Thursday, March 27, 2014

A must read: "Digital Leadership" by @NMHS_Principal

Back in July I remember meeting Eric Sheninger for the first time.  I had followed him on Twitter for a while and really looked up to and respected him.  I was attending and speaking at the CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teachers) in San Antonio and saw he was also presenting.  I sent out a random tweet (assuming he'd never even see it) telling him I'd love to meet him in person.  Before I knew it we had planned to have lunch together.  That lunch with Eric will stick with me for a while, and here's why: I was still learning the whole ins-and-outs of social media and what it means to connect.  I had connected with quite a few Texas Educators but not too many people outside of my state.  When Eric, someone I greatly admired, took the time to not only meet me, but sit and have a meal with me and to talk genuinely, openly, and honestly, it blew my mind.  Eric will probably never truly realize the impact he made on me that day, but again it proved to me the power that social media can hold.

Then a few months later I was able to chat with Eric again when he came on my podcast series, EduAllStars.  And even better, about a month or so after that Eric released his book "Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times".

First off, I must say, this book is a MUST read for anyone in education.  Yes, it's primarily built for administrators, but reading it as a teacher still got me fired up and gave me plenty of ideas.  I'm even working on purchasing some books for all the admins I know!

Looking through my book I see one highlighted section and quote after another.  Eric really takes the time in this book to explain where education has been, where it is now, why we have to change, the technology necessary, changing the mindsets of others, and giving many examples of schools and districts who are doing just that!

I love the most though the many different explanations and research Eric uses throughout his book.  Especially his Seven Pillars of Digital Leadership:

1.  Communication
2.  Public Relations
3.  Branding
4.  Professional Growth and Development
5.  Student Engagement and Learning
6.  Opportunity
7.  Learning Environments and Spaces.

And Eric isn't one who's just all talk.  His school in New Jersey is also doing great things!  And yes I totally plan on attending the Edscape Conference soon!

Here's some of my favorites from the book:

"Digital Leadership is about establishing a vision and implementing a strategic process that creates a teaching and learning culture that provides students with the essential skill sets: creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, technological proficiency and global awareness."

"There is no more powerful learning strategy than to have students exposed to and tackle problems that have meaning and relevancy"

"Digital Leadership is about inspiring students and teachers to think rather than follow rule books and ace tests"

"A new system of learning that is differentiated and that connects to student passions and strengths must be made a reality"


I truly believe that Eric Sheninger's book "Digital Leadership" is a must read for people in education today!  And plus you can follow conversation about the book, by following the hashtag #digilead on Twitter!