12 ways to adopt Google Apps for Education

A new digital resource offers tips to safely use Google Apps for Education

google-appsA new resource from Gaggle and Amplified IT offers technology facilitators 12 tips to help ensure that Google Apps for Education safe for teachers and students to use.

In any implementation, it’s important that school and technology leaders identify benefits and value associated with the implementation.

“Without the right strategies in place, most software and web-based tools–whether free or paid–are under-used in education,” according to the guide.…Read More

TCEA: Do your libraries need a change?

School libraries should be centers of digital instruction and learning

school-librariesSeeking to ensure school librarians’ roles reflect the changing nature of education, one Texas school district changed its librarians’ positions to better support digital learning.

Library and IT specialists in the Willis Independent School District knew they needed to transform school librarians into vital educational leaders who instruct and engage students with innovative resources and opportunities, and who are actively involved in helping students learn about and evaluate digital resources and information.

During a session at TCEA 2014, Willis ISD Director of Technology Deborah Menefee said the district wanted to support modern library practices that would engage students with opportunities to use digital learning, research, and collaboration tools.…Read More

7 crippling parenting behaviors that keep children from growing into leaders

While I spend my professional time now as a career success coach, writer, and leadership trainer, I was a marriage and family therapist in my past, and worked for several years with couples, families, and children, Forbes reports. Through that experience, I witnessed a very wide array of both functional and dysfunctional parenting behaviors. As a parent myself, I’ve learned that all the wisdom and love in the world doesn’t necessarily protect you from parenting in ways that hold your children back from thriving, gaining independence and becoming the leaders they have the potential to be. I was intrigued, then, to catch up with leadership expert Dr. Tim Elmore and learn more about how we as parents are failing our children today — coddling and crippling them — and keeping them from becoming leaders they are destined to be…

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Leadership and ambiguity

We like our leaders to be confident, clear, in control, writes Greg Richardson for ELUMN8. We take comfort from leaders who have a vision, who are insightful, who know where they are going. We want leaders to make sense of the world…The difficulty for leaders, and for us, is that many significant challenges are ambiguous. It is rare that we face a challenge like extraterrestrials attacking us or giant asteroids hurtling toward the earth. Our challenges are not usually clear or easy to understand…

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INFOGRAPHIC: Huge changes for school tech leaders!

leaders-school-technologyA new risk has arisen for school technology leaders: Being perceived as inessential

Education technology is constantly changing, which means so is the role of a school technology leader.

Schools have come a long way from installing desktop computers and marveling at something called The Cloud. What are some of the major challenges school technology leaders face today? What are the big concerns? What should they focus on? Find out in our infographic developed specifically for the 2013-14 school year.

View the infographic below to learn more about how the role of school technology leader has grown and adapted over the last few years–we’re fascinated by the results!…Read More

13 modern challenges today’s school tech leaders face

This year’s challenges include ‘fractured leadership’ and ‘perceived value’

challenges-technology-leaderIt’s not always about funding, though that’s still a major challenge for the modern school technology leader. A recent forum held for chief technology officers (CTOs) covered a wide range of 21st-century challenges, including one few saw coming: If the technology works “too” well, are tech leaders still valued?

During the forum held by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), CoSN brought together district-level technology directors to talk about “building a ‘Tech Department Dream Team,’ through a combination of panel presentation and table discussions.” Attendees explored the evolving roles and the expanded skill set of today’s CTO.

In the context of what skills are needed and how roles change, many CTOs began by listing the now-common challenges faced in schools and districts across the country.…Read More

Our educational leaders must get aggressive with technology

Technology and social media continue to dramatically change the way we live and work, the Huffington Post reports. Social media in particular can be a great equalizer by enabling job seekers to connect with influencers outside of traditional offline social networks. Given its importance, why isn’t this technology playing a stronger role in the curricula of our schools? For an insider’s view, I spoke with PJ Caposey, principal and assistant superintendent at Stillman Valley schools in rural Illinois. PJ is the author of Teach Smart and winner of the 2013 Outstanding Young Educator Award…

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These 11 leaders are running education but have never taught

They design teacher evaluation systems, teacher training guidelines and the types of standards that need to be taught, the Huffington Post reports. Yet, they have never been teachers themselves. These days, being a teacher is clearly not a prerequisite for becoming a leader in education. In fact, some of the leaders with the most daily influence on classrooms come from entirely unrelated fields. Below we have compiled a list of some of the most influential leaders in education who have never been teachers…

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P21: Rethink testing for future success

Today’s high-stakes tests are inadequate tools for measuring the kinds of skills students will need for success in the global, technology-driven workplace, according to a group of key business and education leaders. The group, called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), has issued a new report calling on national and state policy makers to ratchet up efforts to design and implement new assessments that can effectively measure these skills.

P21’s new report, "The Assessment of 21st Century Skills: The Current Landscape," highlights progress in the United States and abroad toward developing the "means to measure complex, higher-order thinking skills." The report is accompanied by a new online tool designed to help assess these skills.

The report also notes that educational institutions around the world are only just beginning to create such assessments. But researchers point to examples they consider representative of the best testing models for information and communication technology (ICT) learning skills.…Read More

ED: Online programs key to boosting achievement

Online courses and other technology-based programs will play a key role in helping educators meet new requirements for supplemental services under the No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) told school leaders during a nationwide conference June 13-14. But while many administrators were satisfied by ED’s guidance, others said the department left questions unanswered.

The ED-sponsored event, “Serving all Schoolchildren and Increasing Options for Parents,” brought more than 300 school decision-makers together in the nation’s capital to listen, share suggestions, and ask questions about the Bush administration policy, which now holds all schools accountable for ensuring that students achieve “adequate yearly progress” (AYP).

AYP standards are defined by each state according to their own criteria. The standards were created under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1994, but schools have not been held accountable for meeting these standards until now.…Read More