digital principals

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…)

Attend Ignite and Spark Your Digital Discoveries

Let’s say this summer you’ve made a commitment to consider new opportunities to increase student engagement and lower disciplinary incidents. Or maybe you’ve pledged to develop a program that empowers students to be the navigators of their learning destinies. Your solutions may lie in adopting an innovative digital initiative—a program that meets students, so often referred to as today’s digital natives, where they are.

For inspiration, come to Ignite ’16 in Orlando, FL, and learn from NASSP’s 2016 Digital Principal Award winners. (Nominations and applications are available now for the 2016 Digital Principals program.) Taking a page from the experience of NASSP’s 2015 Digital Principals—John Bernia, James Richardson, and Bill Ziegler—who presented an Ignite ’15 panel discussion, technological innovation in schools can be the key to achieving these goals.

John Bernia (@MrBernia) served on a committee in his Oakland Township, MI, district to create a Bring Your Own Device policy. This principal of Oakview Middle School was so committed to classroom technology integration that he freed up classroom teachers by using substitutes in order to have a series of daytime staff meetings called “The Big Think.” (more…)

How Are You Recharging This Summer?

Guest post by Dr. Bill Ziegler, a 2015 NASSP Digital Principal who presented at the Ignite ’15 conference and will attend Ignite ’16.

Summer is a great time for principals to reflect on the past year and prepare for the upcoming school year. Consider grouping your summer break so that you can take advantage of opportunities to vacate, relate, innovate, and invigorate.

Vacate—as in vacation. Summer is the perfect time to refresh and reenergize for the new school year. When you go on vacation, be sure to leave the school cell phone and laptop in the hotel room or, even better yet, at home. Taking a break from school will make you stronger in the long run.

Relate—I use the summer to build my relationships with principals, teachers, friends, and most importantly, my family. I really enjoy having lunch with different principals to learn what other school leaders are doing and how they are working to improve their school. (more…)

Successful Strategies for Technology Integration in Schools

The use of technology in schools is revolutionizing K–12 learning, and principals serve an important role in fostering this change. As Jennifer Demski of The Journal said, “the most successful implementation of technology programs takes place in schools where the principal sees him or herself as a technology leader.”

Indeed, many principals across the country are leading the charge for the increased use of technology—and for good reason. Just a few benefits of technology in the classroom include: (more…)