Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

This is an incredible resource page for any educators interested in PBL. It's full of links to a series of articles and links.

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning: Explore Edutopia's curated compilation of online resources for understanding and beginning to implement project-based learning.

100 Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media

Too many school leaders and teachers are pushing back against students' social media use. It's past the time to harness the power of these tools to enhance learning in our classrooms.

From Edutopia:
100 Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media: Social media can enhance differentiated instruction if the tools are selected with a careful eye on individual students' readiness, interests, and learning profiles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ASCD Annual Atlanta 2016 (or "Why I Skipped Two Days of School...")

Beluga whales frolicing during the Presidential Reception 
at the Georgia Aquarium

As a high school principal, missing two days of school was a big deal, but going to ASCD Annual in Atlanta was worth it!

I've attended the ASCD Annual for over a dozen years now. I get to go because I actually negotiated it into my contract; it's that important to me! I believe that it is, bar none, the best education conference out there. It's my chance to recharge my professional learning "batteries" and to connect face-to-face with educators from all over the world.

This year's conference (April 2-4, 2016) in Atlanta was truly phenomenal! The ASCD professional staff made a great choice in picking Atlanta & the Georgia World Congress, as the city had so much to offer and the facilities were super easy to navigate. 

Remember during college when you couldn't decide which class to check our first? You get the same feeling trying to figure out which one of the hundreds of workshops you want to go to over the three days you're there. 

I pursued a series of sessions around coaching teachers & school leaders while I was there, but the best workshop I went to was "The Wisdom of Grant Wiggins," presented by Jay McTighe and Denise Wilbur Wiggins. Carol Dweck's keynote, "The Journey to a Growth Mindset", also gave me a chance to fill my Evernote notebook with a great overview of her work as well as insight into her latest research. 

One of the highlights of the trip from me was the ASCD Nominations Committee reunion dinner. A bunch of us who have served on "Nom Com" for the past two years went to this hip (because, of course, we're hip...) restaurant, Gunshow. The eight course meal included oysters with smoked caviar and a cucumber & Gatorade foam (it was amazing - trust me.)

Finding the time to meet up with friends and colleagues, like Walter McKenzie, Jason Flom and Peter DeWitt, many of whom you only "see" on Twitter or Facebook, is another part of the whole Annual experience that makes taking the time away from school worth it.

Yeah - I had hundreds of emails waiting when I got back, and my appointment calendar had tons of people stacked up over Logan, but this conference re-reminds me of why I do what I do every day.

Pics from ASCD Annual 2016

Selfie with "ed rock star", Jay McTighe

ASCD Nom Com Reunion dinner with Alina Davis, Vicky Ayam & Jessica Blevins Bohn

Sharon Zoller, Matt Mingle and me at Gunshow, one of Atlanta's most coolest restaurants

One example of the amazing food at Gunshow

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Frank Bruni on Surviving College Admissions

Frank Bruni wrote an outstanding op-ed piece on surviving the college admissions process for the NYT earlier this year. In some regards, it should be mandatory reading for all parents of high school students. As a parent myself, I took to heart his central premise - your child's success and ultimate happiness IS NOT tied to the prestige level of the college they get admitted to!

Read it and see what you think: