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Join the Conversation

CE15

You’re invited to join an interactive Twitter chat about innovation in our schools.  Mark your calendar for October 21st at 7:00pm CST.  Ben Gilpin, Dr. Kaylen Tucker, and I will be co-moderating a National Conversation about Innovation.  We want to hear your innovation “Dos & Don’ts”!

As a precursor to the chat, check out the NAESP Principal Magazine article titled, “Leadership for Tomorrow” by clicking HERE.  The article features innovative insights from respected educators across the country including Rafranz Davis, Dr. Joe Mazza, Jennie Magiera, and Sarah Thomas.

If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat feel free to reach out for support.  We will tweet out a question every five minutes to the hashtags #CE15 and #NAESP.  Chat participants can respond to the questions and interact with one another.  Be sure to include the hashtags in your tweets as well!

For a sneak preview of the chat questions check out the flyer above.  We’re looking forward to connecting!

30 Second Take: NAESP Special Edition

Episode 25

Todd Whitaker advises, “Ask what your best people think and base decisions on their input.”

This past week I attended the NAESP National Convention in Long Beach, California.  In addition to attending numerous breakout sessions and keynotes, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel of school leaders from across the country about innovation and connectivity.  I also had the chance to interview numerous school leaders to get their advice for new principals.  I have to admit that the advice that was shared was phenomenal, and it had me reflecting on my own leadership practices.  The seven minute podcast is embedded below from YouTube.

Click HERE if you are a subscriber to this blog and accessing this post via e-mail.  You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.  Please take a moment to share your advice for school leaders using the hashtag #30SecondTake on Twitter.

Special thanks to Theresa Stager (co-host of the Principal PLN podcast) for collaborating on this NAESP special edition of the 30 Second Take podcast.  It was a blast producing this together!

NAESP Bean Bag Highlight Video

Bean Bag

This past week I attended the NAESP National Convention in Long Beach.  The conference focused on best practice and the learning was epic!

Prior to the conference, Ben Gilpin and I collaborated on an event to further connect conference attendees.  Our goal was to cultivate relationships that would propel into the actual conference sessions and beyond.  We extended an open invitation to all principals and school leaders attending the conference, and partnered with NAESP to blast the invitations out using e-mail, social media, and other web tools.

We had a great turn-out and met many colleagues who we were able to connect with throughout the conference…this was a HUGE victory (unlike the staged photo above).  Checkout the highlight video below to see more of the action and meet the 2015 National Bean Bag Champions!

Click HERE for an interactive version of the video via TouchCast.  (The end of the video includes a link for the new Studio-in-a-Box.)

Special thanks to Ben Gilpin, Penn GSU, Joe Mazza, NAESP15, Kaylen Tucker, and TouchCast for supporting the Tweet-up.

Why Mindset Matters

Maker Blog

It’s a funny thing.  All a child really requires to change the world is permission…and maybe a sheet of paper.  When we give kids permission to create we unleash a whole new world of possibilities.  When we provide kids tools (paper, technology, sticks, whatever) and the conditions to create their inclination is to do just that.  All it really takes is removing some of the compliance-based restraints we’ve systematized in our homes and schools.

Our family was recently enjoying lunch together on a local restaurant patio.  It was undeniably HOT outside, but the precious sunshine that makes a cameo each summer in Minnesota was too much to pass up.  There were also some regular gusts of wind that provided the perfect balance to the scorching sun.

After fielding a few initial complaints about the heat from our children we settled in and ordered some lemonade.  It wasn’t more than five minutes later that one of our children began tearing apart her kids’ menu.  My visceral reaction would normally include a reminder about restaurant etiquette, but I bit my tongue and proceeded to soak in the rays while enjoying my wife’s company.

It wasn’t long until my daughter produced the creative hat pictured above.  I’m not sure if the hat actually provided any semblance of shade, but it did include a chin strap to guard against the sudden bursts of wind that occasionally greeted us over the course of our lunch outside.  Needless to say, I was impressed.

Fast-forward to today, where I’m sitting inside listening to a summer rainstorm…

As I occasionally check the stream of tweets coming from the #ISTE15 and #NAESP15 hashtags, a part of me is really excited for what our kids can look forward to this coming school year.

When school resumes in the fall educators will bring back a mindset that has been impacted by a community of educators that will not rest until student creativity is celebrated.  They will return to their schools armed with the understanding that the transformative power of technology is something that can actually bring people together.

I know that the educators who are connecting and spending time together at ISTE and NAESP will ultimately bring something more valuable than any device, tablet, or initiative back to their respective schools.  “Best-practice” doesn’t start with a tool or tablet, and it’s certainly not a program.  Our kids are counting on us to embrace a learner’s mindset.  In doing so we may need to unlearn approaches we once held dear.  We need to give our students permission to create, make, engineer, paint, invent, tinker, connect, collaborate, and grow.

Our kids are counting on us. This is precisely why mindset matters.

NAESP Tweet-Up

Click Flyer for Promo Video

Click Flyer for Promo Video

Join us for an epic NAESP bean bag tournament sponsored by TouchCast!

Date: Monday, June 29, 2015

Time: 5:00 – 7:00pm

Location: Alamitos Beach near the Long Beach Convention Center

Cost: $8

Prizes: Top teams will win prizes, and the overall tournament winner earns the title, “Best Bean Bag Team EVER.”

Register online: http://goo.gl/forms/NOngJ4L30J

Food: Alfredos Beach Club will be offering food and seating right next to the bean bag tournament.

Questions: Contact Ben Gilpin or Brad Gustafson with questions.  This Tweet-up is in partnership with the PennGSU Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.

This Tweet-up is family friendly and spectators are welcome!

NAESP National Panel on Innovation

Click Flyer to View Video

Click Flyer to View Video

We’ve got an NAESP National Panel planned with some spectacular surprises.  Join us for a conversation about innovation and connectivity in education.  To get to know the presenters before the conference, simply click on the image above or download the DAQRI augmented reality app on a mobile device. (Just hover over the flyer while in the DAQRI app to launch into a 4D experience!)

Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time: 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Location: Long Beach Convention Center, Room 201B

Presenters Include:

Amy Fadeji

Ben Gilpin

Brad Gustafson

Joe Mazza

Todd Nesloney

Theresa Stager

Can’t travel to NAESP in Long Beach? Watch for a Periscope link via Twitter to join us virtually!

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