership training for school administrators?
  • How might preservice preparation programs for administrators better incorporate elements of technology leadership?
  • When you think of (in)effective K-12 technology leadership, what comes to mind?

Here are the ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT posts from the past four years

A badge for your blog or web site

LeadershipDay2011 

I hope you will join us for this important day because, I promise you, if the leaders don’t get it, it isn’t going to happen.

Checklist

McLeod Reads

TrappedThere’s a lot of stuff that comes through my Twitter stream. In addition to independent tweets, there also are my posts from here and Mind Dump, my Delicious bookmarks, things that I share from Google Reader, posts from the other CASTLE blogs, and so on. So I wasn’t surprised to get a message recently that said something along the lines of “I’m overwhelmed by your tweets. Do you have a ‘best of the best’ channel?”

Today I’m launching McLeod Reads (@mcleodreads), which is intentionally designed to highlight not only my own best writing but also the best of what I’m reading from others. I’m a huge fan of Flipboard and Instapaper. I also sometimes use systems like Scoop.it, paper.li, ZiteReadability, TweetedTimes, or Read It Later. My overarching goal for this initiative is to highlight things that I want to read using these tools.

What will be in the McLeod Reads stream? As you might imagine, there will be a lot of stuff related to schools, technology, and/or leadership. But there also will be stuff related to social media, higher education, economics, politics, graphic design, law, publishing and journalism, ebooks, photography, and so on. Sometimes it will be a short blurb or quote that I think is especially noteable. Much of it will be longer-form reading like you might see at LongreadsThe Browser, Longform, The EssayistThe Long Good ReadGive Me Something to Read, or The Atavist (you know, the stuff that you can really sink your teeth into).

So two Twitter feeds. What you see on @mcleodreads also will come through @mcleod. But most of what you see on @mcleod will never appear on @mcleodreads (i.e., no bookmarks, no unfiltered ‘bot’ tweeting, and no random conversations).

Will Richardson has his Instapaper feed. Carl Anderson has his Ed Tech Feeds twitter account. This is my attempt to create a purposeful, carefully-curated feed of some great reading. To start, I’ve loaded it up with some older posts and some things that caught my eye this morning (so apologies in advance if you’ve already seen much of what’s there now).

To see the unfiltered stream of what I’m sharing, subscribe to @mcleod. To see the unfiltered stream of what I’m reading, check out my shared feeds. But if you’re interested in a more curated experience, subscribe to @mcleodreads and try it out. Let me know what you think (good or bad). And we’ll see how this experiment goes.

Happy reading!

4 days to go! HELP WANTED (and CONTEST) – 500 school leadership blogs in 10 days?

Trapped[UPDATE: And the winner is… Suzie Linch, who submitted Nathan Barber’s blog, The Next Generation of Educational Leadership. Congratulations, Suzie!]

Just a quick update… Six days after announcing my goal of identifying 500 school leadership blogs, we’re up to 402 submissions. Removing duplicates, that’s a total of about 330 school leadership blogs so far.

As I noted in my previous post:

I know that many of you will contribute out of the goodness of your heart. But, because 500 blogs is a very ambitious goal, I’ll sweeten the pot a little. The kind folks at Lenovo are going to let me give away a Lenovo m90z all-in-one desktop computer to anyone in the world who submits a school leadership blog using the form below. I’ll choose at random from all of the submissions. You get an extra chance for each blog you submit; the more you enter, the better your chance to win!

The form is below. The deadline is May 16. I’ll clean up the list of contributions and share it back out so that we all can make good use of them. Thanks to everyone who already has submitted an entry. If you know of a principal or superintendent or school administrator association who is blogging, your assistance would be greatly appreciated!

HELP WANTED (and CONTEST) – 500 school leadership blogs in 10 days?

Trapped[UPDATE: And the winner is… Suzie Linch, who submitted Nathan Barber’s blog, The Next Generation of Educational Leadership. Congratulations, Suzie!]

Does your local principal or superintendent blog? Do you read the blog of your local, state, or national school administrator association? Know of other blogs that are of interest to school leaders? I’m trying to collect 500 school leadership blogs in the next 10 days. Sure, there are some lists but they all need updating:

I know that many of you will contribute out of the goodness of your heart. But, because 500 blogs is a very ambitious goal, I’ll sweeten the pot a little. The kind folks at Lenovo are going to let me give away a Lenovo m90z all-in-one desktop computer to anyone in the world who submits a school leadership blog using the form below. I’ll choose at random from all of the submissions. You get an extra chance for each blog you submit; the more you enter, the better your chance to win!

FYI, the m90z is a pretty sweet machine (Lenovo sent me one to review first). The huge touch screen is very responsive. It would be a great home or classroom computer; my kids have taken to it like ducks to water. Here are a few pictures so that you can see what you might win and here are the technical specifications. Also, over the next few days check out these blogs for additional opportunities to score a m90z:

The form is below. The deadline is May 16. Thanks in advance for helping out. I’ll clean up the list of contributions and share it back out so that we all can make good use of them!

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