Showing posts from October, 2019

Genuine Leadership #4: Gratitude

Bad bosses thrive in chaos because it is more difficult to hold them accountable for performance failures in a chaotic culture...Bad bosses create toxic and hostile environments without regard for how it negatively impacts others. They do it because they are insecure. They do it because they are afraid. They do it because they can. Source:How Bad Bossess Compel Good Employees to Leave One way to become a genuine leader is to identify all the ways you are a bad leader. I've always wondered, wouldn't it be easier to focus on the few things you could do to be a "good" leader? Over time, I've realized that a bad leader can do many of the things a good leader does, but it all goes wrong. It's like watching someone do the right thing with a bad intent. The whole experience comes across as...oily. Even when the good or right thing happens, you are left wanting to reject it.

That's the insidiousness of a bad boss. You are left wanting to reject something which w…

The Courage to Lead

One of the tough aspects of reading research is challenging your own past assumptions. I'd like to think that all the ideas I held to be true remain so today. But research reveals our misconceptions and misunderstandings of the facts. Like others, I am frightened that ideas I've long held dear must be set aside. That certain ways of using technology are not as valuable as once thought. The truth, though, can also redeem us. It can remind us that what we held to was not what the truth, but our fallible facsimile of it.

Check out this excerpt from Cathy Lassiter's Everyday Courage for School Leaders:
Intellectual courage is relevant to school leaders because, inevitably, we will come to see value in some ideas not previously thought to be valid or important. We need the courage to recognize the limitations of our own thinking in such circumstances (Lombardo, 2011).  New research evidence and advancements in the science of learning are reported regularly at conferences and i…

Genuine Leadership #3: Ride for the Brand

If you're not proud of where you work, go work somewhere else. You don't get the benefit of the brand when it's hot without accepting the blame of the brand when it's wrong.
Source:Seth Godin, "All I do is work here"
"I don't agree with this, but my boss said it, and he expects me to pass it on," said my Assistant Superintendent, a suave Hispanic gentleman who managed a technology department with no background in technology at all. We were at a district meeting and he was selling an unpopular decision at the top levels. He had all sorts of artificial filters that got in the way of his authenticity. But then, that wasn't so surprising after I learned more about him.

He'd been sent, as he often told us, to the department as a career-ender, with no expectation of success. It was a convenient way to put him out to pasture, an area superintendent the Super didn't like anymore. It pleased me that, in the end, he turned the tables on the Su…

Leadership That Works

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to work with many different supervisors. The best found a way to inspire those around them. I was fortunate to have three principals. Of them, the one who brought people together to improve the school, who delegated his authority and used his influence made the biggest difference. John Hattie mentions that transformational leadership may be over-rated.

Moments that Define One of the defining moments of DG's tenure as principal at Perales Elementary School in Edgewood ISD included when he pulled me out of class. He invited me to his office to get my ideas on tech integration. His interest fueled my desire to learn about technology integration. I worked hard to implement much of what I read in magazines like The Computing Teacher, Learning and Leading with Technology, and built experiences with others that have informed my entire career.

DG never pretended to be a data-driven principal, although student achievement was important. He would …

Reflections on Blogging: CyberSecurity and Blending Tech into Instruction Tips

I'm so excited about some upcoming blog posts over at the TCEA TechNotes blog. Yes, there are tons of great tips and ideas being shared, including research-based ones.

As you can see, these articles reflect some of my interests.
CyberSecurity Since October is Cybersecurity month, I wrote two blog entries focused on cybersecurity. The first blog entry (published yesterday), Are Schools Easy Targets for Cyber Threats? The Latest Report Says "Yes,"shares the result of a report that just came out from Absolute software. I like how I summarized some of the key ideas in the report, and blended in the Google Maps' interactive Ransomware map.
The second article on Cybersecurity is Five Cybersecurity Tips for Newbies. Some of you may recognize this since I wrote a blog entry similar to it a few years ago, but this one has been revamped to reflect new information and tools/strategies.
Hattie Universe I like to think of strategies that work, blog entries relevant to that as be…

Complaint: A Stay at the Crowne Plaza near Houston Reliant (Update)

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to learn from Corwin constellation of notables. What an amazing experience. I hate to mention the names of these folks in this blog post, so I won't. This is a complaint about the IHG hotel, Crowne Plaza.

Crowne Plaza
Address: 8686 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77054
Phone: (713) 748-3221

The venue for the conference was the Crowne Plaza, which from the get-go had some problems. In fact, it was so bad that it reminded me of a stay at Baymont Inn in Port Arthur where we paid $60 per night. The cost of staying at Crowne Plaza was $160 for weekend and $120 for the week days. Two of us stayed at the hotel from Saturday night through Tuesday.

The pictures on the website look beautiful. They don't quite capture the interior, low-lit dark spaces and smelly, dirty, stained carpet.
So, you can see, quite a bit more money was spent but the quality of the stay was equivalent to a cheap Baymont Inn. In fact, it was WORSE. It was more like the Super 8 I sta…

Wrestling with What Works Best with Tech: A Few Podcasts

Again and again, it's easy to see how research-based strategies can have a powerful impact in the classroom. But one of the challenges is, "What happens when you try to blend technology into them?" One of my concerns is that the effectiveness of a strategy goes down as you change it. This turns the instructional strategies into never-changing approaches and that's not really realistic. How do you strike a balance between effective strategies that work and blending in experimental technologies that add value, rather than take away?

A part of my search is really to find out how others are thinking this through. I've shared a few blog entries here, and will be adding more in the future. However, listening to other people struggle with this is great.

Podcast #1: Grantwood AEA Digital LearningVisible Learning with John Hattie (Jonathan Wylie, Mindy Cairney and Gina Rogers host this particular's a new podcast for me, so I'm thrilled to have had it poin…

Digital Read Alouds: Copyright and Creation Questions @kerszi #library #slj

Are you up to date on your copyright? How about your podcasting skills? This evening, I stumbled on a conversation that gave me the opportunity to revisit both. Mind if I share my journey with you?

Tweet Kathi Kersznowski shared the following tweet:

There were some great responses to this tweet. Before jumping into those, and sharing my small contribution, I was curious to learn more about the Global Read Aloud.

About The Global Read Aloud You might think I'd know all about this, but aside from a brief look some time ago, I hadn't really taken a deep look at Pernille Ripp's program. She writes the following: This is all run by me, Pernille Ripp, one person, who has a full-time job as a 7th-grade teacher, as well as speaks, trains, and writes outside of that. (Source) It's always amazing to see what one person can do. This seems to be a great program that involves some great opportunities to connect.

It seems to me that people sign up to read books live. Consider Perni…

What Happens in the EdTech Classroom

While sifting through my Get Pocket articles, I ran across one from Forbes (8/19/19) that had an intriguing headline.
Three Reasons Classroom Practice Conflicts With Evidence On How Kids Learn Teaching PD has Little Basis in Science In this article, Natalie Wexler points out that:
Once on the job, teachers continue to get training, or “professional development,” that has little basis in science. And their supervisors and instructional materials often assume the validity of non-evidence-based practices. That's a remarkable claim, but given my own experience, especially the shock I experienced and the stats on reading, math, etc. on reviewing John Hattie (I have one person to thank for that rude awakening), I'm going to agree with it. In fact, when I discussed it with a much older teacher dear to my heart, my wife affirmed it.
"Teachers coming into the profession now lack the training I went through [on Hunter] and it really shows up when they are expected to teach kids how …

Genuine Leadership #2: Prune the Unnecessary

How are you pruning the unnecessary goals, strategies and objectives to keep your organization light and nimble?
In words that resonate with most educators, Peter Drucker (1992) writes that "the largest and easiest gains in knowledge work come from redefining the task and eliminating what need not be done."

Collins writes that we must all make a "stop doing list." We must "stop doing anything and everything" that doesn't get us the results we want (Collins, 2001).

Results will require tough but intelligent decisions from us. To gain the results we want will require that we systematically review and eliminate unnecessary, ill-wrought goals and committee work, that we abandon ineffective but so-called "research-based" programs and strategies.
Source:Schmoker, Up and AwayWow, that's pretty tough. Consider what Mike Schmoker writes here in Winter, 2000: Because all school districts have limited staff development resources, they should put the lio…

MyNotes: Beginning My Exploration of Student-Centered Coaching

“When schools lack a clearly articulated coaching model, confusion reigns and a precious resource is wasted.” -EL Magazine
In this fantastic book, Student-Centered Coaching: A Guide for K-8 Coaches and Principals, Diane Sweeney nails the essence of instructional coaching. As I read her book, listened to her videos, I was struck by how easy Diane made it seem (which is a testament to her writing and organization!). For example, check out the seven core practices:

Seven Core Practices for Student-Centered Coaching Setting student learning goals for coaching cyclesCreating learning targets for coaching cyclesUsing student evidence to co-plan instructionOrganizing coaching through coaching cyclesCo-teaching with a focus on effective teaching practiceMeasuring the impact of coaching on student and teacher learningPartnering with the school leader (Source)
Diane had thought through much of what coaches actually need to know and then put the tools together. It was one of the most comprehensiv…

Battle Royale: The Game of School

Steve Hargadon, whose ability as an entrepreneur earns my admiration anytime I see his latest project, shares this point over at the Game of School website (one of his new ventures):
A few years ago I gave a talk on education at a conference being held at Google's main headquarters. I expressed my concern about the small number of students who when graduating high school saw themselves as "good learners," and about the much larger number of students whose experience in school left them believing that they were not good learners, and even more concerning, that they were not smart. As I read his words, I wondered that maybe, "One possibility is that many students graduating high school did NOT have experiences that led to them be 'good' learners." Steve makes some excellent points in blog entry; check it out.

Wondering My mind kept coming back to the first paragraph of his blog entry. He goes on to ask, "What percentage of high school students to yo…

Wakelet's New Mood board

So exciting to see new features come out around a product that's fun, easy and versatile. Of course, I'm referring to's announcement of a Mood board on October 1. I'm happy to share that another blog entry has appeared at TCEA's TechNotes featuring both Wakelet and John Hattie's research.

Here's a brief screenshot of the blog entry but you'll want to read the whole thing, especially since I embedded a few Wakelets chock full of resources there.

One notable new feature to Wakelet is their Mood Board (see video below). As I point out in the blog entry cited above:

"Educators can use the Mood Board feature for many purposes, such as a:
Curated social wall for eventsReflection board for students during and after lessonsWay for project documentationVisual, equitable, and collaborative group project toolDigital, visual content blackboardVirtual book clubs gathering space, digital maker space and school library tool (e.g. book talks)"Here&#…

Another Day, Another Data Breach

Working with a local educator, a kind and wonderful school leader, I was astonished to see her face the real life consequences of a spouse's actions with online dating service. Her spouse, a respected individual who had gained a position of authority in a service industry (e.g. fire, police), took his own life before much more than his use of the online dating service could be revealed.

That experience drove home how important it is to NOT tolerate data breaches in schools, as well in the businesses we use to provide critical services. And, certainly not in the services that some may use to seek out a different lifestyle.

Earlier this month, I received an email from the folks below:
WizCase is a leading source for cybersecurity news. Our team of web security experts have uncovered several glaring leaks, including one in the hospitality industry and another that exposed vulnerabilities in the world’s most popular webcams.
We always inform the companies of the leaks before publishin…