Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I've been challenged!

I've been challenged! My wife, Andrea, has challenged me to get back to blogging. Since I've joined the "dark side" (see - school administration), I've struggled to find time to reflect and share my thoughts. I've had a list started about topics to write about, so I'll start at the top of my list.

This isn't a great philosophical post, or world changing. However, it will be I hope useful.

I consume information in multiple modes. I have my iPhone that I consume a majority of my information on. This is the device I use for a majority of social media consumption Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Voxer. Some of this is personal, see catching up with family, following along with my children's classroom Twitter feeds [son's Kindergarten feed] [daughter's 4th grade classroom]. I also use Flipboard to consume blogs and other written content. I follow quite a few magazines, including ASCD In-service, Leadership, and Productivity. I don't always check Flipboard regularly, so I many times as I'm checking in on a magazine I want to save items to be read later. A tool that I've found most useful for saving content to read later on multiple devices, both app and web based is Pocket.

Pocket is very intuitive and works with almost all the apps that I use. I use Tweetbot for Twitter and there is an easy connection from sharing in Tweetbot and saving in Pocket. Flipboard has the same ease of connection to Pocket. By saving an item into Pocket, I can access the article from the IOS app or the Pocket website. One area that I'm totally happy about is trying to get a good connection to Facebook. What I've gotten figured out is using IFTTT (if this then that). I've found a recipe in IFTTT that when I share an article in Facebook it will save the article to Pocket. What I would like to do is as I save an article in 'read it later' on Facebook to save to Pocket. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know!!

As a building Principal, I try to model technology leadership with our staff and keep a clear line of communication with our team. Each week, I send our staff an update. This includes an update of my week, including when I am planning to be out of the building for district meetings or professional learning. I've also including an article that I've come across that connects to our current work, is inspirational, or motivational. These articles mostly come from things that I've saved and read through Pocket. This small amount of time, has allowed our team to continue our learning and continue our growth as professionals.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Change

Whew, I've got a free minute or two to get some thoughts on computer. If you follow along with my twitter feed, then you'll know that I've been in the middle of a transition to a new job. The month of June was spent tying loose ends up at South Tama Middle School. So far in July, I've been emerging myself in all things College Community and Prairie Creek. I'm also teaching an online course  with the University of Northern Iowa Department of Educational Leadership. Along with tee-ball games and  softball games of Kaiser and Emma, it's been a busy summer so far! 

One of the things I've been trying to focus on while making this transition to College Community has been to not use the phrase, "In my old district we did it this way". I've slipped a few times, however I want to first learn all I can about the people here. I want to take time to get to know the students, parents, and staff of Prairie Creek Intermediate. One of the most important things I've learned during my time at South Tama County is to facilitate change, trust and urgency have to be present. As a new leader at Creek, I'll be spending my time learning about the system and getting to know people. 

So, for those of my new teachers, para professionals, and other support staff who may be reading this my office door is open. Let me know when you'll be in the building so we can touch base. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all. 

For the students and parents, the same goes for you. If you're in the building or the area stop on in. I'll be out and about at events in the area and hope to connect soon. 

To the great people at STC, I wish you the best! We had a great five years together and I will cherish the wonderful relationships I've built with awesome students, parents, community members, and staff.