About Me

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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.


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 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 the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He also is the co-creator of the 4 Shifts Protocol for lesson/unit redesign and the founder of both the annual Iowa 1:1 Institute and EdCampIowa, one of the largest EdCamp events in the United States. Dr. McLeod 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). Dr. McLeod blogs about leadership and innovation at Dangerously Irrelevant and is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at regional, state, national, and international conferences. 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.


Select honors and awards

  • 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


  1. JoAnn

    Our school is implementing a program for students to BYOT-Bring Your Own Technology. What can you share about the success of this type of initiative?

  2. Joy Young

    I gained great value from your presentation at SAIS. You mentioned that your slides would be available. How do I go about obtaining them?

    Many thanks for keeping me thinking! Joy

  3. Joe Nathan

    Scott – What are your feelings about virtual public schools, whether run by districts or as charters?

    Which do you think are doing a good job, and what are the characteristics of those doing the best job with students?

    • Scott McLeod

      Thanks for the comment, Joe. Haven’t talked with you in a long time!

      Although I don’t monitor closely enough to say which schools are doing a good job and why, I think online learning and online schools definitely have a place in our current and future educational landscape. That said, like for charter schools, I think our quality monitoring systems are pretty lax, which leaves lots of room for financial fraud, enrollment abuse, and academic disservices to students. We need to evolve better monitoring mechanisms. Right now many online classes and programs are bearing the brunt of others’ misdeeds.

  4. Meg Derrick

    How do we educate the parents in our classroom? I teach 4th grade. We have access to Chrome books and multiple I-pads, licenses to a variety of learning sites. What is happening-Child has head phones on and is watching video on Brain Pop or United Streaming for specific research role in his or her group using pause button frequently to take notes paraphrasing on specific topic.
    What some parents see: My child is watching videos in class on their own while teacher works with a different group.
    What is happening-A child is working on their specific group task at home on Google Docs. What some parents see: My child is talking to someone on the internet. What is happening a child has earned a specified number of points on a learning program and a well deserved “Game Break” pops up. What Some parents see “My child is playing video games in the classroom. Some parents do not want their child’s writing published on line. Do you have any sites/Tips with front loading my parents this year with technology that changes in a snap? Technology may boggle the mature adult but not the children they are “Tech Natives.”

  5. Scott Merrick

    Hey, Scott,
    Attending a half-day Code.org PD today and watching a video of your 2008 ppt on rapid change/exponential times. Just wanted to say hi, too! Hope to see you in San Diego at ISTE next summer if not sooner!

  6. David Cutler

    Dear Scott,

    I’m not sure if you recall, but in 2014 we attended NAIS’s summit on blended learning and educational technology.

    For an upcoming Edutopia article, I’m looking into the role of laptops in the classroom — and whether students might benefit more in certain situations from keeping the computer closed. I find this particularly true with discussion-based classes. I know research continues to say that if students take notes on a computer, for instance, they simply write down everything the teacher or peers say without allowing any genuine thinking or sinking in to take place.

    I would be hugely grateful to chat with you about this, as well as your thoughts as to when (if ever) laptops in the classroom might cause more harm than good.

    Thank you for all that you do!


    David Cutler


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