Instructional Treats

Today is Halloween, traditional associated with “candy day” or “where’s the treats”. This is also associated with kids (unless you get that awesome neighbor handing out “adult” Jell-O shots during a candy visit). Well, how about some “treats” for teachers. We are all looking for strategies to increase student engagement, so today I thought to... Continue Reading →

Creating a Digital Playbook: 5 Critical Components

Cyber issues in schools can impact students, teachers, staff, and physical or virtual elements of schools and districts. Schools are driven by the notion of improving student learning through the tools and skills of educators. Unfortunately, cyber issues can stop learning without warning because systems are corrupted or a data breach occurs. Because Lightspeed Systems... Continue Reading →

Leading and Learning at #ACTEM19

I had a fantastic time, as always, at #ACTEM19. ACTEM is the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine, and the event holds a special place for me. Besides one of my best friends, Andy Wallace is on the ACTEM board (and always love hanging out); during my first ACTEM, I met my soon to... Continue Reading →

Tips for increasing student voice

Start with less teacher talk and more student-centered learning Today’s students are experiential learners; they learn by discovering rather than following. They like to interact with content to explore and draw conclusions. Students enjoy taking control of their learning and putting knowledge into practice. Relevant learning increases content retention and student engagement. So how do... Continue Reading →

Personalized PD to Maximize Educator Learning

By: Matthew X. Joseph, Jeni Long, and Sallee Clark We are excited that #TLTechLive is back and  to have the opportunity to share at Austin Live  September 20th during a session on “Personalizing PD,” In today’s digital world, it doesn’t matter if your district is one-to-one or working towards increasing learning tools because students have... Continue Reading →


Fans of iconic bands like Guns and Roses, Kiss, or Led Zeppelin often look forward to the next time these legends reunite for another tour. As a fan of Tech & Learning Live (#TLTechLive), I’m looking forward to a similarly inspiring reunion on September 20 in Austin with a day of professional learning led by... Continue Reading →

Intentional Innovation

A fabulous few days at the Building Learning Communities event (#BLC19) wrapped up with attending many sessions today. I was honored to be able to present two sessions at the event this year. Events are always a fantastic way to collaborate, learn, and push myself as a speaker. My two topics focused on active learning... Continue Reading →

Building Learning Communities

BLC19 is less than a week away and one of my favorite events of the year. Whenever I can learn more skills about building learning communities - I AM IN. I am fortunate again this year to have multiple sessions, and I can't wait to collaborate and learn. I took time this weekend to think... Continue Reading →

Take USies not Selfies

You say the word selfie and so many images come into your mind (and some you don't want). But mostly it is ONE person taking a photo of themselves. By definition, a selfie is a self-photo done with a smartphone held in your hand so you can share on social media. I mean really, we... Continue Reading →

Legendary #LearnFestATX

I felt so lucky to be asked to be a featured speaker at LearnFestATX in January and didn’t know the impact the experience would have on me. Now I do and want to share the experience. I didn’t know what exactly I would be doing, and then I get the email. I was excited to... Continue Reading →

Creating Impactful PD for Teachers

Developing impactful professional development can not just “happen.” It takes careful and purposeful planning. Over my many years as a principal and district leader, there have been a few common elements that need to be a part of the planning and launching of impactful PD. Creating the schedule is my first step. Trying to balance... Continue Reading →

Moving from Dioramas to Dynamic Projects

I had a great two days of learning at the Blended & Personalized Learning Conference in Providence (#BPLC19).  The sessions I found myself in focused on blended and personalized learning design (great session @csanford42 and @ShawnCRubin) , increasing student voice, and supporting educators take the next step in their own growth. Today’s students are experiential learners;... Continue Reading →

Report from ASCD, Part 1: Sessions Covered, Classroom Coding, Leadership Strategies and More

More than 7,000 educators from around the globe gathered in Chicago March 15-18 for deep dish pizza, green drinks for St. Patrick’s day, and to participate in ASCD's #Empower19 conference. From the opening welcome reception to the final moments, the keynotes, sessions, and conversations were free-flowing and high level.  #Empower19  kicked off with an opening... Continue Reading →

Harnessing Parent Engagement Outside of the Classroom

Technology and digital communication are changing at a rapid pace. As school and district leaders strive to implement more effective communication with families, they must take these changes into consideration. Communication is critical to student achievement. Leaders send communication to parents via emails, newsletter, and tweets, just to name a few. As new platforms for... Continue Reading →

Leadership Q/A

A leader is someone who has a certain amount of expertise in a field and actively shares their insights with those around them through writing, speaking, and acting. Leaders take pride in teaching others how to apply knowledge and reach their full potential. I believe a school leader has two main responsibilities: ensuring students have... Continue Reading →

10 Tips for Turning Ideas into Action Reflection in Education

Co-Written with Rae Hughart. Rae Hughart (@RaeHughart) is a Middle Level Math Educator in Illinois and the Director of Training & Development for Progressive Mastery Learning, LLC. Conference presentations, networking, and notebooks filled with innovative next steps—oh, my! At the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando in January and Illinois Computing Conference (ICE)... Continue Reading →

Using Voxer and QR Codes to enhance Instruction

Changing pedagogy is not only about thinking differently, it’s also about acting differently. The key to this is determining first what we want our students to know and, second, letting them have choice in how they will demonstrate, or apply, their learning. One tool that teachers can use to change their pedagogical approach is Voxer.... Continue Reading →

The Future of Field Trips

I am very excited to be speaking at the Illinois Computing Educators. The ICE Conference is a teaching and learning conference that attracts educators, educational leaders, and pre-service teachers from PreK - Higher Ed. The conference engages educators  in an exploration of pedagogical strategies and resources connected to instructional technology. Last year was the biggest... Continue Reading →

Think Like a Leader

Schools are experiencing a dramatic shift from how they’ve been run and structured for over a century. Leaders must establish direction, influence others, and initiate sustainable change as they navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education. Such leadership requires a dynamic combination of positive mindset, influential behaviors, and effective skills. Stepping into a leader role requires... Continue Reading →

Importance of a Leadership Entry Plan

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools.” -Jim Collins, Good to Great As we enter the season of applying, interviewing, and moving into leadership roles (new or upward movement)... Continue Reading →

Blended Learning

In my opinion, one of the keys to academic achievement is active student learning. Research tells us that personalized, collaborative, and connected learning experiences enhance student engagement, in turn, driving student success. By integrating blended and digital learning into the classroom, educators can take learning experiences to the next level and improve student performance.  ... Continue Reading →

Lesson Plan Buzz Words

The last blog post focused on components of a lesson plan.  Part of that planning is discussing and understanding the educational language involved in lesson planning and collaborating around instruction. We as educators throw around buzz words and not know the meaning or the purpose. But you maybe nervous to ask because you feel “everyone... Continue Reading →

Lesson plan structure

A solid lesson plan should provide you, the teacher, the direction and the ability to visualize the path of learning that consists of the “what, why, and how” of the teaching-learning activities. Your lesson plan is a sequence of well-organized learning experiences that connects instructional events. I believe an effective lesson plan also provides opportunities... Continue Reading →

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