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Robbins Transcript


This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email KHogan@eschoolmedia.com with any questions.

Speaker 2 

OK, Glenn, as always, a pleasure to see you. If we’re not seeing each other in person here over zoom, but always great to talk to you. Thanks so much for taking the time. 

Speaker 1 

Likewise, Kevin, thank you for the opportunity. 

Speaker 2 

And again, here we are at the at at the top of the year, the first big Ed tech show of 2024, coming up in a couple of weeks and hopefully sunny Orlando, FL, although. I think in the in the years past that I’ve gone to this show, it hasn’t been one where I’ve had it been pulled from the pool. It’s usually kind of like cloudy in 50, which is probably good for attendance, right? 

Speaker 1 

Hey, being a New Jersey guy like yourself, that 50° is like short and T-shirt weather buddy, so I’ll take it down there. 

Speaker 2 

This is this is true. This is true as well. Maybe we’ll we’ll just jump right into it. What? You know how long have you been going to FET safe and not not to date yourself. 

Speaker 1 

You know, I’ve only gone a few times and I have not gone in the last few years, so I’m really looking forward to. Getting back into it. 

Speaker 2 

Yeah, yeah. And I know, you know, we’re up there on the at the top of the marquee with a lot of a lot of other folks who are well known in the industry, talk a little bit about, you know, what you’re going down to talk about. 

Speaker 1 

Well, first and foremost, and beyond, blessed and thankful to be part of that group, they’d be asked to be a speaker speaker amongst so many distinguished people that you’ve mentioned, and you’re probably going to interview as well is just a testament to the hard work that my staff and kid do in our community does. So I’m just so thankful. Yeah. So I’m excited. I have a bunch of different sessions. And I’ll be. Partaking in a couple of them will be. A thought leadership type of panel, one in particular is engaging all students in esports and education, right? That’s always been hot. We’ve been doing esports here for the last couple of years at our school. I’m really proud about the arena that we have to showcase that and five deep room, some great thought leaders there. Also another one I was asked to jump into a panel, which is the. District calling card, right. So our branding and I know that sounds old and I know that. Sounds cliche but. Once again, if there was ever a time to be the storyteller of a district, it is now and it’s going to continue to be so in this crazy world that we are residing. And then I have. Some other sessions I’m gonna leave by myself, so there’s a follow me. No, I’d like to do fun and wacky things, not just all. Tech. So I’m gonna leave. One session like leading like Ted Lasso and Roy Kent World, I think that kind of really hits home for a lot of people. I might even wear one of my wacky outfits. Kevin. I’m not sure yet, but it might be coming out. Another one is, you know, we do a lot of revamping of spaces here, so one of the sessions will be rethinking all learning spaces, proven strategies for student centered learning. And the exciting thing about that is just talking about how that becomes the third teacher, that space itself. And you know, the changes that we’ve. Paid have gone exponential for our staff and for our kids. And you know, last year we were designated for first time in over 20 years of the high performing school district. Our test scores have gone up, you know. So these changes are, you know, boots on the ground doing actual work, you know, so come to that session, I’ll tell you how to exactly, you know work with the board. Work with your teachers, work with your kids, work in the community. Make this spaces change because no, that’s not always an easy task to change. You know, some things that have. Always been there before. Another one is I’m really excited about is the Mr. Rogers project that Mister Rogers Community project, which is the Chamber of Commerce and our scholars work together. Overview of that is our 8th graders work with the Chamber of Commerce. They bring in a select group of professionals, small mom and pop shops. If you want to call out that that need help with social media. So our kids will help design Instagram and Facebook pages for them as well as a canvas page that they can have a picture of. When you walk into the door you take a picture of the QR and it goes great. Wherever the minipop owner would like them to go to any of the customers and at the same time they learn about running a business, they learned it. Not all amazing. They learned their struggles and then they get to go to different businesses and so forth. And that has exploded. We’ve been doing this for the last two years. We now have a waiting list for people that pay into the Chamber of Commerce that. Why be part of this and to talk about something that’s really awesome? The Chamber and the kids working together so we have more ambassadors, more community feeling than ever, and I’m super excited about that. And then let’s see lastly. Something that near and dear to my heart in today’s society is mentally exhausted. Stock strategies for school leaders and educators, and that will hit home with the new book that I’m gonna have released, probably in the next month or so. Common to chaos, ancient historic leadership for successful schools. So you know, and we might. Throw in a little artificial intelligence in there, and so forth and that session. So I know you and I were talking about that beforehand. How long we could drop before AI, but I want to throw that in there. So why, what with this ancient Stokes? Isn’t doing it as a tech. Conference, but I’m going. To show you how you can tie that. In a little bit for your mental health. 

Speaker 2 

So where are you tying in your trip to Disney and a couple of rounds of dolphin to that and you just you, you just get a couple of things on your list, huh? 

Speaker 1 

Now, now, all business, all business, buddy. All business, my friend. I’m super pumped up for FTC cause see a lot of great people and I hope you know I look at this way and I think it was a famous Yankees player one time, said you. People are going to come and see you and it might be the only time they ever see you, so you put on the best possible show. So these people are coming from all over the country all over the globe and if they come to my session, you know, I’m gonna give them the best possible insight that I can give them and hopefully take something. Back to your district and it. Helps change to life for better. It’s all business, my friend, and hopefully I can make something of it. 

Speaker 2 

Yeah. So. 

Speaker 1 

Impact for these people? 

Speaker 2 

That sounds great. And so now with the track of leadership, one of the things you know covering FTC and other Ed tech shows over the years and from your point of view as a Superintendent, I always find this interesting because. You know you have districts who have directors of technology, you have who have directors of of curriculum and you hear technology in the conference. And I think for a lot of leaders and districts, it’s like, well, I’m going to send, I’m going to send my director of technology, why do I need to go to I pay for this guy to go to that. Now your descriptions of. The various sessions that you’re. Leading and participating in it go. Beyond the technology, and is that something that has evolved over the years? I mean, how is your position changed to say, maybe FTC 10 years ago where you’re talking about, you know, I don’t know, implementing social media or talking about mobile devices or like pure techie stuff, you’re not talking about social emotional learning you’re talking about? You know? Uh. Curriculum when it comes to E games, talk about that evolution and the importance that you think it is for leaders such as yourself to to participate. 

Speaker 1 

Yeah, I guess that’s always my favorite when I hear or talk to people across the country, like oh, we have a couple more years, I’m not going to get involved with this technology or whatever it may be. Well, you owe it to those kids to get involved if you’re not hands on with technology after this whole COVID or that we just went. Through. If you’re doing something. Wrong and I know there’s a push right now for that connectivity gap to widen a little bit more. You’re doing too much online. You know my purpose. These kids are going to. Continue to learn and use devices at their hand each and every day. If we’re not helping guiding that way, we’re doing something wrong. You know you can’t just be the Superintendent and I take on a dual. I also do principal shifts. That’s why I’m part of that leader track. When I do 2 roles and I’m looking at like. I’m a head coach. I have to be able to take over a different role if one of my supervisors goes down or if a teacher goes out and I have to cover that class, I need to be able to jump in. Can you say the same thing about the educational leaders in our country today? I would hope you say yes. I hope you can jump in and have at least some enough understanding of what technology may be and or curriculum may be or special Ed or grounds and facilities where they all tie in to Ed Tech more than ever and people don’t realize that you know, so I think. In today’s day. And age. If you’re coming to this conference, you you should have some verse background in technology. If not, I’m proud of you for coming and trying to learn something from that. You don’t have to be a tech director anymore. You need to be at the top of your game for this is the new school. This is 2002. Before you know, so it is evolved a lot because I remember like, oh, they’ll just send their tech director, he can come back and he’ll do he or she can do everything. You can’t do that anymore. This world is changing exponentially so fast that you need to be aware of these things when it comes. To cybersecurity and. Artificial intelligence and everything else that’s going on in this world. You know, if you haven’t been hacked or had a phishing attempt yet, you’re going to it’s not a if, it’s. And and how are you going to be able to deal with these types of situations and how do you work in all these different the craziness of the world demanding your attention on top of all the different things you have to deal with on top of education on top of safety on top of so many different things. And technology is a crucial part in each and every. That was part of it. 

Speaker 2 

Well, now the other thing is being a Superintendent when you’re walking around that exhibition hall, you might have to turn your tag upside down. I mean, you are. You are a prime, a prime customer who is passionate about technology, knows they’re technology, but also, you know, has the perception of, you know, maybe you brought your pocketbook with you when you. Look at the exhibition hall this year or when you anticipate what are you gonna? What’s on your shopping list? What are the things that that you’re looking for from the industry to kind of help you and what you’re doing? 

Speaker 1 

First and foremost, you go in there and pretending that you have no money, right? So you can hide your badge upside down to put somebody else’s badge on there and don’t become a moth drawn into a blue flame. You know you you need to take things from a, take a step back and not just look at the next greatest thing you need to bring about. What does your district. And and it’s not the. That, you know, 10 more devices to another district down the road. It’s not a competition. Maybe you could work with that district down the road and make a collaborative purchase to get something cheaper for me. I’m looking for something new and innovative. I’m looking for things that gonna entice our kids to continue to grow and learn. You know, they’ve exploded in their own grading time period. For TV, now they’re podcasting. I have 6 to 8th graders podcasting and now making their own swag. And they’re out and about putting things out there. What can I do to help them keep them raising their? Game. What can I? Do to help keep my teachers raising their game without mentally stressing. Now I think that’s the one thing that people forget. Like, there’s a lot of cool things out there, but when you bring back just two or three, that’s meant to overload for your staff. So you need to be very conscientious of that instead of. Just saying wow that looks. Amazing. You know, you need to really think about what does your district need, what is your district budget and what is your. Sustainability to it. You know that’s always the biggest question. You can buy something, but. You’re going to be. Able to keep it up for the next couple of years. That’s a bigger question that people I think sometimes forget. So for me, I’m going to take a step back. I’m going to walk around, look at everything. I’m gonna take a bunch of different Flyers or cards, whatever they’re handing out. And then I’m gonna bring it back to my kids, and I’m gonna bring it back to my staff and say, well, you guys think because that’s something I’ve done many times and I bring my kids to present at different national and state conferences. I had them walk the floor and they tell me what they’re thinking about because, you know, this is our school, not just mine. 

Speaker 2 

Right. Right. That’s amazing. Now so maybe give give us a little bit more big picture in terms of the takeaways. You certainly shared a lot of what you intend to be bringing to the table. And man, I’ll tell you. We could make this conversation go well over an hour in terms of the topics that that you’re covering, from learning spaces to socially emotional learning to to E sports. But what is your hope beyond just the pure technology in terms of takeaways, again, that you want to come back and and share with your kids? 

Speaker 1 

I think you know for. Me if I can come. Building new networks. Building new relationships with different vendors and you know, and actually making it a thought partnership of some sort, not just somebody going to buy from maybe building something to go forward. You know speaking with other school leaders and not just Superintendent talking with teachers talking with Ed Tech directors, talking with anybody that in the field of education is there. And see what being successful in their districts and what’s not, and how we can maybe work together. I’m really looking forward to this thoughtful conversation that take place in the different session learning while I’m sitting there and or, you know, at a restaurant afterwards or just having a drink with somebody. I’m really looking forward to those conversations because we’re all in the thick of it and sometimes or a lot of times we forget about. You know that everybody else is in the same predicament. And I think if we can sit down and help each other in some particular way, it’s going to go a long way. And if I can, you know, build those relationships that my teachers or kids can start zooming with them or having conversations with them or whatever it may be. I think that’s my biggest take away. I’m really looking forward to learning a bunch of new sessions material. That’s gonna be put out there. And that’s and I think that’s the really part that I’m really excited about, Kevin, is that these are true practitioners that are in this living each and every. 

Speaker 

OK. 

Speaker 1 

So they’re not going to be selling me stuff that I, you know, haven’t already heard before. I want to hear people that have work with the school board. I want to hear people that work with the families and teachers and kids and how they got a product and or a program and or curriculum and or an idea off the ground and how they went about doing that. I think when you have those true. Practitioners talking into this, a pen and ink philosopher, it means a lot more, especially in today’s day and age. 

Speaker 2 

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I hope you can sneak in a drink or a cup of coffee, maybe an orange juice after our jog. One of those mornings where we can have follow up this conversation in person and see what sort of takeaways you’re you’re you’re getting. But I really appreciate your time. Now, Glenn, you’ve got me jacked. I’m ready to go. Frontier, from Trenton down to to Orlando in. A couple weeks. 

Speaker 1 

That sounds good, Kevin. I’m looking forward to it. 

Speaker 2 

Thanks again. 

eSchool News Staff

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