Devices and applications are critical to improving student outcomes, according to a recent poll of SmartBrief on EdTech readers. And yet technology integration continues to lag at many schools and districts. Only 28% of readers classified their school’s tech integration efforts as “very effective.” Educators often cite budget as a reason but admit it’s not the sole, or even primary, culprit. So what is the hold up? We asked SmartBrief on EdTech readers to give us their thoughts on the issue.

Educators need more technology training, according to nearly half (49%) of the poll respondents. Putting devices into teachers’ hands is only half the battle—they need frequent training on using these tools properly. Sixty-six percent stated that more professional development for tools and teaching strategies would improve integration efforts at their school or district.

Take a look at the findings:

Do you think the use of devices and applications is important to driving student outcomes?…

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Why do some people get ahead and others do not?

That’s the thought-provoking question addressed by authors Kim Zoller and Kerry Preston in the book “Enhancing Your Executive Edge.”

According to the authors, what distinguishes those who succeed in moving up the ladder is their “executive edge,” a presence that projects leadership, confidence, and credibility. I couldn’t agree more! Increasingly. I am being invited to work with clients to develop their presence as they advance from director-level to executive positions. Making that leap from senior to executive management is a quantum leap, filled with new expectations and a vastly expanded level of exposure.

If your career goals include this type of career trajectory, or your “edge” needs a boost to help you rise to the challenge of a new position, this book can be a game changer. It is organized into these five segments, each with concrete steps that will enhance your executive edge:

  • Self-management and social awareness
  • Personal branding
  • Communication and presence (my favorite)
  • Business protocol
  • Motivation, perseverance, and excellence

Below are some of the ideas and advice that made an enormous impact on my thinking about enhancing my executive edge.…

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As an HR professional, I know the value of the performance appraisal. However, I also know that, if done poorly, they can have the opposite effect on an organization.

Performance appraisals have typically been driven by human resources. When performance appraisals are done poorly by management, it reflects on HR. Traditionally, management has sat their employees down one on one to go over the year in review, set the upcoming year’s goals and expectations. For years, the process has worked for few, but because of the time involved, it’s not done with any degree of success.

Why should we do performance appraisals?

The purpose of performance appraisals is to provide individual feedback relative to the organizational goals. They should measure an individual’s contributions in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness, and costliness.

recite-1qyhheqWhy have organizations and upper management lost interest in them? Why do experts and management agree the performance appraisal/performance management effort is broken and is a waste of time?

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The social media revolution has made marketers’ lives much easier. It’s true that the field finds itself in uncharted territory. After overcoming the learning curve, however, the possibilities are endless.

Social media not only gives marketers access to a larger audience than ever before, but allows them to act efficiently without leaving their office. When individual updates can reach millions of people, the odds of generating leads can be exponentially higher than before. But simply making an online profile isn’t enough – you must know how to capture its full potential.

1. Listen to your audience
There are countless methods of expressing your message across social media, but you need to know which ones will best reach your customers. Any given shopper could be a regular user of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – or maybe they solely depend on LinkedIn when looking for products in your field. Devote time to research where these users frequent and then decide the most effective manner of marketing to them.…

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Would you rather be seen as being a fair leader or a just one?

  • I’d rather be seen as being fair: 44%
  • I’d rather be seen as being just: 56%

Justice Beats Fairness. Life’s not fair. Not everyone will be happy with the decisions you make and there will always be complaints about fair treatment. Being just is a difficult task. It requires leaders to be deliberate about how they spend their time (not everyone will get the same access), how they discipline, hand out promotions and assignments, and ultimately treat people. If you’re ever feeling “fairness pangs” where you have to make a tough call that isn’t necessarily fair, at least ensure justice is on your side.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”

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