Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Want to help a principal start a blog? These 5 principals can provide inspiration.

Innovative educators know that when a school leader has a blog the school is on the road to preparing students for the 21st century. However, convincing and/or supporting a school leader in starting a blog may take some work. At the Learn It in 5 blog, author Mark Barnes shares that when it comes to participating in the social media, what's not so easy is getting on board school principals, firmly entrenched in 20th century teaching and learning and scared to death of social media. Like many innovative educators, he asks, "So how do we stop the fear?" and suggests that, "Perhaps the technology leaders in schools need to approach their principals and explain the power of social media." I agree. These leaders, who I call innovative educators, can get started by showing them examples of other principals who are participating in these worlds and also by sharing thoughts from principals like Patrick Larkins who explains why Every Principal Needs A Blog! and Principal Eric Sheninger who explains Why a Blog?

The following principals are inspirational members of my personal learning network who would be honored to support and serve as role models for other pioneering school leaders who believe in moving from old-school leading to preparing our students for the real-world in which they live.

Innovative Principal Blogs

Practical Theory -A View from the Classroom (Chris Lehmann)
What he does: Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA (Opened 9/06).
What he did: Technology Coordinator / English Teacher / Girls Basketball Coach / Ultimate Coach at the Beacon School, a fantastic progressive public high school in Manhattan.

A Principal's Reflections ()
Educational administrator responsible for preparing over 650 students in grades 9-12 with essential 21st Century skills that will enable them to be successful, productive members of society.

Burlington H.S. Principal's Blog (Patrick Larkin)
Patrick Larkin is the Principal at Burlington High School (MA). He is a member of the Commisssion for Public Secondary Schools at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). He is also a proud member of the Educator's PLN.

PHS Director Blog (
High school director blogs about education, technology, student engagement and things that are happening at Paris Cooperative High School in Illinois.

The Principal of Change (George Couros)
I am a Principal at a K-12 program in Stony Plain, Alberta. I learned quickly that as an administrator, you are only as good as the people that are around you. This blog gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own learning and share discussion with the global community. I look forward to some great discussions on how to improve learning for ALL students.

These are all the wonderful school leaders who are a part of my personal learning network. If you're hungry for more here is a collection of 22 (and counting) educational leadership blogs from George Couros.


  1. I am honoured that you would include me on this list with these amazing educators. I know through following their work they all believe the same thing as me; kids first.

    Thanks again!

  2. I'd add an Irish principal to the mix, who blogs about his own personal thoughts aboutthe area he works in. http://balbrigganetns.wordpress.com

  3. Great idea; I feel a re-tweet coming on!

  4. Thanks so much for including me with these four great Principals who I have learned so much from!

    I also had the good fortune of having a a post on this topic posted on Richard Byrne's great Free Technology For Teachers Blog. Here's the link http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/02/every-principal-needs-blog.html

  5. I'd add Jonathan Martin and Josie Holford to this mix: http://21k12blog.net/ and http://www.pdscompasspoint.com/. Thanks for sharing. It's great to see administrators blogging and leading.

  6. I could hardly call many of these blogs commendable, since all they do is either cheerlead for each other ... "Hey! You're AWESOME! No, you're MORE awesome!" "I HEART LEARNING!" (insert retching noises here) or continue to feed their Peter Pan obsessions with $200-$500 toys.

  7. Thanks Lisa. I find it interesting how much the content of some of these blogs focuses on the technology itself. I think the principals thatI work with are more likely to use a blog as a tool to communicate about other issues in education. Just an observation...

  8. @shana, I'll invite the principals cited here to respond to that on their own and in the meantime, to help you with the principals with whom you work I inserted a link from Patrick Larkin at the end of the first paragraph where he shares why he believes, "Every Principal Needs A Blog!" He makes smart points that I hope will resonate with the schools you support.

  9. One of my first posts on my blog provides my rationale entitled "More Administrators Need to Blog"


    There is much more such as celebrating staff/school/student accomplishments and achievements and sharing successful educational strategies.

  10. @shana I really appreciate your thought and definitely know that technology integration is a passion for myself. However, in my blog I try to focus on technology integration as a way of connecting with other educators, along with students connecting with others. Collaboration is key and that is a major reason we use technology. If you read my post on "The Why", you will see a lot of my reasons for using technology: http://bit.ly/aiSEMt

    My main focus as an administrator is that we need to focus on relationships first. That is they key to successful education and for me was inspired by my parents: http://bit.ly/bsgDWi

    Leadership for all is a huge motivator for me as an administrator: http://bit.ly/cxQ3jz students http://bit.ly/bqqV0H staff

    Definitely I talk about the use of technology in our school in my blog, but I really try to focus on making it more. Here are some of my favourite posts since I started: http://bit.ly/bSQSms

    Hopefully this will change your mind a little. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Oh please, George, you're too timid to even post blog responses that challenge your positions.

    Leaders don't follow the trends, either. Leaders counter the trends.

  12. Thank you for including me on your list. Hopefully more educators will join us!

  13. mark simmer down and tell us how u really feel
    1800 some1z bitter
    I HEART how every1 is tot ignoring u. Well except me, that is...
    Dude, go to ur happy place and leave us alone.

  14. I agree that many, if not most principals need additional support when starting a blog. The truth is that what's easy for our students is more of a stretch for many adults.

    When I was a high school principal, I always considered myself technologically literate. Nevertheless, my students and my own children have grown up with technology and can do things with technology I never imagined.

    What we adults sometimes consider innovative, they take for granted as commonplace. If we don't encourage our educational leaders to embrace new technologies, our students will tune us out as being completely out of touch.

    A blog is a good starting point for principals and an effective communication tool.


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