Friday, August 10, 2012


Gaming is not some new idea, but it is of course catching on in schools and Bill Gates is the latest to jump in the ring. I'm not 100% on board with gaming in schools, or Bill Gates in schools for that matter. Read on......

Saturday, August 4, 2012


How many articles or research studies or pleas from children will it take for teachers/principals/schools to change their ways and integrate Relevant Learning and Resources into the school day? For the past couple of years I've really been trying to get away from calling Relevant Learning and Resources..... technology. There really isn't anything technological about using laptops or Google Apps or any of the other thousands of resources out there.

A recent article in the NY Times School Book section addresses what I'm talking about above, read it here.

C'mon......get on it!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Creative Thinking, Big Picture Ideas in School

Now that I'm officially at the helm and also in a new school district, I've been thinking a lot about student learning outcomes and the big picture for my career. I've become an elementary school principal, so I've accomplished a huge goal at a fairly young age. Now what expectations do I have for our teachers/students in my new role?

I'm doing a lot of observing and asking questions as I learn new systems and structures in my new setting.

An article in the NY Times today has re-clicked my thinking about learning outcomes and what is important and what our teachers should focus on and what I should be promoting and focusing on, and what is relevant and rigorous for our children.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Winning Mojo

It's easy and appropriate to grab on the Olympic/sports theme with the games going on in London currently, and sports for me has always been a great motivator and I feel many of the mantras can carry over to education.

I've recently started to read the Harvard Business Review and a great article came through yesterday which made me reflect and think about conversations I was having with teachers throughout the day. 'Ten Reasons Why Winners Keep Winning, Aside From Skill' had some excellent food for thought as we're getting ready for the school year.

My intention from referencing this article is not to say that education is like winning and we're trying to develop winners in the classroom, however many of the same motivational attributes or 'mojo' can really apply.

1. Good mood - positive thinking and a 'winners' attitude go a long way.
2. Learning - winners accept feedback and discuss mistakes
3. Positive culture of mutual respect - not just for staff but most importantly for students, so important!

Read the entire article for the whole list, what characteristics pop out for you!

By the way, great first day at the helm yesterday! My voice was sore from talking so much and mouth was sore from smiling so much, that's good mojo!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


My new district has GAFE (Google Apps for Education)....thankfully, and during a meeting with our 5th grade teachers a couple of weeks ago I brought up the idea of ePortfolios with Google Sites. This of course is not a new idea, but something that hasn't been done at my new school.

 I was coming from the angle of, 'you can have Open House all year long when each student has their own ePortfolio' (Google Site) and a few hours later I got an email from them expressing their excitement of this idea.

All of our 4th-5th grade teachers in my previous position had their students create/update/promote their ePortfolio and the response from parents was amazing. Going through some resources I found this excellent resource for creating ePortfolios and supporting teachers/students in the development.

Again, Google Sites is not the only platform to create an ePortfolio, but in my opinion the easiest and most straightforward, especially if you have GAFE in your district.


As you can see with the title, my blog is going to change a bit. Today is my first 'official' day in which I report as an Elementary School Principal. I've decided to change the blog a bit to address that change, while still incorporating Educational Technology and Professional Development resources. What I'm expecting my first day..... - It's 428am and I'm going in to work at 600am to walk the campus before staff arrives. - I've already moved into my office so I'm at least settled. - Teachers have been emailing about getting their keys, it's August 1st and our first day with kids is August 21st. - Lots of meetings with staff set up for today and the next couple of weeks. - Meeting with parent leaders. - Meeting with district staff. ie: sped, tech, curriculum - We have 400 students and 14 teachers but I'm still expecting to be busy. - Will be calling my former colleague (Principal when I was an AP)to check-in and talk. - Listening, asking questions, supporting, hoping to Raise the Bar throughout the year. Here we go!