Sunday, December 18, 2022

Top Posts of 2022

With each passing year, I am always amazed that I continue to blog with consistency. It has become much more challenging, which is why I made the decision to move to a bi-monthly writing schedule.  In a recent post, I shared my rationale. Basically, I am running out of unique topics and angles to explore so I don’t want to run the risk of becoming redundant.  In some cases, this has already happened already, which is even more reason to put time and effort into my emerging video project called #EDvice.  I plan to pick back up with this series early in 2023. 

While many of my posts highlighted successes in current coaching projects, I tried to focus my efforts on expanding concepts presented in Disruptive Thinking in Our Classrooms.  No matter how “evergreen” a book, the fact of the matter is that things change, or new perspectives are gleaned. By evergreen I mean that the content withstands the test of time. Unlike the days when there was no Internet, anyone can provide deeper context or supporting examples to supplement and piece of traditional written work. If you want to see these posts, I have curated them on this Pinterest board. If you are interested in a book study after the holidays there is a comprehensive study guide and an impressive bulk order discount through ConnectEDD Publishing (email

Below are my top posts from 2022. There is a nice mix of concepts including personalization, educational technology, leadership, and school culture. As I did last year, I am including a hyperlink and the related image.  I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season. Here’s to an amazing 2023!

Moving Beyond SAMR with the Rigor Relevance Framework

Shifting our Focus 

Your Ticket to Move Effective Lessons

Supporting and Rewarding Teachers with Time

The Ever-Evolving Leadership Lens

Monday, December 12, 2022

#EDvice: Practical Strategies in 90 Seconds or Less

I never saw myself as a writer until I started blogging back in March 2010. It all began with goal setting for the Google Teacher Academy for Administrators, and I haven’t looked back. Consistency has been vital for me, as I have published a post every week since. Therein lies the dilemma I am currently facing. The struggle is real in my case when it comes to finding new topics to blog about or adding an innovative spin to already-prevalent concepts. I find myself spending an immense amount of time just to churn out 500 words. Upon reflection, this might be one sign to change things up a bit. The time has come for me to challenge my personal status quo

In a world where multimedia content is virtually at everyone’s fingertips, written content that dives into concepts and strategies might not have the same impact as it once did. Attention spans are not what they used to be, and this is something we all need to be cognizant of when sharing ideas. In the digital age, brevity is virtue when it comes to processing and implementing strategies. Upon further reflection—and so I can grow—I decided to dedicate more time to developing short video clips in lieu of blogging each week. I will not stop writing regularly because I still see immense value in the process, but I plan to change my routine and shift to a bi-weekly schedule. Every other week I will share a simple, practical strategy that educators can use right away *in 90 seconds or less* called #EDvice. 

Leveraging my current experiences in classrooms, schools, and districts working with educators, my plan is to articulate one strategy from the following three-step perspective:

  • Why is this strategy important?
  • How can it be readily implemented?
  • What could it look like in practice?

For my first clip, I decided to share some advice on developing choice boards. (Special thanks to Dan MacCracken, another ICLE colleague, who edited and tweaked my raw video.)  During a recent coaching visit with Quest Academy Junior High School, l I observed teachers readily implementing strategies that we’d collaborated on over the course of the year. Hats off to Principal Nicki Slaugh for following through on the feedback I provide after each visit. The video below shares a practical strategy educators can use when developing effective choice boards:

While I’d dabbled in video content in the past, I believe that returning to this medium now is coming at the right time for me—and hopefully, it is for you, too. Ultimately, I want to expand the opportunities for us to connect around our daily, meaningful work and amplify conversations between educators to elevate our practice one behavior at a time. On that note, I invite you to send me your own ideas, questions, and wonderings for #EDvice—what’s on your mind? I look forward to hearing from you—thanks, as always.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Creating a New Status Quo

Blink and there is a new iPhone on the market. I feel like I just got the 13 model yesterday, but the reality is that I came into possession of it in 2019. Thanks to a very gracious promotion, I recently upgraded to the 14 plus. The improved camera alone makes this new model work the investment. While I am thrilled with the new device, I know full well that the 15 will be out sometime next year and has probably already been developed. Technology companies like Apple live and thrive in a cutting-edge world. They are constantly innovating with a purpose, whether we agree with it or not. 

Innovative companies don’t dwell on the past. On the contrary, they seem to have one eye on the present and another on the future. They foresee both what the world needs and what consumers want to develop solutions that improve some aspects that both parties hold dear. If companies continued to do what they always did, they would become irrelevant in a rapidly changing world. The status quo is something that isn’t a part of their DNA and for a good reason.

Now let’s apply the same concepts of innovation and transformation in response to a disruptive world of education. While no one can deny that some exciting changes have taken place in schools across the globe, the reality is that traditional schooling remains firmly in place. More often than not, you will see kids seated at desks in rows, a great deal of direct instruction, bells to signify transitions, technology being used as a substitute, and everyone doing the same thing at the same time the same way. The question we should all be asking is why traditional schooling is still perpetuated in light of what we experienced and learned during the pandemic. While there is no silver bullet, we can ill afford to sustain systems that prepare learners for a world that no longer exists.  

I shared the following in Disruptive Thinking:

We live in a world dominated by exponential change that has and will continue to fundamentally impact all facets of society. Disruption is no longer a buzzword, but a reality. To best prepare our learners to flourish now and in the future, the key is to help develop them into dis- ruptive thinkers who thrive in a disruptive world. If we are to develop students who think disruptively, we must examine and reflect on our current teaching and learning practices.

Below is an attempt to visualize my thoughts. Schooling, in my opinion, is what is done to students. Education, on the other hand, is what they need to thrive in a complex and unpredictable world ripe with opportunity, with the most critical component being personalization.

One might think so much more can be included as part of an evolved education. I completely agree. When looking at the components I included, it can be inferred that the tasks promote cognitive flexibility, include the purposeful use of tech, and provide authentic learning experiences (i.e., academy programs, internships, capstone projects). However, when it is all said and done, an evolved education can consist of any elements that future-proof learning for all kids in ways that prepare them for anything. Once these become embedded in school culture and scaled, a new status quo will take hold. In a disruptive world, this is what our students both need and deserve.