October is Connected Educator Month. Stay tuned throughout the month for advice from your peers about connected teaching and learning. In this blog post, executive coach and consultant Naphtali Hoff, goes back to basics and challenges educators to deepen their connections with students “so that you can maximize your influence on the life of the young men and women that have been entrusted to you.”

This blog post is the first in a two-part series.

Consider this story: There was a teacher who took his job very seriously. He was always on time for class (if not early) and conducted himself in a most professional manner. One day, he experienced some delays that were beyond his control and he arrived a bit late to class. Needless to say, the lateness bothered him and he was a bit flustered as he entered the classroom to begin teaching.

Upon his arrival, a boy from the middle row gleefully raised his left arm and pointed to his watch. (read more…)

Silhouettes of Business People Meeting with Social Media Symbols

Associations, organizations, corporations and schools have a challenge before them: to ensure students — regardless of gender, background or disability — learn 21st-century workplace skills. SmartBrief Education will dive into the issue Oct. 23 during an expert panel session, Equity in STEM: Taking Up the Challenge to Build an Inclusive Workforce.

Join us for insights about boosting the numbers students from under-represented populations in the STEM workforce pipeline. Our expert STEM panel includes an author and thought leader, female business leader, aerospace educator and a MakerEd educator who works with students with neurological differences.

We’ll ask the audience to discuss what they can do to step up. And we’ll ensure attendees leave with actionable best practices for preparing students for the 21st century workforce.

Register/Agenda | Meet the panelists (read more…)

Connecting educators to each other has a huge impact on the learning environment. As educators build relationships, they can then share knowledge and learn from each other. And when this happens, learning improves for all students.

How can you get started? The key is to start small. Here are some ideas:

  1. Create a Pinterest account. Search for educational topics. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking system. You see pictures that link to websites containing lesson plans, articles and ideas for your classroom and curriculum.
  2. Set up a Twitter account and follow educational people and organizations. (No need to tweet, just lurk.) Suggestions: @edutopia, @ASCD, @eduleadership, @GustafsonBrad, @ShakeUpLearning, @jmattmiller.
  3. Check out Tweetdeck to organize incoming tweets. Search for and follow hashtags. Suggestions: #edchat, #mnlead, #tlap, #edtech, #edchat.
  4. Participate in a Twitterchat. Go to Education Chats and look for a Twitterchat that pertains to your classroom. Follow the Twitterchat during the specified time. If you see something interesting that looks like a link, click on it.
  5. (read more…)


October is Connected Educator Month. Stay tuned throughout the month for advice from your peers about connected teaching and learning. David Haglund, deputy superintendent of Educational Services for the Santa Ana Unified School District in California, shines a light on how the district makes learning available anytime, anywhere.

If you want to check your bank balance at 11:00 p.m., you can. If you wake up in the middle of the night and remember it’s your anniversary tomorrow, jump online and order flowers. Pondering on a lazy Sunday afternoon who the Prime Minister of England was in 1964? The answer is at your fingertips, thanks to search engines. (The answer is Harold Wilson, by the way.) In today’s on-demand world we can satisfy any curiosity or need whenever we want. So why can’t our students learn whenever and wherever they want?

In the Santa Anna Unified School District in California, we’ve made a commitment to giving students 24/7 access to learning resources. (read more…)

Erasing bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Jim Dillon, an educator for over 35 years including 20 as a school administrator and the current director of the Center for Leadership and Bullying Prevention, helps us jump start the conversation with a call to reexamine the story we tell about bullying.

“Our tendency to see and explain the world in common narratives is so deeply engrained that we often don’t notice it — even when we have written the words ourselves.” Dan Pink

I once sat between two teachers and heard them comment on a student that they both taught. The first teacher said, “How can I be expected to get him to pass the course when he is absent once or twice a week every week?” The second teacher replied, “Knowing what he has to overcome in his life outside of school, it is amazing that he comes to school three to four times a week.” Both teachers cared about this student. (read more…)