Digital Learning Gets To Schools, One Principal at a Time

I watched a recording of a Webinar by Eric Sheninger, a principal of a New Jersey school, who happens to be a big advocate of digital technologies in education. Been following his blog for about a year now.

His big point on Digital Leadership (speaking for, and to school administrators) was that schools should mirror or parallel the real world.  In other words, few are actually doing that. (A point backed by Univ. of Texas professor Steve Minz, who says there has been much ‘floundering and flailing’  after they emerge from college.)

I’m very cognizant of this kind of thinking, because we in elementary schools feed that college pipeline.  I start my year by informing  my students that the ‘computers’ they will use in less than a decade, won’t even look like the ugly black boxes they see in my computer and tech lab. (Not to mention the posibility that they would not simply shrink, but become invisible, yet ubiquitous.)

Sheninger has a list of seven pillars in this new model of digital leadership he offers:

1. Communications
2. Public Relations
3. Branding
4. Professional Growth
5. Student Engagement and Learning
6. Learning Environments and Spaces
7. Opportunity

Imgine that: principals and administrators having to deal with branding, in addition to student engagement. He makes some fascinating observations about our fear of technology. Interestingly, although he is a prolific blogger, he was at one time skeptical about social media!

My kinda guy!

Yesterday’s Webinar on YouTube

Gary Campbell and I shot this a video on the morning of the webinar, to use it before the event, and also as the content for the channel we created during the session.

Obviously there was a lot we would have liked to fix –lighting, for instance– but this was itself a demo of how to produce a video with a short deadline, with minimal editing.

Fan or Friend? Here’s that handout for the webinar

I’ve been conducting a series of webinars on social media, and we reached the halfway mark last week. The series was called Passport To Digital Citizenship.

The topics have been:

  • “Hit the Ground Blogging!”
  • “To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?”
  • “Facebook as your Hub”

In this webinar we talked about fans and friends –especially the difference between ‘lower case’ friends and ‘upper case friends.’ How do you engage your network? How do you turn on your hub? And most importantly, how do you get ready for an increasingly mobile user?

If you attended the 3rd webinar, here are two handouts. you may find useful.

I had one participant suggestion –to create a discussion group on Facebook.

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?

Ah, that is the question, isn’t it? Especially for many people still wondering if there is any value in jamming conversations into 140 characters of less. I tend to tell people that just as sending post cards, or having non-stop IM chats with six different people throughout the day have different value for different people, so too Twitter.

But — huge BUT here — it’s time to consider Twitter as less of a marketing device, and more as a listening tube.

In the second of a 6-part webinar series I am conducting (check previous one) this one will be appropriately called To Tweet Or Not To Tweet.

Here is my co-presenter, Gary Campbell on the subject.


Thanks for attending the webinar!

Webinar on social media - US Embassy, Colombo Sri LankaQuick note of thanks to all the attendees at the webinar on blogging, yesterday. (Sunday night here, although it was still the 21st in Sri Lanka.)

Dan Wool Steve England, and I enjoyed being able to share our ideas, and answer your questions.

The application, DimDim, did cause us a hiccup for the audio at the second location, but we know exactly what the problem is and how to fix it in the next sessions.

Since this was a session on blogging 101, I created a basic blog for the attendees, on the fly. I will be using it to update content for the next few sessions on the other key elements on social media.

Here is a link to it.

Passport to ‘Digital Citizenship’ Webinars next week

Really happy to announce a series of Web conferences that I will be starting next week for the U.S Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Webinar on social media - US Embassy, Colombo Sri LankaThis follows a digital video conference I conducted last year for the U.S.E, in association with the US State Department.

These six workshops –Webinars– are designed to be more interactive; the majority of participants will be at one location in Colombo. They were selected based on their application and response to a survey on the state of social media in Sri Lanka.

We are covering the usual suspects: Blogs, social networking, micro-blogging, video sharing and social search.  The attendees are from diverse backgrounds: advertising, corporate communications, government, web-based businesses, management, universities, media and non-profits.

Presenters: To make these sessions more focused and relevant I have brought on board some top practitioners to co-present with me. They are:

Dan Wool, a corporate communications and PR consultant for APS, a large electric utility in Arizona. Dan co-founded one of the world’s top blogs on public relations, marketing and social media.

Steve England, Chief Technology Office of MobileSoft, an advocate of on-demand digital printing who advises large tech companies and international advertising agencies on interactive marketing.

Gary Campbell, a communications manager at Arizona State University, a former print journalist turned digital, who has led numerous university training sessions in social media.

I will also bring in a few ‘surprise’ guests who will pop-in with some real-world examples of how they are using a particular strategy in their communication!