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Essential Skills for Entrepreneurs and Our Students Alike #edtech

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LearnLaunch Accelerator announced their seventh Accelerator Class on April 27, 2017 at their headquarters on Summer Street in Boston. In an effort to stay connected with the world of entrepreneurship, creativity and the world of edtech, I attended as an educator, thinking I would learn about some #edtech tools to assist in my job as #edtech director (for three fabulous school districts on the north shore of Boston: Tri-Town School Union in Middleton, Topsfield and Boxford, MA). I did discover some great #edtech tools, but so much more resonated with me.

What I encountered was amazing. I did, in fact, learn about some pretty incredible #edtech tools:

Kaymbu (https://twitter.com/kaymbuinc)BlocksCAD (https://twitter.com/BlocksCAD)Choosito (https://twitter.com/choosito) Creatr. (https://twitter.com/iamcreatr)Schoolhack LiFT (https://twitter.com/SchoolHackNews)Unruly (https://twitter.com/jumpstartLLC)WealthyLife (https://twitter.com/wealthylifers) These tools were creative, engaging and exc…

Adaptability: In Learning and Life @sguditus #edtech

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My colleague @CSE5 and I visited our local Barnes and Noble store, with whom we have had a relationship for years as a local book distributor and vendor for our school districts. The purpose of our meeting was to discuss Barnes & Noble's availability to help us purchase items for our innovation labs and makerspaces.

Our time together was fantastic, and the Barnes & Noble folks were incredibly enthusiastic and helpful. We met in the Nook Section in the middle of the store, previously a section of books. They offered to show us around their makerspace and game section, and I was shocked when we walked into what was previously the CD and DVD section: it had vanished.

I asked the Barnes & Noble folks about it, "What happened?!" I asked further: Was this your choice? Why did you decide to dump CDs and DVDs? Why pushed you to replace a huge square footage area in your store with something completely different than what was previously in the space?

In order to surv…

My First Teacher: My Mom #InternationalWomensDay

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In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, I took some time to reflect on my first teacher: My Mom. A human being, a leader, a wife, a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a role model, a grandmother, a human, and a citizen all unto herself. She was my first teacher: she taught me kindness, empathy for others, pursuing dreams, resiliency, and a love of self. #HerVoiceIsMyVoice: be kind to oneself, be kind to others, give selflessly, have passion, love your family, love yourself, choose to be happy, and be thankful for all that we have been given in this life (because there is so very much). On this #InternationalWomensDay, I encourage you to take a minute to think about the women in your life who have helped mold you into who you are and what you do. My mom encouraged me to find myself as a person and as an educator, and is my biggest cheerleader. I am forever thankful for the love she provides me, day in and day out. It nourishes my soul so I can be person and educator that I …

"Hi, Mr. G!"

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In my new role as Director of Educational Technology, I now work in Central Office. To borrow a line from the wonderful Dr. Tony Sinanis, I am working to #redefinetherole! My position is newly created, and so I have the opportunity to be present in classrooms and schools, and truly be part of the fabric of learning and teaching that makes our schools come alive.

Luckily for me, my office is in a school, and so as I have meetings, I can hear the laughter of seven year olds in the hallway - and those voices remind me that our mission is, truly, about supporting the learning and teaching of our students and staff. As a central office administrator, I have felt removed from school and from students, and so I have made a concerted effort to be present in schools, even if it is being in the school library doing administrative tasks. I strive to be part of the fabric of our six schools, and slowly but surely, I am getting "hellos" as staff members recognize me.

As I work to #redefin…

Integrating Technology and Problem-Solving in School: Our Obligation as Leaders

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Integrating Technology and Problem-Solving in School: Our Obligation as Leaders
This July, I embark on a new role and new position, shifting from six years as a middle school building leader to a central office position dedicated to educational technology in the elementary setting. The opportunity is an incredible one, as I anticipate building vision, building consensus, leveraging technology and infusing critical thinking and problem solving across disciplines and classrooms - using high and low tech.  
Massachusetts is poised to be a national and international leader in technology integration, thanks to our economy based in technology and higher education. We have access to leaders and resources, and we should be preparing our future workers and thought leaders to tap into this rich resource.
As public educators and building leaders, we must take on this responsibility. Building level leaders must prepare our current students to be future leaders and workers - not just in Massachusett…

Take A Risk: Being Connected #ce15

Today was a great day at work. I had the opportunity to work with a fellow educator, one of the most intelligent and thoughtful educators with whom I have ever worked. Through some supportive pressure and encouragement, he finally agreed to let me introduce Twitter as an educational tool. It was a risk to do so, and he trusted me enough to take a leap.
Before my wonderful colleague @DelEdTech and I jumped in to the nuts and bolts of Twitter, we paused – and talked about the why. Why bother to connect? Why bother to share our edu-thoughts through social media? We found ourselves getting increasingly excited with our colleague, discussing the why behind being a connected educator. As educators, we are so excited to continue learning, share our learning, reflect on our learning and discover new resources, it is important to stop to pause and think about the WHY behind being a connected educator.
What made today such a wonderful day at work is that I was reminded that we are all lifelong le…

Educator Evaluation Process: It's About Growth and Reflection @sguditus

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When I arrived at my school two years ago, I inherited an outdated and incomplete ed eval system, which included a negative culture and many assumptions around what the ed eval process could be, is and is not. As Massachusetts rolled out an updated and revised system over the past few years, I worked to form relationships with teachers and not just tell them, but show them, that the ed eval process can be a productive and effective tool – not something to be feared or to dread. Over the course of the last two years, I have worked to form relationships with teachers; I have worked to make a required process as positive and productive use of time as possible. Since this is something that needs to get done as per Massachusetts state law, why not make the best of it and use the time and tools to improve student learning and teacher instruction? This is, after all, a teacher's educator evaluation - so I find it imperative to engage educators in their evaluation process to ensure owners…

Words Matter

Although I know it, I'm reminded: words matter. Especially when you are the leader of a building, words count, and words matter. How you use words, which words you use, how you share them, when you share them - it all matters.

Recently, I have made an effort to provide feedback to teachers after I have been in their classroom, even if it has only been for a few minutes. Some feedback I was getting from teachers included questions such as: Why didn't you give me any feedback? Was my lesson ok? Did I do something wrong? Was I on target? We are educators, and good or bad, we are usually rule followers, hard workers, and want to do our jobs well. I found that exiting a classroom without using any words, without providing any language was leaving staff without any understanding about how things were going.

I decided to turn to Voxer. Once I leave a classroom, it takes me literally 30 to 60 seconds to record my thoughts, which are fresh in my mind. Sure, students walk by me and thin…

Finishing Strong #BostonStrong #satchat #bfc530 (@sguditus Steve Guditus)

Today in Massachusetts, it is Patriots Day - the remembrance of the Battle of Lexington - known as the turning point of the American Revolution.  Many hearty Yankee souls out there hoof it at 4am to participate in the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington, while thousands of others hoof it 26.2 miles.  Me, I went for for a 6 mile run, made dinner, and am thinking about finishing the school year strong.  Here are a few ways that I plan to do so, and perhaps you can as well:


Get into the classroom: Make it a priority.  It is easy to get bogged down in state testing, meetings, and more meetings.  Let's be honest: the center of learning and teaching is occurring the classroom - so go see what's happening and ensure you are the instructional leader you were hired to be.Talk to students: In my opinion, the #1 place for this to happen is lunch.  Sit down, say hello, and get a pulse on the building.  Here's how it will go: 6th graders will be a bit scared to say hello; 7th grader…

Every Day: A Gift

You never know when the opportunity to make a difference will present itself. Yesterday, while I was prepping for the school day, a student popped into the office at 6:30 to ask if she could chew gum during our state assessment exam, which was being held later in the day. I answered her question and then asked her, "How are you feeling about it?"  She replied, "… kind of nervous, honestly." 
We took a few minutes and chatted about the fact that the day's test was just a snapshot in time, a way to help the adults know how much she has grown, for her to know how much she has grown, and that it is just one moment on the timeline of her educational career. It doesn't mean that she's a good or bad person, and that this is an opportunity to have fun and and and to be excited to tell a story (it was the composition exam). A little nervous is an ok thing, I told her - it might even help her - to try to use her feelings to help her. It was just a quick conversati…