By Kenneth Wilson on June 29th, 2015 | Comment on this post

textbooksSmartBlog on Education will highlight summer learning and enrichment for educators during June. In this post, Kenneth Wilson, director of staff development and teacher evaluation for a South Carolina district, shares his district’s model for summer PD.

With a new school year quickly approaching, it’s my job as director of Staff Development and Teacher Evaluation to make sure our staff has the opportunity to continue their professional development throughout the summer months. Our goal is to provide meaningful PD that a large number of staff members find valuable. One of the best ways to ensure that these offerings are effective and successful is to use data and technology to inform your planning strategy. Here are three ways we put data and technology to good use when building our PD programs.

Survey data

Surveys are a great way to get feedback from your staff and learn about the success of your previous PD offerings.…

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By on June 26th, 2015 | Comment on this post

badgeSmartBlog on Education’s monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss.

SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

In an effort to recognize some of the innovative voices in the field, we’ve asked our team to nominate their favorite content each month from which we’ll choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award. These award winners are then in the running for our annual Educators’ Choice Award.

Meet this month’s winners:

May winners:

April winners:

By on June 26th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Security, simplifying the user experience and improving the IT and end user relationship were among the top themes discussed at IMCCA’s “UCC Summit 2015: State of the Industry Lunch and Learn” panel event at this year’s Infocomm conference in Orlando, Fl. The 10-member panel included executives from Acano, AVI-SPL, Cisco, Dimension Data, Jupiter, Kraymer, Microsoft, PEXIP, Polycom, Revo Labs, Smart Technologies and Videxio. The discussion, moderated by IMCCA Chairperson Emeritus Ann Earon, offered these insights on unified communications (UC) and collaboration in the enterprise.

Unified communications is an outcome, not a technology. Moving organizations toward a smarter, better use of UC and collaboration means changing their perceptions of these approaches, said Scott Cruikshank, director of communications at Dimension Data. “UC is not a technology—it’s an outcome,” explained Cruikshank. “It’s an application. The more we educate customers in the industry to get them to start thinking that way, we’ll have more success.”

When it comes to security, follow the leaders.

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By on June 26th, 2015 | Comment on this post

The best executives with whom I have worked make a point of hitting the road.

Executives who get out of their offices and make treks to the front lines, as well as to customer locations, get firsthand impressions of what is happening, as well as what is not happening. And it’s not enough to show up.

You need to engage. Have real conversations about how the work is going, and especially listen to how people respond.

Ask questions. And, most important, listen to what you hear.

Hitting the road to discover what’s going on is time-consuming and wearying, but it is necessary for any executive who expects to lead with a clear head, and an even more clear vision of the future.


John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts.

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By on June 26th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Geoffrey A. Moore’s 1991 hit book “Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers” has become a technology industry bible for understanding the recurring patterns of the adoption of disruptive innovation. Moore breaks up the population into five groups: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. The “chasm” refers to a gap between the innovators/early adopters groups and the others. While the innovators and early adoptions are excited to try new technology for technology’s sake or to gain a differentiator from the competition by being early to adopt, the later groups are harder to convince without solid evidence and may resist technology adoption entirely until the innovation has become the de facto standard.

The principle of the innovation lifecycle and the struggle associated with crossing the chasm has been incredibly helpful to me as an innovator within the restaurant industry, thinking about the industry’s innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.…

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