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Foreword by Yong Zhao Preface Acknowledgments About the Author A Day in the Life of a Digital Leader 1. The Evolving Educational Landscape 2. Why Schools Must Change 3. Keys to Leading Sustainable Change 4. Leading With Technology 5. Communication 6. Public Relations 7. Branding 8. Professional Growth and Development 9. Increasing Student Engagement and Enhancing Learning 10. Rethinking Learning Environments and Spaces 11. Discovering Opportunity 12. A Call to Action Appendix A: The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators Appendix B: Twitter Memo for Parents Appendix C: Student Media Waiver Appendix D: Professional Growth Period Model Developed at New Milford High School Appendix E: Integrating Digital Tools and Content to Develop Essential Literacies Appendix F: IOCS Rubric References Index
Eric Sheninger is a Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and Scholastic Achievement Partners (SAP). He also maintains a presence as a practitioner by serving as the K-12 Director of Technology and Innovation in the Spotswood School District (NJ). Prior to this he was the award-winning Principal at New Milford High School. Under his leadership his school became a globally recognized model for innovative practices. Eric oversaw the successful implementation of several sustainable change initiatives that radically transformed the learning culture at his school while increasing achievement. His work focuses on leading and learning in the digital age as a model for moving schools and districts forward. This has led to the formation of the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework for all educators to initiate sustainable change to transform school cultures. As a result Eric has emerged as an innovative leader, best selling author, and sought after speaker. His main focus is the use of social media and web 2.0 technology as tools to facilitate student learning, improve communications with stakeholders, enhance public relations, create a positive brand presence, discover opportunity, transform learning spaces, and help educators grow professionally. Eric is a CDE Top 30 award recipient (2014), Bammy Award winner (2013), NASSP Digital Principal Award winner (2012), PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient (2012), winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award (2012), Google Certified Teacher, Adobe Education Leader, and ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar. He has authored and co-authored the following: Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science He has also contributed on education for the Huffington Post, co-created the Edscape Conference, sits on the FEA Board of Directors, and was named to the NSBA "20 to Watch" list in 2010 for technology leadership. TIME Magazine also identified Eric as having one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds in 2014. He now presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders embrace and effectively utilize technology. His blog, A Principal's Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2013 and 2011 by Edublogs. It was also recognized with an Editor's Choice Content Award in 2014 by Smartbrief Education.
"I have to admit that I was hesitant to read Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger, as the word "fluff" is what usually comes to mind when I think of books related to educational technology. To find the most current information, it would seem more practical to search blogs, website articles, Twitter, etc. Nevertheless, this book is anything but fluff, and it certainly is up to date. Sheninger, a former high school principal who has emerged as a thought leader in this age of digital leadership, has written a book that can serve as inspiration and an effective starting point for administrators and/or teachers who have realized that they must either infuse their practice with more progressive techniques, or entirely revamp their work to provide students with more contemporary and relevant learning experiences. Sheninger's work is valuable because he writes with a tone that is confident, passionate, and convincing. After reading this book, it would be difficult for anyone to argue, 'He's completely wrong,' or 'This wouldn't work in our district.'" -- Ross Cooper, Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12 "Sheninger's book is well-written and cites specific, timely researched data regarding our students' use of technology. It would behoove us as professional educators and life-long learners to take heed of the shift that has already happened within the walls of our schools. It is time to embrace the students for the type of education they desire and the environments that style of learning demands. Our students crave real-time learning at their fingertips and flexible, collaborative spaces for doing so." -- The Essential Prinicipal Blog "Eric Sheninger's book builds upon his impressive accomplishments as a digital leader. I have had a chance to learn from Eric through his involvement with Digital Learning Day, and I am thrilled that others can learn even more from about leading schools to maximize the potential of digital learning and asking the tough questions to more effectively meet the needs of each student. Eric's bold approach to school reform and the thoughtful pillars he lays out in this book provide important guidance for other education leaders striving to implement digital learning." -- Bob Wise, President "Eric's latest work provides relevant and practical advice for school leaders from a practicing school principal and other current principals in a variety of settings. The stories and examples hit home with school leaders in rural, urban, small, and large schools with any level of available or possible resources. Every school leader should read this book and find at least one idea to improve learning for students and relationships within the school community. Digital leadership in school transformation is the moral imperative of education in the 21st Century. Eric provides a solid framerwork of strategies integrated with the Pillars of Digital Leadership and the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-A) for Administrators to guide school leaders as we take on this critical change. Digital Leadership: Changing Technology for Change-Savvy School Leaders is a must-read for every school leader. Filled with inspiring stories of transformation from real, practicing campus leaders, along with an appendix filled with resources anyone can take to campus and use today, Eric Sheninger's work is certain to be one of the most valuable tresources in your professinoal library." -- Carrie Jackson, Principal "Eric Sheninger's new book is a red-hot relevant guide to navigating the technology-driven, tectonic shifts taking place in education today. While education leaders of all stripes are groping for answers as the ground beneath them shifts, Digital Leadership provides a reliable, practical and tested road map for leading in the digital age." -- Errol St. Clair Smith, Executive Director "Eric has created a must-read book for principals seeking to bring their schools into the digital age. He has created the compelling case for the many ways digital tools can have a powerful, positive effect in our schools. From classroom practice to the way in which we create the digital footprint of our schools, Eric steps us through how school leaders can evolve to meet the challenges of our modern age." -- Chris Lehmann, Founding Principal "I can't wait to get real copies of this in the hands of teacher leaders and colleagues. I absolutely believe that this work has the potential for tremendous impact. We have waited too long for this book, and the time is ripe to move forward with the information it has to offer. I look forward to book studies and networking with my colleagues about how they have successfully employed these ideas and strategies." -- David G. Daniels, Principal "What a great read! Digital Leadership situates the trends in technology and education within an historical context and provides a blueprint to the reader for a navigable pathway for the future. And it manages to do so in a way that is empowering and energizing, while still addressing the very real fears and challenges facing any leader standing at this nexus of authentic educational reform. It is a very rare blend of philosophy, pedagogy, and practical, roll-up-your-sleeves how-tos." -- Dr. Natalie Bernasconi, Lecturer "I loved this book! It is filled with many examples of how technology is impacting learning in classrooms across the country. Whether you are a technology guru or learning to embrace technology, every school administrator should read this book to learn ways to prepare their students to be successful in the 21st century. Leadership 3.0 is a mindset that every school administrator needs to embrace and lead with. I am going to request that my superintendent purchase it for my fellow administrators, along with the educators on our district technology team." -- Jessica Johnson, Principal and District Assessment Coordinator "How do school leaders transform themselves from the leadership style of today to become digital leaders of tomorrow? Eric Sheninger's Digital Leadership is an easy read for those who want to begin the transition to digital leadership but have been afraid to take the first step. More than merely a 'how to' book, Digital Leadership is a clarion call to action that compels the reader to do something now to transform schools into 'vibrant learning communities that are connected and allow social media to unleash creativity in learners.' Digital Leadership addresses the growing disconnect between the world our students inhabit and the world in which they are educated. Replete with stories and concrete examples of 'how to', Digital Leadership is a must read for any school leader who recognizes that we stand at a crossroads in education where innovative leaders who possess the courage, passion, knowledge, and skills believe that 'technology is not just a shiny tool that can increase engagement but a conduit to endless possibilities that can enhance every facet of what we do in education.' A must read." -- JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director "Eric recognizes that ongoing professional development is key to helping staff meet the challenges of the future. Eric Sheninger shares how to leverage technology to build a strong school-based professional learning agenda when other resources are not meeting the needs of your faculty and students. His story and tools will be inspirational to others. Eric Sheninger recognizes that professional learning is key to achieving the goals of career and college ready standards. He shares the strategies he implements to prepare this staff and students to embrace the power of technology." -- Stephanie Hirsch, Executive Director "Digital Leadership" is more than a catchphrase-it's how school principals must lead students, parents, and teachers-and no one is better equipped to describe this leadership approach than Eric Sheninger. Digital Leadership is a carefully crafted and highly readable book that simultaneously provides a view of digital leadership from 60,000 feet alongside a boots-on-the-ground realist's view of modern schooling. From setting aside fears of technology to understanding the importance of communication, public relations, and even branding, Digital Leadership offers compelling recommendations not only focused on the need to change but also on best ways to sustain change. It's possible that Eric saved the best for last when he describes the networked teacher and how students must be engaged in new, exciting ways, for truly, school leadership has always been about helping teachers engage students. Finally, don't mistake this as a book on technology. From the first to the last page, Eric's book is all about school leadership, one that I highly recommend to every school leader." -- William Bushaw, Executive Director "Digital Leadership is essential reading for any education leader trying to figure out how technology can strengthen schools-and what pitfalls to avoid. Eric Sheninger masterfully makes the connections as to how technology can strengthen schools, providing an essential guide for today's leaders in education. This is a readable, practical book!" -- Cindy Johanson, Executive Director "This book is THE book on digital leadership. There is no one I can recommend more highly than the most connected educational leader today - Eric Sheninger - to help us navigate all of the changes taking place in classrooms, schools and districts. The book is perfect to help everyone initiate transformational change in a digital world. Whether you are a cutting edge techie or a nervous newbie this book is for you." -- Todd Whitaker, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Leadership "There are books on technology that don't show you how to change. There are books on how to change that have nothing to say about technology. Then there are curmudgeonly commentaries that are dismissive about change and technology in equal measure. Eric Sheninger's book alters all that. Through personal testimony, practical examples and a commitment to clear professional learning, Digital Leadership opens your mind, and shows you the tools that will make you think again about what 21st Century Learning can really look like. If your ipads are used as notebooks, your smartboards are glorified whiteboards and your school has an electronic ban on access to everything, this book will make you look at technology and learning with totally different eyes." -- Professor Andy Hargreaves, BA, PhD, Hon Doc (Uppsala), FRSA, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education "Digital Leadership is a great one-stop shopping place to learn about all the key ingredients you will need for success in the digital age. Sheninger connects the dots with his 7 pillars, his listing of obstacles and ways to overcome them, and the integrated solution that brings it all together. Comprehensive, clear, practical --get it and use it today!" -- Michael Fullan, Corwin Author and Dean and Professor Emeritus "Digital Leadership is a focused guide to using the many new channels of modern communication to engage families, tell your school's story, inspire staff growth and connection, and bring new relevance to the classroom. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options out there, this book will give you a head start on mastering your social media strategy." -- Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive