eventsLeading disruptive innovation — the theme of this year’s annual ASCD conference – is a provocative topic. And while the end result — innovation — has an intriguing vibe, the road to get there is paved, in part, with more-conservative ideas such as discipline, safety and partnership.

So much innovation was on display during the conference — from using Twitter as a leadership tool to crowdsourcing for ideas — that it might have been easy to miss all the work leaders put in along the way to make change happen in their schools and communities.

But distinguished feature speaker Andy Hargreaves of Boston College reminded us that disruptive innovations such as “uplifting leadership” are not based on a set of standards, but a narrative or journey. And the journey may include failures, which speaker and author Sarah Lewis said are gifts in the pursuit of creative innovation.

Many presenters addressed the serious work of leading disruptive innovation and so we focus here on a few lessons for the 21st-century educational leader. (read more…)

eventsThe 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is underway in Houston. ASCD Emerging Leader Jennifer Orr is on the ground, bringing SmartBrief readers coverage of the event. Stay tuned for daily show recaps. Also follow live event coverage on @SBEducation and via #ASCD15.

My brain is swimming after two and a half days at the ASCD annual conference. The sessions and the conversations have given me so much on which to reflect over the coming weeks. This morning I engaged with Robyn Jackson and Allison Zmuda in their session on student engagement. Jackson wrote “Never Underestimate Your Teachers: Instructional Leadership for Excellence in Every Classroom” and “Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching” (a personal favorite), among others. Zmuda is the author of “Breaking Free from Myths About Teaching and Learning: Innovation as an Engine for Student Success.”

One of my biggest takeaways from this session was the four keys to engagement they shared. (read more…)

eventsThe 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is underway in Houston. ASCD Emerging Leader Jennifer Orr is on the ground, bringing SmartBrief readers coverage of the event. Stay tuned for daily show recaps. Also follow live event coverage on @SBEducation and via #ASCD15.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about ASCD is because of the focus on the whole child. This morning, I had the privilege of sitting down with several teachers and the principal of Magnolia Elementary School in Joppa, Md., recipient of this year’s Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. The award recognizes schools that do not solely focus on academic achievement, but support the whole child. Award winners make sure each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. You can read more details about all the amazing things happening at Magnolia Elementary in ASCD’s press release.

From the conversations this morning, several things stuck out to me about the work being done at this school. (read more…)

eventsThe 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is underway in Houston. ASCD Emerging Leader Jennifer Orr is on the ground, bringing SmartBrief readers coverage of the event. Stay tuned for daily show recaps. Also follow live event coverage on @SBEducation and via #ASCD15.

The first day of ASCD’s annual conference was intellectually stimulating and wonderfully fun. As one person, I could barely skim the surface of the conference, but it still managed to make my brain dizzy with so much learning and thinking.

Early in the day my brain was stretched by Sarah Lewis, the author of “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.” She is an art historian and has spent her adult life at Harvard, Oxford and Yale. That’s quite a list. Lewis spoke to a packed hall about the ideas in her book.

Grit and mastery are words that are thrown around quite a bit in education these days. (read more…)

eventsEmbracing the increasing role of technology in education is not akin to admitting defeat.

“This is not based on the idea that the system is broken — it’s not,” said Stanford University President John L. Hennessey during a session at the American Council on Education’s 97th annual meeting. “It’s just that we can do better.”

The goals are threefold, he said: Increase access, reduce cost without reducing learning and improve learning and degree completion in a cost-effective manner.

Tech can enhance student services. A partnership with Innovative Educators helped Foothill College meet its specific needs: increased student preparedness and self-confidence in academic abilities, available online at all times through interactive videos. The service needed to be hosted off-site so it would require very little campus support, be ADA-compliant and provide campus leaders with extensive data. StudentLingo was born.

Through StudentLingo, students have access to more than 30 interactive videos on topics including time management, job interview preparation, reading and writing strategies and staying motivated in online courses. (read more…)