Last week I heard Sir Ken Robinson mention the Death Valley Bloom of 2005. He suggested that we check it out on the Internet. I did, and I thank Sir Ken for leading me to explore this amazing phenomenon. Death Valley, California is unique because it contains the lowest, hottest, driest location in North America. Nearly 550 square miles of its area lie below sea level. It is one of the hottest places on earth, attaining the second-highest temperature ever recorded, 134 degrees F. in 1913. It contains the lowest point in the western hemisphere -- 282 feet below sea ...


I recently taught a Web 2.0 workshop to a group of 25 principals who were relatively new to the use of the Read/Write web in their professional lives. I helped them understand the need for school leaders to model the use of tools such as blogs, wikis, Skype, delicious, etc. My objectives were to teach why today's "digital natives" require a different form of instruction, why and how school administrators must use these tools and then expect teachers to incorporate the use of such tools into their lessons, and to help the participants create their own blogs, wikis, ...


Last month, Scott McLeod and I published an article titled "Where should educational leadership authors publish to get noticed by the top journals in the discipline" in Educational Administration Quarterly. Our purpose was to understand which journals have been recently cited by scholars who publish in the field of educational leadership. We recorded the name and number of occurrences of journals that appeared in the bibliographies of articles published in Educational Administration Quarterly and Journal of School Leadership from 2000-2007. In the article, we compiled a list of the top 25 cited journals. This list is handy because it adds ...


I saw this blog post from Diane Ravitch with the title "Why Business Leaders Should Not Run Schools" and found it an interesting read. Like most blog posts and blog links, I found the comments to be about as interesting as the blog itself. While I tend to run conservative on most issues myself, I have never understood the preoccupation with trying to apply "free-market solutions" to education. I always viewed basic services like defense, education, highway systems, air traffic systems etc. to be a lot more stable and predictable for the nation's overall security when there was more consistency. ...


CASTLE has been doing a great deal of technology leadership training for the School Administrators of Iowa, some of the Iowa Area Education Agencies, some of the Minnesota Service Cooperatives, and other school organizations across the country. One of the discussion activities that we've been doing lately asks session participants to think in groups about the impacts that the Internet and other digital technologies have had on various sectors of our society: newspapers, magazines, and the news industry banking, money management, and personal finance television, movies, and video maps, travel agencies, and the travel industry radio, CDs, and the music ...


It's the long Thanksgiving weekend, and so natually I decided to write about what I am thankful for. I'm not going to write about the usual things I am (and should be) thankful for, such as my children, my health and my good friends. I try hard to be grateful for these things all year long and not just on this holiday. Since this is a blog by leaders for leaders, I want you to think about the things you are thankful for in your leadership position. Maybe this is your first year as an administrator or maybe it's your ...


The family is the cornerstone of most communities and civilization in general. It is what binds humans together and brings us peace and comfort. Family is there for us in times of happiness, hardship-- through good times and bad. Jane Howard writes, "Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." This quote applies to the school community which is a one kind of family that most of us spend more time with than our real families. Unlike many organizations, schools embody individuals ...


It was revealed on the evening news that there were multiple warning signs that the shooter at Fort Hood might have been mentally unstable and capable of violence. Last month I wrote about the precautionary lockdown we experienced due to a disgruntled, mentally unstable former employee. While that article focused more on the information disseminated to the public regarding the situation, this article addresses the actual events that led to the lockdown and the subsequent actions taken by the school district in response to the "warning signs." What led to this lockdown was a series of events, all of which ...


What happens to Attention Deficit Disorder when it grows up? Sometimes it is channeled into extraordinary gifts. So Michael Phelps Picasso JFK James Carville Robin Williams... ...are all reputed ADHD guys. This is hardly an exhaustive list but it's enough to give you a flavor. I think if they named every person ever diagnosed with ADHD we would be surprised by some of the folks that were on the list-- and yet not surprised at all. We would recognize the extraordinarily talented individuals who have managed to channel the annoying distractability, the daydreaming, the incessant fingers tapping on the desk, ...


I heard the CEO of a Fortune 50 company speak about what the organization expects of senior leaders. One of the points he made was that once you move to an executive role, you are expected to be able to dig into deep issues that will affect the organization both in the short term and the long term. His next comment struck home: "You MUST make time in your calendar to think. That is what the organization expects of you. If you simply move from event to event, you are doing yourself and your organization a disservice." I'm sure I'm ...


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