Quick links

Why the title of this blog?

As Gwynne Dyer has noted:

Our intelligence tends to produce technological and social change at a rate faster than our institutions and emotions can cope with. . . . We therefore find ourselves continually trying to accommodate new realities within inappropriate existing institutions, and trying to think about those new realities in traditional but sometimes dangerously irrelevant terms. (War: The Lethal Custom, p. 441)

This blog is intended to help resolve some of those incongruities for P-12 school leaders.

Short bio

A Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver, Scott McLeod works with schools and educators all around the world. He is on a mission to make students’ day-to-day learning less boring and more meaningful and relevant.

Long bio

A Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver, Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on P-12 school leadership, deeper learning, technology, and innovation. He is on a mission to make students’ day-to-day learning less boring and more meaningful and relevant. Scott is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the only university center in the U.S. dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and is the co-creator of both the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens), and the 4 Shifts Protocol for lesson and unit redesign.

Scott has worked with hundreds of schools, districts, universities, and other organizations and has received numerous awards for his technology leadership work, including the 2016 Award for Outstanding Leadership from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Scott blogs about leadership and innovation at Dangerously Irrelevant and is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at regional, state, national, and international conferences. Scott also hosts two podcasts, LeaderTalk and Redesigning for Deeper Learning.

Scott currently serves as a Senior Fellow for Getting Smart, a Fellow for the NAESP Center for Innovative Leadership, an ISTE Community Leader, InnEdCO Ambassador, and on NAESP’s Professional Learning Advisory Council. He has written or edited 4 books and 170 articles and other publications, and is one of the most visible education professors in the United States. His most recent work focuses on what deeper learning looks like in elementary and middle schools.


Select honors and awards

  • Fellow, Center for Innovative Leadership, National Association of Elementary School Principals, 2023 – 2026
  • Senior Fellow, Getting Smart, 2023
  • Ambassador, International Society for Technology in Education, 2022
  • Community Leader, International Society for Technology in Education, 2021
  • InnEdCO Ambassador, Innovative Education Colorado, 2021
  • Digital Pedagogy Faculty Fellow, ThinqStudio, University of Colorado Denver, 2017 – 2018
  • Award for Outstanding Leadership, International Society for Technology in Education, 2016
  • Friend of the Association Award, School Administrators of Iowa, 2016
  • Honorable Mention, Power to the People Award, Digital Promise, 2014
  • State Technology Leadership Award, Iowa Technology and Education Connection, 2013
  • Geisler-Penquite Educational Excellence Endowed Lecture, Central College, Iowa, 2013
  • Hanne Mawhinney Distinguished Service Award, University Council for Educational Administration, 2012
  • Visiting Canterbury Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2011
  • Education Innovator, Center for Digital Education / Converge, 2011
  • Nancy O’Brian Endowed Lecture, University of Oklahoma, 2009
  • Emerging Leader Award, Phi Delta Kappa International, 2007
  • 20 to Watch, National School Boards Association, 2007
  • General Excellence Award, Leaders in Learning, Cable in the Classroom, 2007
  • Finalist [CASTLE], TechFoundation TechGrants Award Program, 2004
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 2004
  • Education Policy and Fellowship Program, Institute for Educational Leadership, 2002 – 2003
  • Innovative Teaching and Technology Strategies Program, University of Minnesota Twin Cities / Archibald Bush Foundation, 2002 – 2003
  • William J. Davis Award, University Council for Educational Administration, 2002 [article of the year in Educational Administration Quarterly, the top educational leadership research journal]

[See also Thanks for a great run, Iowa.]

Some things I care about…

There are some things that I care about in addition to leadership, innovation, student empowerment, digital technologies, and schools that are relevant for our children and society. You may see mention of them in my social media streams from time to time. These include…


  • economy and workforce issues
  • equity and social justice concerns
  • voting rights, speech rights, and other protections of minority subgroups and perspectives
  • functional judicial and political systems
  • higher education
  • marketing
  • baseball
  • photography and design
  • travel