With a career in education spanning over 23 years and 11 children of my own, I have come to respect and recognize that happiness is paramount in education. Unhappy high-achieving students have similar struggles to their unhappy underachieving peers as they navigate through life after high school. Yet happy children (and adults) are more productive, healthy and successful. They earn more money, live longer, get and stay married longer—and yes, achieve more. Educationalist and philosopher Nel Noddings sums up happiness best for me when she says, “Happy people are rarely mean, violent or cruel.” Let’s fill our schools (and homes) with opportunities for our students and adults to be happier and healthier. Here’s how we can use technology to maximize our efforts. (more…)
Guest post by Brian McCann
It’s taken me nearly 15 years to get the opening of school “right.”
And in all of the summer planning I did for more than a decade: the refreshing of the building, the supplies ordering, the school’s master schedule, I forgot the most important stakeholder of all: the children.
It wasn’t until I was engaged in a summer Twitter chat a few summer’s back that Craig Vroom, an Ohio middle school principal, introduced me to the #1st3days.
The philosophy of #1st3days has a laser focus on relationship-building and brands from the opening bell that people are the heart of this high school.
Guest post by Eric Sheninger
In my last post, we explored the importance of demonstrating efficacy to build support for, and ensure the success of, your school’s digital transformation. The Rigor/Relevance Framework offers a strong overall framework to reinforce pedagogical foundations while also moving practice from isolated pockets of excellence to systemic elements that are scaled throughout the learning culture. With that context in place, the next challenge is putting in place the right structures and supports to ensure success.
Below are five key areas (essential questions, research, practicality, evidence/accountability, reflection) that can put your classroom, school, district, or organization on a path to digital efficacy. (more…)
Guest post by Eric Sheninger
I’ll never forget the day I presented my digital transformation plan to our superintendent at the time. I had spent days preparing and rehearsing all of my points, explaining the rationale for each new tool and making a strong budget case to secure the necessary resources. At the end of my presentation, the superintendent asked me point blank, “Can you prove it? What evidence do you have to demonstrate that all of this works?” These were fair questions that I had not fully anticipated. But at that moment in time, they provided the grounding that my school and I really needed. (more…)
Guest post by Brad Currie
Transforming the way in which we engage families in our classrooms, schools, and districts is paramount if educators are going to exhaust all options to promote the success of students. A multi-faceted approach must be implemented. Families live busy lives and have unique circumstances pertaining to their availability on a given day. Educators must never discount the opportunities that technology provides to a parent or guardian on an internet enabled device. Grades, learning experiences, event information, feedback, praise, constructive criticism, highlights, and a plethora of other insights can be transmitted to families from educators through a variety of technological methods. (more…)