Technology

NASSP 2017 Digital Principals of the Year Announced

Congratulations are in order for the NASSP 2017 Digital Principals of the Year (DPOY), David Geurin of Bolivar High School, Darren Ellwein of Harrisburg South Middle School, and Nicholas Indeglio of Downingtown Middle School. (more…)

Student Voice Is Essential to Education Reform

Guest post by Felix Yerace

Over the last 11 years of my career in education, I have seen my students do amazing things and show leadership that I am not sure I possessed at 16 or 17, or 26 or 27, for that matter. They have improved their schools, advocated for their peers, given back to their communities, and made their world a better place. In doing so, they have learned powerful lessons that I could never have taught in the classroom. I am continually impressed with their efforts and abilities, and their work inspired me to go back to school to earn my PhD in Leadership Studies, focusing on youth leadership development to learn how to help other educators better support their own student leaders. (more…)

Using Technology to Empower Students

There remains very little debate about whether students should use technology in learning. If there remains a doubt, let the adult without a computer on their desk—or in their pocket or laptop bag—cast the first stone. Technology is ubiquitous, and schools should be no exception.

A massive question remains, however, about how kids should use that technology. Sadly, some schools leverage new tools to streamline the same old methods of learning. And not surprisingly, these schools are seeing little effect on their students’ achievement. To make the most of our investment, we need to use technology to empower students to lead their own learning. (more…)

Advocacy Update

Apply for the CTE Makeover Challenge

Your high school could be eligible for $20,000 in cash and additional in-kind prizes to start a makerspace in your building! The U.S. Department of Education invites schools to enter the CTE Makeover Challenge by submitting a design for a CTE makerspace. All schools will gain access to a six-week CTE Makeover Bootcamp that will provide resources and training in makerspace design and planning. Up to 10 schools will receive the $20,000 cash prize. You can view the notice in the Federal Register here. (more…)

Progress Made on Closing the Digital Divide

As all principals know, changes in how the world connects has made a significant impact on the way we organize school records, communicate with parents, and collaborate with other educators. But it has perhaps most greatly affected how students conduct research and complete group projects and other school assignments, which puts students who don’t have broadband internet at home at a great disadvantage. Many are calling this new digital divide the “homework gap,” and ultimately it can impact their academic success.

As a member of the Education and Library Networks Coalition (EdLiNC), NASSP previously submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (more…)

10 Ways Principals Can Use Twitter to Engage Stakeholders

Guest post by Dwight Carter

Before I joined the Twitterverse, I was critical of its use, and quite frankly, was turned off by the concept all together. I often read and watched what seemed like ridiculous stories of what celebrities shared about their lives—from the foods they ate, whom they had lunch with, or whom they were dating. I saw no purpose for it all. However, all that changed about five years ago when my former district embarked on a digital journey.

I had the opportunity to participate in an intense, three-day social media boot camp facilitated by Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard, founders of Mindset Digital. (more…)

What Is the Promise of Educational Technology?

Guest post by Chris Lehmann

Since the early 1980s, K-12 schools have been enamored with the promise of educational technology. Computers were going to revolutionize education, and yet, I’d argue that the changes we’ve seen in school due to technological innovation lag far behind what we have seen in the rest of society. In many ways, education has proven to be powerfully resistant to the changes we have seen in every other sector of our world.

I’d argue it’s because, too often, we’ve tried to make technology use in school allow us to do what we’ve always done, only slightly more efficiently.

And that’s a shame. If the best we can imagine technological innovation in our schools to be is the next generation VCR and Scantron, then the failure of our vision is both great and terrible. (more…)

Congress Considers Bill to Tackle the Homework Gap

Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WV) recently introduced the Digital Learning Equity Act (H.R. 3582) to ensure students and their families have broadband Internet access in their homes. A companion bill, The Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015 (S. 1606), was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Angus King (I-ME) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). This bill will help provide students and their families with equitable access to the Internet at home to support family engagement in their child’s education and will allow students to accomplish essential tasks such as completing their homework, applying for colleges, and seeking post-graduation employment.

According to a letter of support sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership by education groups (including NASSP and NAESP), the bill: (more…)

3 Tips to Increase Your Productivity

Guest post by Daisy Dyer Duerr

Principals and assistant principals can struggle with a variety of distractions that curb their productivity each and every day. As the new school year gets underway, do you find yourself asking whether you are being as productive as you want to be?

As a school leader, I found I was able to amp up my productivity and I’d like to share with you a few tips and tricks:

  • Email. I spent 30 minutes on email before students arrived at school, then one hour after my children were in bed at night. NO MORE. You can’t build relationships over email, but you can sure ruin them if you aren’t setting aside the appropriate time to focus on your email communication.

(more…)

Senate Passes ESEA Reauthorization Bill, Sets Stage for Conference Committee

Less than two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives moved to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by passing the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), the Senate followed suit by passing the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177) by a vote of 81 to 17.

This historic achievement comes seven years after No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was due for reauthorization. The bill was opposed by 14 Republicans who felt the bill did not go far enough to restore local control in education and three Democrats because of concerns over missing civil rights provisions.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) issued the following statement after the bill passed the Senate:

“Last week, Newsweek Magazine called this the ‘law that everyone wants to fix’—and today the Senate’s shown that not only is there broad consensus on the need to fix this law—remarkably, there’s also broad consensus on how to fix it.”

(more…)