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4 Shifts Video Series: Looking for some pilot schools or districts

Harnessing Technology for Deeper LearningI have a new 4 Shifts Video Series. I am trying to replicate – as best as I can virtually while sitting in my office chair! – a half-day workshop with me around the 4 Shifts Protocol.

The series consists of 7 self-paced modules and includes 38 videos, 7 lesson redesign opportunities, 6 additional instructional redesign scenarios, and other suggestions, strategies, and resources. The modules are intentionally designed to be granular, allowing for busy educators to work on them when convenient. The vast majority of individual videos and activities are 7 minutes or less. Estimated time for completion of the entire set of activities is about 3.5 hours total.

The 4 Shifts Video Series overview page has more information and describes further what I’m trying to make happen. The overview page includes an outline of the whole series and also has a few example videos. My goal is to help educators and school systems design for higher student engagement, whether they’re face-to-face, blended, or wholly online this coming school year. This video series will be a complement to the other professional learning supports that Julie Graber and I are providing.

I am looking for a handful of pilot schools or districts that will find 4 to 5 educators each to give me feedback on some key questions I provide. In exchange for the feedback, I’ll provide the series to the entire school or district for free. If this is of interest to you, please get in touch. First come, first serve!

Leadership for social justice: Class update 2

Class updateThis is my second update on my new summer Master’s seminar, Leadership for Social Justice. As I said in my last post about this class, my six students have been co-creating the class with me…

We have continued to approach the class through a variety of social justice lenses. After an initial focus on anti-racist school leadership, we broadened our lens the next week to take a look at culturally responsive-sustaining teaching and leadership. We also had collections of readings and multimedia on Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and Middle Eastern students and families. My students chose what interested them and we integrated those into our class discussion.

The following week we shifted gears a bit and focused on student / family socioeconomic status. In addition to a wide variety of readings, I introduced my students to the work of Richard Kahlenberg and we also critically dissected Ruby Payne’s writing in this area. We dove deeper into ideas of intersectionality and seemed to dwell more on policy concerns in this particular class.

The week after, we talked about equity leadership related to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. We had a rich collection of pre-activities for this class and we also had a guest speaker this evening. Tim Mosseau talked with us about how to create organizational cultures that promote equity, inclusivity, and emotional safety, with a particular focus on LGBTQ-inclusive environments.

We also have been integrating a case study or two from Gorski & Pothini’s book, Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education, into every class session. These give us a chance to apply our understandings toward some real-world scenarios. Unsurprisingly, our conversation has been quite robust!

Like in my other Master’s seminar this summer, my students have been amazing. They’re taking the lead on much of what we do together. Their readings and multimedia, their discussion questions, their guests… all have enriched our learning in ways that are far better than if I had done it alone. I’m going to miss them after next week’s final class session!

Leadership during a crisis: Class update 2

Class updateThis is my second update on my new summer Master’s seminar, Leadership During a Crisis. As I said in my last post about this class, my six students have been co-creating the class with me…

In addition to helping identify readings and multimedia for us to look at before each class session, my students also have taken the lead on identifying guest speakers to come talk with us about crisis leadership. Our second guest speaker was Dr. Susan Luck, a business professor at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. She talked with us about cognitive bias and its impacts on corporate leadership, organizational communication and transparency, and Kotter’s 8 steps of leading organizational change.

Our third guest was Jack Fishman, Executive Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. He shared with us how the fine arts are adapting during the pandemic and helped us understand some leadership lessons that would be useful for us in P-12 and higher education.

Our fourth guest was Michael Franks, Supervisor of the Respiratory Therapy Department at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver. His discussion of what effective crisis leadership looks like in medicine and from the COVID floor of the hospital was both inspiring and kinda scary.

I couldn’t be more delighted with how this course has gone this summer. After each guest, we spend an hour debriefing what we just heard and connecting it back to previous conversations and readings. Our understandings of effective crisis leadership in education have been greatly enhanced by the diverse perspectives that we are bringing in from other, non-education societal sectors. Plus my students are incredible. I’m going to be sad to see them go after next week’s final class session!

Coronavirus Chronicles 042 – Mansfield ISD

I am talking with schools to see how they’re responding in the wake of this global pandemic. I invite you to join me for the Coronavirus Chronicles, a series of check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 042 is below. Thank you, Brandon Johnson, for sharing how Mansfield Independent School District in Mansfield, Texas is adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated hearing your thoughts on centering students and families amidst the chaos and how your communication strategies have been aligned to that work.

See the complete list of episodes, which also are available as a podcast channel on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you and your school(s) would like to be featured in the Coronavirus Chronicles series, please get in touch. 

Other conversation series that may be of interest are below. Check them out!

Conversation series with educators during the pandemic

Coronavirus Chronicles 041 – Academia Cotopaxi

I am talking with schools to see how they’re responding in the wake of this global pandemic. I invite you to join me for the Coronavirus Chronicles, a series of check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 041 is below. Thank you, Robert van der Eyken, for sharing how Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador is adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated hearing about how proactive you were in terms of global scanning and planning and about how you’ve served your youngest students and those with special needs. 

See the complete list of episodes, which also are available as a podcast channel on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you and your school(s) would like to be featured in the Coronavirus Chronicles series, please get in touch. 

Other conversation series that may be of interest are below. Check them out!

Conversation series with educators during the pandemic

Coronavirus Chronicles 040 – Washington Middle School

I am talking with schools to see how they’re responding in the wake of this global pandemic. I invite you to join me for the Coronavirus Chronicles, a series of check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 040 is below. Thank you, Aaron Meyer, for sharing how Washington Middle School in Evansville, Indiana is adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated hearing about how your educators shifted their innovative learning online this past spring! 

See the complete list of episodes, which also are available as a podcast channel on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you and your school(s) would like to be featured in the Coronavirus Chronicles series, please get in touch. 

Other conversation series that may be of interest are below. Check them out!

Conversation series with educators during the pandemic

Coronavirus Chronicles 039 – Immaculate Conception School

I am talking with schools to see how they’re responding in the wake of this global pandemic. I invite you to join me for the Coronavirus Chronicles, a series of check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 039 is below. Thank you, Heather Cucuzzella and Olivia Collison, for sharing how the Immaculate Conception School in Towson, Maryland is adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated hearing about your customer service orientation and how your tightly-knit community all pulled together this past spring! 

See the complete list of episodes, which also are available as a podcast channel on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you and your school(s) would like to be featured in the Coronavirus Chronicles series, please get in touch. 

Other conversation series that may be of interest are below. Check them out!

Conversation series with educators during the pandemic

Coronavirus Chronicles 038 – International School of Tanganyika

I am talking with schools to see how they’re responding in the wake of this global pandemic. I invite you to join me for the Coronavirus Chronicles, a series of check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 038 is below. Thank you, Mark Hardeman and Blair Peterson, for sharing how the International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated hearing about your scheduling logistics, inquiry approaches, and commitment to engaging students and families. And I loved your 20-day graduation celebration for your seniors!

See the complete list of episodes, which also are available as a podcast channel on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you and your school(s) would like to be featured in the Coronavirus Chronicles series, please get in touch. 

Other conversation series that may be of interest are below. Check them out!

Conversation series with educators during the pandemic

Leadership for social justice: Class update 1

Class updateThought I’d post a quick update on how my new summer Master’s seminar, Leadership for Social Justice, is going. I’ve got six students in the class. We meet virtually every Monday for a couple of hours, in addition to our other activities.

The students co-constructed their learning experiences with me. We are trying to approach the class through a very broad social justice lens, which means that we’re discussing a variety of different school leadership equity contexts. We spent our first class getting ourselves organized, which included brainstorming some things that we wanted to do together this summer and identifying the learning outcomes that we wanted to achieve. We committed ourselves to focusing on actionable leadership practices, not just ideas and theory. Our course textbook, Equity Visits: A New Approach to Supporting Equity-Focused School and District Leadership, aligns closely with that commitment.

We focused on anti-racist educational leadership practices in our second class. Two students helped curate our readings and multimedia pre-assignments for the week and provided lots of choices for us. The reading that probably sparked the most discussion was Paul Gorski’s article in Educational Leadership on Avoiding Racial Equity Detours. We spent the second half of class deconstructing a couple of race-based educational cases from Gorski’s book, Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education.

My students are completing one-page reflections each week of what is in their heads at the moment. Additionally, each is identifying an inquiry project on an equity-focused topic of their choice. I will share those in a future class update. We are off to a good start!