Silver Lining for Learning, Episode 03: Delivering education when schools are closed. Lessons from China

Episode 03 of Silver Lining for Learning occurred on April 4. Our special guests shared their perspectives on remote learning in China. Mina Dustan of the Quarry Bay School in Hong Kong and Spencer Fowler of the Dalton Academy in Beijing shared how their international schools are thinking about learning and teaching during the pandemic. Shuangye Chen of East China Normal University shared photos of how public schools and families are responding across urban, suburban, and rural contexts. Happy viewing!


Silver Lining for Learning, Episode 02: Where (when) there is no school

Episode 02 of Silver Lining for Learning occurred on March 28. Our special guest was Sugata Mitra, winner of the 2013 TED Prize. Professor Mitra talked with us about the possibilities of self-organized learning. Happy viewing!


Silver Lining for Learning, Episode 01: Introduction and overview

Episode 01 of Silver Lining for Learning occurred back on March 21. During our launch episode, our five primary hosts and special guest talked about our hopes and desires for this initiative. Conversation was robust… Happy viewing!


Silver Lining for Learning, Episode 05: Rethinking school with Will Richardson

I was fortunate to be the primary host for Episode 05 of Silver Lining for Learning on April 18. Our guest was Will Richardson and we had a fantastic discussion about both the realities and possibilities of school transformation.

Will has been talking about how to rethink learning, teaching, and schooling for decades. He is the author of multiple books and has launched major collaboration initiatives such as the change.school, Modern Learners, and Powerful Learning Practice networks. If you weren’t able to join us, the archived video is well worth it!

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Here are some ways that you can connect with Will’s work:

Here are Will’s books. Happy reading!


Who wants to join me for a course on leadership during a crisis or leadership for social justice?

Online learning iconNeed some recertification credits? Looking for an interesting class? Hope you’ll join us this summer!

I have a little room in my teaching schedule so I am offering two online Master’s-level courses this summer:

EDUC 5001 E50. Special Topics: Leadership During a Crisis (3 credits, online) [Class # 20597]

Crises big and small occur regularly in organizations. The global pandemic has highlighted numerous individual and institutional responses – both successful and unsuccessful – to a major crisis. In this class we are going to talk about crisis leadership. We will highlight the individual / collective mindsets, organizational strategies, leadership behaviors, and support structures necessary to navigate crisis situations. While most organizational crises will be smaller than the COVID-19 pandemic, we can learn lessons from this and other incidents about how to best prepare ourselves to be effective leaders when crises occur. We will do a pre-assessment at the beginning of the course to see what you already know and what you’d like to learn!

Class Meetings

Every Tuesday, June 9 through July 28, 2020. 5pm to 7pm Mountain, in Zoom.
We also will have a Canvas course shell for readings, assignments, and other activities.

[This course will be applicable to both schools and non-education organizations!]

EDUC 5652 E50. Leadership for Social Justice (3 credits, online) [Class # 20596]

In this class we are going to talk about equity literacy, equity visits and audits, how to have difficult conversations about race and racism, equity-focused learning communities, color-brave leadership, and lots of other important stuff. The bulk of our class meeting times each week will be spent addressing real-world, equity-focused school leadership case studies and scenarios. We will do a pre-assessment at the beginning of the course to see what you already know and what you’d like to learn!

Class Meetings

Every Monday, June 8 through July 27, 2020. 5pm to 7pm Mountain, in Zoom.
We also will have a Canvas course shell for readings, assignments, and other activities.

[This course will focus on P-12 school equity issues!]

Contact me if you are interested or have questions!

University of Colorado Denver students can register for these courses through their student portal. Everyone else can register using the information below:


Coronavirus Chronicles 018 – Northern Cass School District

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 10-minute check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 018 is below. Thank you, Cory Steiner, for sharing how the Northern Cass School District in North Dakota has been adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated your emphasis on family and community engagement and our conversation about some new possibilities for next school year.

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. 

Also, my co-author, Dean Shareski, has started a similar podcast, What’s Happening?, which is focused a little more on instructional issues than leadership. Check it out!


Coronavirus Chronicles 017 – International School of Luxembourg

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 10-minute check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 017 is below. Thank you, John Mikton, for sharing how the International School of Luxembourg has been adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I greatly appreciated your focus on structures, teamwork, and recalibration.

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. 

Also, my co-author, Dean Shareski, has started a similar podcast, What’s Happening?, which is focused a little more on instructional issues than leadership. Check it out!


Coronavirus Chronicles 016 – Brigantine Public Schools

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 10-minute check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 016 is below. Thank you, Glenn Robbins, for sharing how the Brigantine Public Schools in New Jersey have been adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. I especially appreciated your emphasis on the social and emotional health of your community and your description of the collaborative conversations with community leaders. Schools are not isolated entities!

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

Also, my co-author, Dean Shareski, has started a similar podcast, What’s Happening?, which is focused a little more on instructional issues than leadership. Check it out!


Coronavirus Chronicles 015 – Jeffco Public Schools

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 10-minute check-ins with educators all over.

Episode 015 is below. Thank you, Mary Beth Bazzanella and Kala Munguia, for sharing how the Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado have been adapting to our new challenges and opportunities. Your enthusiasm for the great work your educators are doing is incredibly energizing!

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

Also, my co-author, Dean Shareski, has started a similar podcast, What’s Happening?, which is focused a little more on instructional issues than leadership. Check it out!


CHART: School Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Version 01)

It has been illuminating to listen to school leaders share how their systems are responding to the needs of their students, staff, and communities during the global pandemic. I need to summarize more concretely some of the key leadership behaviors and support structures that I have heard about in the Coronavirus Chronicles interviews, but in the meantime I thought I would share the following chart.

I don’t claim that this chart is definitive or based on a scholarly analysis of data. Instead, it is just a quick summary of my informal meaning-making so far. This chart is definitely a draft. If you have thoughts about how I should change it, let me know!

CHART: School Responses to the COVID 19 Pandemic v01

Click here to access the full-size image. Hope this is useful to you!

In what phase is your school system? What plans and structures do you have in place to move out of that phase?