Teachers are increasingly being pushed into new roles as their ability to connect online opens up new opportunities. Educators are finding their own professional development, sharing lesson plans and teaching tips with colleagues around the world, and have often become ambassadors to the public on new approaches to teaching and learning. Easy access to information has empowered many educators to think and teach differently, but often those innovations remain isolated inside classrooms. Without a school leader who trusts his or her teachers, it is difficult to convert pockets of innovation into a school culture of empowered teachers.
Change management is in full-force across all industries, yet many leaders are unprepared to act upon and operationalize the requirements for change to avoid business disruption. For many organizations, preparedness begins at the top and this means that leadership – across all levels – must have absolute clarity in purpose and focus; there also must be alignment in strategic philosophy and resolution goals.
Unfortunately, many organizations are slow to change as the internal politics makes it difficult to reach consensus across all levels of leadership – even when the necessity for change is urgent. This is why many companies unknowingly lose momentum as they fail to change fast enough -- allowing the marketplace and competitors to pass them by. The result: valuable time is misspent, resources applied and money invested without the required outcomes to stay competitive, keep clients satisfied and employees engaged.
We’ve talked before about some of the newer skills necessary for students and teachers in the 21st century. Digital literacy - and all the elements contained within that term- is probably the buzzword you hear most often. And for good reason: today’s young students are living in a largely digital, quickly evolving world that their teachers did …
Daniel Goleman, in his article “Leadership That Gets Results”, has identified six different leadership styles, and he believes that good leaders will adopt one of these six styles to meet the needs of different situations.
None of the six leadership styles by Daniel Goleman are right or wrong – each may be appropriate depending on the specific context. Whilst one of the more empathetic styles is most likely to be needed to build long-term commitment, there will be occasions when a commanding style may need to be called upon, for example, when a rapid and decisive response is required.
I don't want to be a pessimist, but I think there's more sickness in organizational cultures than health. Healthy organizational culture results from focused attention. Sick cultures indicate distraction and neglect.
A driving strategy that serves students–whether pursuing self-knowledge or academic content–is questioning. Questioning is useful as an assessment strategy, catalyst for inquiry, or “getting unstuck” tool. It can drive entire unit of instruction as an essential question. In other words, questions transcend content, floating somewhere between the students and their context.
Questions are more important than the answers they seem designed to elicit. The answer is residual–requires the student to package their content to please the question-maker, which moves the center of gravity from the student’s belly to the educator’s marking pen. In that light, I was interested when I found the visual above.
It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” Teach your students how to develop questions (because) it helps conquer their own confusion.
Rebeca Zuniga was inspired to create the above visual by the wonderful Heather Wolpert-Gawron (from the equally wonderful edutopia, and also her own site, tweenteacher). The whole graphic is wonderful, but it’s that I don’t know that really resonated with me. Traditionally, this phrase is seen as a hole rather than a hill. I don’t know means I’m missing information that I’m supposed to have.
“ “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Voltaire “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” – Carl Sagan “The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop ...”
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