Thursday, May 15, 2008

Balanced Leadership Academy

Have you heard about this opportunity from School Administrators of South Dakota?

The Balanced Leadership Academy is a series of five professional development sessions designed to help school administrators learn and apply effective leadership practices. It focuses on 21 key leadership responsibilities identified in research compiled by McRel. The program combines proven research with practical applications. School administrators will leave the program with the skills of knowing how to lead, why leadership is important, and when it's critical to provide effective leadership.

Leaders, like everyone else, need to take full advantage of opportunities like this to hone their skills, refresh their outlooks, and connect with other leaders for ongoing support. Whether you've just finished a professional development event, or it's been a while since you've done something like this, I would strongly encourage anyone in a leadership role to participate in this great opportunity.

For more information, click here, or contact John Pedersen at (605) 773-2525 or

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Teaching the Digital Natives

I love this quote from Steve Hargadon in April's TechLearning, so I'm just copying it verbatim. The bold-facing and paragraphing is mine.

You may think you don't have anything to teach the generation of students that seems so tech-savvy, but it really, really needs you.

For centuries we have had to teach students how to seek out information--now we have to teach them how to sort through an overabundance of information. We've spent the past 10 years teaching students how to protect themselves from inappropriate content--now we have to teach them to create appropriate content.

They may be "digital natives," but their knowledge is surface
level, and they desperately need training in real thinking

They live lives that are largely separated from the adults around them,
talking and texting on cell phones and connecting online. We may be afraid
to enter that world, but enter it we must, for they often swim in uncharted
waters without the benefit of adult guidance.

To do so we may need to change our conceptions of teaching, and
better now than later.


This website from School Improvement Network takes aim at all the negative publicity that public schools in the United States usually receive, and posits three short video clips focusing on the fact that leaders, teachers, and schools DO make a positive difference in the lives of their students.