Leading Schools with Digital Vision in a Bubblesheet World

Much of the world has gone digital, so must learning at school. Creativity is vital, and good leadership matters. Stagnant, accomodation-level technology integration makes technology investments in our schools a waste of money. School leaders can and should encourage teachers to use digital learning tools in transformative ways to open new doors of opportunity for students as well as parents. By focusing on creating, communicating / sharing, and collaborating, principals can help develop a shared instructional vocabulary with teachers which is focused on student engagement. Without creation, there can be no creativity. How will you let your students create? How will you give students choices? How will your students teach the curriculum? These are essential questions to ask together with teachers, as we seek to effectively (and legally) "talk with media / pictures" and leverage the constructive power of digital media tools for learning inside and outside the classroom.

These are links and referenced resources from presentations shared at the following events:

  1. July 8, 2011 breakout for the Oklahoma State Department of Education Innovations 2011 Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  2. June 15, 2011 breakout for the Texas Elementary Principals & Supervisors Association Summer Conference in Austin, Texas. Slides available as a PDF. (2.6 MB)
  3. June 10, 2011 keynote for the 2011 TCEA Area 7 Conference in White Oak, Texas. Slides available as a PDF. (2.6 MB)
  4. June 9, 2011 keynote for the 2011 Fort Bend ISD Technology Conference in Houston, Texas. Slides available as a PDF. (1.7 MB)
  5. May 6, 2011 keynote for the 2011 TechForum Chicago conference. Slides available as a PDF. (3.7 MB)
  6. April 6, 2011 presentation for the First Year Oklahoma Superintendents Conference hosted by the Oklahoma State Department of Education in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Slides are available as a PDF. (4.3 MB)
  7. March 10, 2011 keynote at the Alabama Educational Technology Association MidWinter Conference in Montgomery, Alabama.
  8. February 2, 2011 keynote at the Mississippi Educational Computing Association Conference in Jackson, Mississippi. A narrated Slidecast (slides with audio) is available on SlideShare.
  9. December 1, 2010 keynote at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. Slides are available as a PDF. (3.1 MB)
  10. October 21, 2010 keynote at the "Teaching and Learning in the Cloud" conference in Holland, Michigan. Slides are available as a PDF. (2.4 MB)
  11. September 30, 2010 keynote at the Martin Institute "Teaching for Tomorrow" Fall 2010 Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Slides are available on SlideShare.net.
  12. June 15, 2010, presentation for administrators in Northeast ISD, in San Antonio, Texas. Slides from my keynote presentation are available on SlideShare.net. Also be sure to check out Honor Moorman's excellent notes / live blog post of this session. (She included several video links too!)

During our timed discussions, we're using this free, fullscreen online stopwatch.

I. Introduction

Welcome to the Future by Brad Paisley (YouTube)

BSA Recruiting Video (QuickTime format, from Fresh Brains summer camp, courtesy of Rushton Hurley, Next Vista for Learning)

Khan Academy (over 1800 video tutorials as of 1 Dec 2010 on math, science and more - all FREE)

Suzie Buxton's Cinchcast: 1st Grade Superhero Stories

II. Key Messages

World has gone digital: So must learning @ school

Reputation Management and Social Media (new PEW research on digital footprints - 26 May 2010)

Douglas Thomas on digital media and learning

Speak Up survey highlights gaps in support of ed tech (eSchoolNews - 1 April 2011)

Turn pair and share

We Need Digital Sandboxes

Throwing away 6th grade – OR – The case for online portfolios

What Did You Do in School Yesterday, Today, and Three Years Ago? by H. Songhai

Good Leadership Matters

- TLA video work www.educ.ttu.edu/tla/videos

- must model and be instructional leader

Ideas for the Balanced Filtering Online Gradebook (From balancedfiltering.org)


Don't waste tech $$$

Kaplan Professor Video Ad

High quality learning is differentiated

  • don't buy the scope and sequence lie (quality education means everyone on the same page on the same day everywhere)

Engage don't enthrall

  • root of enthrall: SLAVE
  • Strive to engage students with authentic learning tasks

Gotta Keep Reading video

III. Key Tools



Classroom Web Portals

Copyright Friendly Images

Google Forms


IV. Key Skills

Shared vocabulary of instructional expectations

  • Create
  • Communicate / Share
  • Collaborate

Create with Media

Ask: (the 3 Hows)

  1. How will you let your students create?
  2. How will you give students choices?
  3. How will your students teach the curriculum?

Ask for help

  1. You can't know it all: admit it!
  2. Build your PLN: personal learning network of experts
  3. Administrative exemplars:
    1. Chris Lehman, SLA
    2. Melinda Miller, Elementary principal in Missouri
    3. Miguel Guhlin, San Antonio ISD instructional technology (share more wiki)
    4. Jim Lerman

Example: What Would Yoda Do? A Jedi Approach to Professional Development (Thanks Lucy Gray - via her social bookmarks)

Example of Creativity: Wired June 2010 article about Pixar / Toy Story 3

Blend PD

Engage don't enthrall


Image Webliography:









(All Flickr Creative Commons-licensed images were found with Compfight)