Friday, October 31, 2014

Your Must Reads?

Sure, we all have things that we read regularly.  There are so many amazing tools to help bring us the articles and posts we want and expose us to new and different things.  Two tools I use are Feedly and Zite. Feedly is my RSS reader and brings together the blogs and authors I want to come back to.  It displays them in a pleasing manner and also notifies me when posts are available (probably my favorite part).  Zite is a bit different.  This is my exposure tool.  This amazing tool aggregates reading by topic and then interests.  It is like a Pandora for reading.  It continually learns as you "like" posts and brings similar reading all together in your main feed.  You still have specific topic feeds that you can scroll through.  There are amazing things here.  If you haven't tried either of those tools, you should!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Social Media & Schools: Why?

So why should we be part of social media?  We could look at one of a number of areas and have a great reason to jump in and each one is worthy!  Let's make a quick list:
  • As an additional communication platform - get your message out in every way possible!
  • Because you were told - hopefully this means you have a boss or administration that values innovation and using current and relevant tools!
  • To connect with parents and/or students where they interact - the saying is "build it and they will come".  Well, in this case, it is already built, people are there and we need to go meet them there!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

12 Ideas to Stay Connected #SAVMP

It is difficult in our business sometimes to say one thing is more important than another!  When it comes to working with kids, it is all important.  I often tell staff and parents that tasks or situations are a priority, there is not a "THE" priority.  Unfortunately we don't have that luxury to just have one!

Being Connected Educators month, I have read so many posts about ways that we should be globally  and digitally connected and it is wonderful and important!  I am also glad I have had the opportunity to really reflect upon being face-to-face connected with those individuals closest to me, right in my own building and community!  I have a tendency to over think things which sometimes leads to the dismissal of work done or time spent (I may have done that with the ideas below...).  Here some pretty reasonable ways to keep connected with your community.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reader's Survey

I haven't been at this blogging deal too long, but I'd like to know a few things about you, the folks that come by and read and those that maybe interested in reading.  I'd also like to know what you may want to get out of your visits here.  I've written before, my ultimate purpose is sharing thoughts and impact, but also want to grow the reach of the message and I believe that this short survey will help in that venture!  I'm going to leave it open for about two weeks then make some decisions moving forward!

Please take a few moments to complete this survey.  Your input is much appreciated!

Thank you for reading!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Plan vs. Design

Below is a post from 2012 (just a few edits).  Probably one of the final posts from my previous site that I will pull to the new one.  Still relevant and a challenge we all should accept!

"When I look at nature I see design & patterns everywhere & know that designs don't happen by accident. There is a Designer." - Jon Gordon

If you don't follow Jon Gordon on Twitter, you should. Not only is the man a great writer and motivator, but he strikes me as a person that is just good to know. Maybe I'll get to know him one day. The tweet above was posted yesterday is just really struck a sweet chord with me on a number of different levels. On one level, it is difficult to look around and not see a beautiful design in action. The exquisiteness of creation is just too intricate to be random and by chance!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Social Media & Schools: Goals & Measurement

So what do you want out of this whole social media thing?  More than likely you have gotten into social media for your campus to share information and keep your families informed of things happening at school.  That is a worthy cause!  More often than not an informed community is a happy community!  Taking a little bit of time to plan some strategy to the use of social media is a wise investment to ensure you are getting out of the tool, time you are putting in.

Stepping into the social media scene at Eagle Ridge, we looking to do the following:
  • take advantage of an opportunity to communicate
  • provide a window into school/classroom
  • tell the Eagle Ridge story

Friday, October 10, 2014

Are We Close or Are We Close? #SAVMP

The first SAVMP topic is about connecting with school community and after reading this recent Bernedette Jiwa post,  Close, Closer, Closest, the idea of the neighborhood school came to mind along with the following contrasts: are we close or are we close?  Are we a neighborhood school or are we a school in the neighborhood?

As a school community, we should evaluate whether we are near each other or are we connected.  Are we connected simply by the streets we live on or the subdivision where are house  or is there more?  The difference between the these contrasts is all about relationship.  The "more" comes with the opportunity to and intentional effort to connect, come together and understand one another.

How we address these contrast may be well informed by how we answer these questions: What are some the ways that you are close with your school community?  What are the ways that your campus is a neighborhood school?  Leave a comment!!



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Social Media & Schools: The Hashtag

From the outside looking in, the idea of the hashtag is a pretty silly thing, but has become almost a staple of pop culture.  At some point in time, down the road, we will all have some pretty interestesting conversations about our recolllections of the hashtag.

Here is what Twitter has to say about the hashtag:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blogging Advice from a 9 Week Veteran

So I've continued to learn some things as I've continued on this blogging journey! That's a good thing!  I posted a number of weeks back on some things that I'd picked up along the way and still find that they are valuable  key learnings and 6 weeks later.  Again, I'll say I'm not the end all, be all when it comes to this practice, but here are a few more things that might be useful in your on own blogging venture!

  • Share something everyday! - I post new content 2-3 times per week, but on those in between days I have been tweeting posts from previous days and weeks. My purpose is to share ideas, it's OK to share them more than just a single time. If your twitter feed looks anything like mine, you're going to catch new folks each time you post.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

5 Ways to Mobilize Your Silent Majority

A couple weeks back I posted about mobilizing your silent majority as part of ensuring that the school brand and identity is being portrayed accurately and developed positively.  I shared a middle school story in that post, but at Eagle Ridge we had a related experience as well just his past year with our end of year district survey.  Out of an 800 student campus we had less than 80 responses on our survey.  While we thought communication was a strength due to amount and variety, this was indicated as a weakness!  We could analyze all day, but this was feedback we had to work with and it was valuable because for those that responded, this was their frame of reference.  I am positive you probably have a similar story or at least a relatable experience as well!

In ensuring that I am never "that guy" that pontificates on a topic then stops short of at least an idea to get the party started, here are 5 ways that you can grow your community's voice!