Be The Change

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


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19 Ways to Bold Learning

  1. Forget open book / phone tests.
    Let’s have open network assessments where students can use the tools they own and love for learning. School should not be a place where we force kids to unplug and disconnect from the world.
  2. Stop wasting money on textbooks.
    Make your own texts with things like wikis.
  3. Google yourself
    If we’re not empowering ourselves and our students to be Google well, we’re not doing a good job.
  4. Flip the power structure from adults to learners
    Empower students with the tools and resources they need to go where they want to go and explore and develop their interests and passions.
  5. Don’t do work for the classroom
    Support learners in doing work that is worthy of, can exist in, and can change the world.
  6. Stop telling kids to do their own work
    That’s not reality any longer.  Support them in collaborating, interacting, and cooperating with others.  
  7. Learn first. Teach second.
    We must come into our classrooms knowing that we are learners first. If we think we are teachers first, we are not giving our students the powerful learning models they’ll need to be successful.  
  8. No more how-to workshops
    Educators should know how to find out how to on their own. When we come together it should be to talk about how we are doing.  
  9. Share everything
    The best work of you and your students should be shared online. This will help us all get better.
  10. Ask questions you don’t know the answer to
    The learning of high stakes tests with predetermined answers is not as powerful as the learning that comes from finding our own new and unique answers.
  11. Believe that you want to be found by strangers on the internet
    If you think kids aren’t going to interact with strangers on the internet, you’re wrong. Let’s embrace that and support kids in being smart when doing so and learning a lot about the minds they are meeting.
  12. Rethink the role of the teacher
    We should not be doing the same work that 20th century teachers did. Consider how technology can and should change our roles.
  13. Toss the resume
    No one cares about your resume anymore. The internet is the new resume. What will people find when they look at who you are online? That is what you should be focusing on.
  14. Go beyond Google to learn
    Build your personal learning network and learn with and from the people you know via places like Twitter and Facebook.
  15. Go free and open source
    We have a budget crises, yet schools are wasting millions on things that are offered for free.
  16. Create an UnCommon Core
    Don’t ask how you will meet the common core, empower kids to think about how they will change the world.
  17. Stop delivering the curriculum
    This is no longer necessary.  Information can be accessed without a teacher.  Move beyond delivery to discovery.
  18. Be subversive
    When a student is told to do a standardized test, stand up and say NO! We have to be disruptive and push back.
  19. Stand up and scream
    Tell everyone that education is not about publishers and politicians but rather it’s about what students and parents want and how teachers can best give that to them.
What are your top 3? I love #7, #14, and #17.
Makes me think about all the possibilities we need to consider doing differently in schools.  

What would you add to the list?

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Connect with Your Audience in Real Time

I attended a workshop this week and we used this during the entire meeting.

TodaysMeet helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in real time.

Encourage the room to use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and use that feedback to tailor your presentation, sharpen your points, and address audience needs.

Imagine you're giving a presentation where you can read the mind of every person in the room. You'd have an amazing ability to adjust to your audience's needs and emotions. That's the backchannel.
Using Twitter at social media conferences has become a great way to do just that. But Twitter isn't appropriate for every situation.
  • Your audience isn't on Twitter.
  • You don't want the discussion to be public.
  • You need to see only relevent updates.
That's where TodaysMeet comes in. TodaysMeet gives you an isolated room where you can see only what you need to see, and your audience doesn't need to learn any new tools like hash tags to keep everything together.

Try it now, just put a room name in the box below and hit enter.

How can I use it during my meetings?
1.  Your staff uses their iPads and during the meetings you stop and ask questions.  They type in their response to the questions.
2.  At the end of a meeting, you ask them to reflect on the training.  
3.  During a training, they ask questions and at an appropriate time the questions are answered.  

The list is endless.  How can you see Todays Meet being used in your business or school?


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The Leadership Test

The Leadership Test


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How to Create a Glogster

I found a great website where you create a graphic blog.  It is called Glogster.  I can add videos, music, pictures and text to it.  You have the ability to share it with others to view.  Glogster EDU can be used to create posters online.  I see this as an awesome tool in the classrooms for students to create book reports, science posters or any other content area posters.  I love technology in my personal life and love it more when I see it being used in the classrooms.  Click on the link above and see it in action.

What can you see Glogster being used for in your life or schools?

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Creative Professionals are Using Popplet

If you see something on this blog you like, share it with others.  Have something to say, comment below.  

Popplet is a great technique that can also be used in the classroom.  Popplet lets creative professionals and their teams think visually to generate new ideas and create new concepts.  You can add images, videos, photos and text onto a popplet board, share comments and invite feedback, build new links between ideas, and move information and notes around until you see things from a fresh perspective.

In Popplet, sharing allows users to make their popplet public and viewable by anyone via a URL link, whether they are a popplet user or not.  Collaborating allows you to make your popplet boards available only to specific other users, and permissions can be set to allow teammates to view and add to a popplet or to have full access to editing anything you have already created.  

Popplet makes it easy for creative professionals and design teams to use a presentation format to show creative concepts to clients, students or staff.


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Principal Principles Recommends: Behavior Management Software

ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.

Better learning behaviors, smoother lessons and hassle-free data - and its free!

How does it work?

ClassDojo improves behavior in class with just one click of a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.

Instantly reinforce good behavior.

Easily award feedback points for behavior in class in real-time, with just one click of your smartphone or laptop. This actually improves behavior.

Engage students in minutes.

ClassDojo provides instant notifications for your students (‘Well done Josh! +1 for teamwork!’). All fully customizable for your classroom.


Play Video to Learn More


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Today's Joy in the Journey

I stumbled upon this quote today and thought I should share.  I guess it hit home with me. Some times I am so focused on the end result that I can't see the joy happening all around me.  How often are we celebrating the small things in our classrooms? Are we taking time to give a student a pat on the pack and tell them we are proud of their work or some seemingly insignificant action? I am not asking for handing out awards but simply celebrating and acknowledging good things kids are doing.  How often as school administrators are we praising our staff.  

I handed out an award this week to a staff member and it made her cry.  It meant so much to hear the speech I wrote about her.  I truly meant every word.  Sometimes we all need to hear a word of encouragement.  

Take a minute of the 1440 minutes in each day to find the joy in today's journey.

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Video Clips for Staff Meeting from Principal Principles

I used this video to start a staff meeting this school year when all my teachers were given new iPads.  It was a great introduction to the meeting.  

My message to go along with this video is that I know we have new iPads and technology and I want everyone to know that it's okay to ask questions...even if your question feels as silly as when the man asks how to open the book!  We need to make sure they know it is safe to ask questions.  Use a little humor this year to help get a stressful meeting started.  A simple video can change the outcome of any meeting.

You might could also use this video to point out that not all the students coming into their rooms will know everything they should know.  We all have students on different levels of learning.  

If you have a great video, share it with me.  
For more great resources, visit


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The Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

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Principal Principles: Hottest Post Everyone is Reading

Hottest Post Everyone is Reading on Principal Principles:

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on Principal Principles blog this week. Below you’ll see the top weekly posts.   I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired, share it with others and/or leave a comment.

Top 5 with the most views: Over 1905 page views!

1. Raspberry Ketone Frenzy: How I lost 20lbs.

2. Flipped My Faculty Meeting

3. Top iPad Apps for Administrators

4. HDMI Pocket Projector- I'm in love with the thought of even having one.

5. Passing the TExES Principal Exam


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Student Engagement Gets High Tech and Physical

'Embodied Learning' Blends Movement, Computer Interaction
I loved this story so much I had to share.  Go to the link to read the entire story.

Zachary Benedek usually can't wait for science class to be over. But when he learns about concepts like light and gravity in a 15-square-foot digitally enhanced laboratory called the SMALLab, he doesn't want the period to end.

Waving a wand in front of colors and circles projected on the floor of the lab, he and his classmates worked together recently to blend colors in a unit on the electromagnetic spectrum for science class.

"It's a lot more fun. You get it, and when you do it with your hands, it seems a lot simpler," said Zachary, a 6th grader at Elizabeth Forward Middle School in Elizabeth, Pa.

Last month, the school built one of the nation's first "embodied learning" labs, a technological platform that combines learning sciences and human-computer interaction by incorporating students' body movements into the lesson. For example, a student learning about chemistry would be able to grab and combine molecules in a virtual flask projected on a floor mat through the use of motion-capture cameras that sense movement and body position.

'Embodied Learning'

The basic idea behind embodied learning is that students who fully use their bodies to learn are more engaged in the lesson than they would be simply sitting at a desk or computer. The SMALLab, or Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab, was developed by Arizona State University professors and aims to incorporate blended learning into traditional classroom lessons with the help of educational technology.

On the surface, the SMALLab seems similar to Microsoft's Kinect, a camera peripheral sold as an attachment to the XBOX 360 video-game platform that is now being used in some classrooms. But while Microsoft's motion-capture gaming technology is typically used for physical education and special education, the SMALLab hosts lessons in core subjects like math and science.

Different ways of engaging students is really critical to the concept.

The SMALLab runs scenarios that students can play using their bodies and images displayed on surfaces throughout the lab. Graduate students from the entertainment-technology program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh partnered with Elizabeth Forward's teachers to develop the scenarios and are in the process of developing more for the platform.

The SMALLab's scenarios allow teachers to focus on particular concepts within subject material. While many of the lessons deal with learning in the stem subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—Mr. Birchfield cited a scenario that involves students' bodies symbolically filling in for a character in a novel. If they want to access information about their characters' thought processes, for example, students tap their own heads, or for content about characters' emotions, they touch their own hearts.

My favorite part of this story: 

When you give students a chance to get out of their seats, they really seem to enjoy the lessons.  

See the rest of the story.

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STAAR Testing Accommodations FLIP CHART!

If you are needing an easy way to keep up with all of the information from the Texas Education Agency on STAAR testing and accommodations, look no farther.  I created a flip chart.  I use it during ARD meetings, 504 meetings, and Student Intervention Team meetings.  I am in love with it and thought I would share.  I  know we have too much information to keep up each day so one thing like a flip chart can make your life easier.  I know it has mine. I hope you enjoy it.

Does not contain the Pirate.  
To purchase the fabulous flip chart, click below:

Texas Education Agency says:

Accommodations for students with disabilities are intended to provide students effective and equitable access to grade-level or course curriculum and assessments. For the purposes of the statewide assessments, students needing accommodations due to a disability include:

  • A student with an identified disability who receives special education services and meets established eligibility criteria for certain accommodations
  • A student with an identified disability who receives Section 504 services and meets established eligibility criteria for certain accommodations
  • A student with a disabling condition who does not receive special education or Section 504 services but meets established eligibility criteria for certain accommodations

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Principal Principles: HDMI Pocket Projector

HDMI Pocket Projector

HDMI Pocket Projector. Go big with our pocket-sized HDMI projector. Projects up to 1080p HD images up to 60" diagonal. Rechargeable and portable. Connects via HDMI to most smartphones, tablets, computers, video players, cameras and more* Mega-bright LED lamp projects up to 85 lumens for up to 2 hours on a single charge. Dual built-in speakers and focus control. Rechargeable 3800mAh battery doubles as a USB backup battery for your smartphone devices. Includes 3' HDMI cable, Micro HDMI adapter, Mini HDMI adapter and AC adapter. Dimensions: 3.9" w x 3.8" d x .89" h; .5 lbs. *IMPORTANT: Apple devices require an Apple Digital AV Adapter (sold separately) for HDMI use. Who says projectors are just for movies? Our portable projector connects to multiple devices for a "big screen" view of just about anything. Compact, portable and rechargeable, the HDMI Pocket Projector takes you from business presentations to game time with friends to family movie night. It connects via HDMI to most smartphones, tablets, computers, video players, game consoles, digital cameras and more. Advanced DLP technology delivers an incredibly sharp, clear 1080p HD image up to 60" diagonal on any flat surface. And full screen replication displays 100% of your device screen in the projected image (select devices that support video replication). A projector that's simply brilliant--no matter how you use it. And we mean brilliant. HDMI Pocket Projector's mega-bright lamp projects up to 85 lumens for up to two hours on a single charge. Its powerful 3800mAh battery recharges via USB and even doubles as a backup battery for your devices when fully charged. A built-in focus wheel lets you adjust the display for optimum resolution, while the dual speakers with volume control let you accompany your video with audio--or add separate speakers using the 3.5mm audio-out jack. The HDMI Pocket Projector includes a 3' HDMI cable, Micro HDMI adapter and a Mini HDMI adapter.

HDMI Pocket Projector- Click Here

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Flipped My Faculty Meeting

Many leaders are frustrated with the traditional faculty meetings as most teachers I know are too.  What is the most effective way to use our time together? That was my question to ponder. It's time we stopped the boring meetings and Lead Outside the Box.
My definition of a Flipped Faculty Meeting is...providing the staff with the agenda, presentation, forms, documents prior to the meeting.  They have time to process and review the information.  Time is not spent lecturing or covering content but rather getting the work accomplished.  In a nutshell, it is getting the most out of the time you have with your staff.  Your staff takes responsibility for learning the content rather than a typical "SIT and GET" meeting.

Teachers, staff and employees will do a happy dance if this were the case for every meeting.  
I challenge you to try it.  Watch the video below on how simple it is.  

Often our meetings can be dry with the content of the information we are having to deliver.  However, the delivery of the presentation can provide innovation and inspiration through the use of technology.  Flipping your Faculty Meeting is big in educational news.  It could be just a fad.  Whatever you want to call it, it is creative and got my attention.  Don't do it because it is the new thing to do.  Flip your meeting because you want to Lead Outside the Box.  We ask our teachers to use technology and to take risks, so why not us.

What did I use to make this video?  I downloaded Camtasia Studio free from

This software helps to record your voice and your computer screen.  It will also use your built-in camera on your computer if you want to be part of the video.  Next, email the video to your staff.  Schedule the meeting and see how much you can get accomplished in your time.

I challenge you to try it.  Are you willing to challenge yourself?


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Principal Principles: Bye Bye Mouse

I'm in love with this new gadget.  It is the first Multi-Touch Trackpad designed to work with your Mac desktop computer, the Apple Magic Trackpad lets your fingers do the clicking, scrolling, and swiping. The Apple Magic uses the same Multi-Touch technology found on the MacBook Pro, giving you a whole new way to control and interact with what's on your screen. Swiping through pages online feels just like flipping through pages in a book or magazine. Inertial scrolling makes moving up and down a page more natural than ever. And users can press down anywhere on the Multi-Touch surface to physically click or double-click on an item--no clumsy buttons involved.
ed it!

  • Magic Trackpad gives you a whole new way to control what’s on your Mac desktop computer.
  • Swiping through pages on screen is just like flipping through pages in a magazine.
  • Inertial scrolling senses the momentum in your fingers as you move up and down a page.
  • Nearly 80 percent larger than the built-in trackpad on the MacBook Pro, giving you plenty of room to perform gestures.
  • Magic Trackpad connects to your Mac via Bluetooth wireless technology.

Do you have a Trackpad?  Comment about it.


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Michelle Obama and School Lunches

I attended a meeting at our central office today to discuss the cafeteria meal situation.  I had no idea that our high school students receive only 850 calories a day.  
There's been quite a bit of tension since First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack rolled out their new school lunch initiative for this school year. But Jon Stewart's Thursday response to the dispute is likely the best we've seen yet.
The new federal requirements, the first major nutritional school meal overhaul in over 15 years, offer less sodium and trans fats, more whole grains and a broader selection of fruits and vegetables to the 32 million students who take part in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. The rules also place a calorie cap on lunches: 650 calories for elementary school lunches, 700 for middle schools and 850 for high schools.
That's where students across the country are waging war against the first lady. Teens from Kansas to Wisconsin have staged protests against the new school lunches, launching Twitter campaigns, boycotting cafeteria meals and filming videos in hopes of bringing widespread attention to their cause: the new rules are too restrictive, leaving kids hungry. Growing adolescents, teens say, require more calories because they're burning more through sports and other activities.

What do you think about this new policy for your children?  Are schools the ones creating child obesity?  


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What Successful People Do Differently

Are you fascinated by what and how successful people do what they do?  We all have someone in mind when we think of successful people.  Whether they are famous people or someone on a more personal level- they have influenced or been a role model for you to admire.  Whatever it may be, how do they do it?  What makes some people successful in life, in their career and in their relationships?  Most people I know were not born into success but rather achieved it by these simple steps.

My list of characteristics of successful people:  What Successful People Do Differently

1. Take action on decisions. 

 There is a real difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it.  Intelligence and knowledge is useless without action.  Don't just dream about it.  Act on it.  Most often success  hinges on the very decision you need to make at that very moment.

2.  Don't over analyze with perfection.

Sometimes I'm at fault with trying to be perfect at everything.  That is just impossible.  We can get so bogged down and discouraged at the bar we set for ourselves.  We can never live up to the high standards.  Don't get me wrong by saying don't try.  Of course, I will try my hardest each day.  However, I know I can't please everyone everyday.  Instead, I focus on what I can accomplish and do it well.  

3.  The right people.

Do you have the right people in your life?  Sometimes the people around you can be a stumbling block or they can be the people helping you make your way in life.  Choose the right people.  Like-minded people can make the impossible possible.  I have noticed that successful people are full of  focus and energy.  They like to mingle with other successful people.  You are the sum of the people you hang out with.  Who do you choose?  Look around you.  Who influences your life for the positive or the negative.  

These are just a few characteristics of successful people.  What's holding you back from your highest potential? Need help in  your career and everyday life?  Powerful messages found in 
Monday Morning Leadership: 8 Mentoring Sessions You Can't Afford to Miss.

 Click to go to my website to see all the great resources!

If you like this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or comment below.  I love to read your feedback and comments.  


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Cell Phone Features


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Tech Envy Part 2- On My Radar

I am always on the look out for some cool tech gadgets to make my life easier at work and at home.  These two items I just found are definitely on my Most Wanted Tech Gadget List.  Check them out and let me know what you think.  

3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku (SPR1000)

Take this projector with you to a meeting. "Meeting-on-the-Fly"  with the 3M Streaming Projector By Roku. This palm-sized box features a single HDMI input that comes occupied by the company's Streaming Stick, providing it with instant access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, and more, anywhere you can find a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Easiest Way to Stream!

The Roku HD delivers all the streaming entertainment choices, HD video quality, and ease-of-use that Roku has always been known for. At our lowest price.
450 channels and counting. Features the top sources, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, and Amazon Instant Video.
Free movies! Includes hundreds of full-length Hollywood movies and TV series from Crackle—all free and on demand.
High-definition streaming—up to 720p HD.
The easiest setup. Works with virtually any TV, includes built-in wireless, and sets up in minutes.


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Apple iMAC: Should I or Should I Not?

We are considering purchasing the Apple iMac.  Have any of you had experience with the iMAC?  This will be our first one to purchase.  According to the information below, I don't see how we could go wrong.  Am I right?

Product Features

2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
500GB Hard Drive
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, DVD SuperDrive
21.5" LED-backlit display with a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, AMD Radeon HD 6750M
Mac OS X v10.7 Lion

The new iMac features next-generation Intel Core i5 quad-core processors and the fastest graphics ever in an all-in-one computer. It also brings Thunderbolt I/O technology to the desktop for lightning-fast data transfer. And a new FaceTime HD camera lets you make full-screen HD video calls. All from a beautiful, widescreen 21.5-inch LED-backlit display that takes up just a sliver of your desk. It's everything you want in a desktop. Now more powerful, more advanced, and even more incredible than before.

The iMac's display offers a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution (for native 1080p high-definition viewing), and it uses IPS technology to deliver consistent color across an ultra wide 178 degree viewing angle. This 21.5-inch model (MC309LL/A) offers improved graphics with AMD Radeon HD 6750M discrete graphics featuring 512 MB of GDDR5 memory, a 500 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of installed RAM. Other features include integrated Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth connectivity, an SD card slot (compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards), one Thunderbolt port, a FireWire 800 port, and a total of four USB 2.0 ports.

Should we purchase the Apple iMac?  

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How a Teacher Made $1 Million Selling Lesson Plans

Way to Go Deanna Jump!

Deanna Jump is not a trust fund baby. She never married into money and she has never won the lottery. But in the past year-and-a-half, the 43-year-old kindergarten teacher in Warner Robins, Ga., has earned more than $1 million. Her unlikely strategy: selling catchy kindergarten lesson plans to other teachers.

Jump is just one of some 15,000 teachers currently marketing their original classroom materials through the online marketplace, TeachersPayTeachers (TPT). Since signing on to the site, she has created 93 separate teaching units and sold 161,000 copies for about $8 a pop. “My units usually cover about two weeks’ worth of material,” she says. “So if you want to teach about dinosaurs, you’d buy my dinosaur unit, and it has everything you need from language arts, math, science experiments, and a list of books you can use as resources. So once you print out the unit, you just have to add a few books to read aloud to your class, and everything else is there, ready to go for you.”

To be fair, no one else on TPT has been as wildly successful as Jump, but at least two other teachers have earned $300,000, and 23 others have earned over $100,000, according to site founder Paul Edelman. “Of the 15,000 teachers who are contributing, about 10,000 make money in any given quarter,” he adds.

This is such an inspiration story.  We all have great ideas. Why not share them and make a little extra (or a lot) money on the side.  Everyone knows teachers are under paid.  

To continue reading the rest of this story and about the founder of Teachers Pay Teachers go to:



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