Big Plans for @Anchor This Year #hackingleadership

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Link to show (still sorting out the embed)

I’m really excited to start using a new tool in our communications this year. I’m talking about Anchor.  Anchor is a form of audio social media.  Some have called it the Twitter for the ear.  Now, I’m a HUGE podcast fan, so something of his format immediately stands out to me.

First a little about Anchor:
  • The concept of Anchor is that you can produce audio “shows” easily directly from your mobile device (or share via your computer) in a nice, slick manner
  • It’s a very clean platform.  By that I mean that it’s easy to navigate, visually appealing and you can’t really mess up
  • It easily connects with other social media accounts so you can share your shows in other spots
  • There’s a desktop access that allows you to upload audio clips from your computer
  • It has two features that I’m particularly excited about: Interviews, where you can call one of your contacts and record the chat, and Call Ins, where people can submit audio for you to use in your show

My hope is to be able to create a weekly “show” chatting with our principals (to start).  Nothing fancy to begin with just a chance to share the great stuff going on in their learning communities.  I do hope that it develops and we can start to interact with our educators and communities using the call ins and interview features…allowing for more Q and A type interactions, which I find very valuable.  Definitely a new tool to check out, there’s going to be more to come with this one!

I Had No Idea What a P.I.O. Was…Until Yesterday @VEMVT @VTED_SafeSchools


Mark Bosma dropping knowledge

So a while back I signed up for this one day conference held at the Vermont Public Safety headquarters.  Admittedly, I’d kind of put it in the back of my mind and then saw it on my calendar recently and remembered it.  Not knowing what to expect I went in and sat down in an amazing meeting space (by school standards) and dug into the learning.


The whole deal was around the concept of a Public Information Officer or P.I.O.  A P.I.O. is an individual that makes sure the wheels of communication are greased during an event.  They work with all parties to make sure that clear communication is reaching the people that need it. As the Director of Communication, this was one of the first pieces of trainings that really stood out to me as something that directly speaks to that portion of my job.

The training was great and it was one of those conferences where you sit there and think of all the things you want to get going on when you get back to the ranch.  Here are my basic take aways:

  • Schools and districts should be clearer about roles and responsibilities when it comes to communication during an event (that’s the essence of this role).  The establishment of a P.I.O. position or responsibilities is a step in the right direction
  • Take advantage of proactive relationship building with first responders and other outside organizations that might someday be involved in a school situation.
  • Mark would be upset if I didn’t say this: “Put your most important information first and work in key messages at least 3 times.”
  • Educate families and the community about terms and concepts that might be used or expressed in an emergency situation.  This’ll pay off.
  • Have a clear plan for working collaboratively with the news media.  There were lots of great points about this, but it’s more than waiting for an event happen.  Things like establishing staging areas at your school sites, letting them know your role in the district, setting up how often communication will come, understanding their deadlines…just a few of the gems shared.

We walked through several scenarios, which was really helpful. My big takeaway was to sort out roles during an incident.  I think this is challenging for a lot of people, but particularly in schools.  First responders are very clear about who does what and when, but often during school incidents we all want to help and be involved (it comes from a really good place).  Discussing our roles ahead of time and sticking to those would be an essential part of the planning.

Be sure to visit the Vermont Department of Public Safety and Vermont School Safety Center sites.  Loads of good info.


Patches from safety organizations from all over Vermont



Curriculum Vlog 012: Transparency, Connections, and a Hardware Cat #hackingleadership

A very short week this was (best Yoda impression in my head).  I had some random stuff jump up and take the week in a different direction, but in the midst of that, there were some genuinely great connections and work.
Specifically, I had the chance to connect with @froehlichm and @eabramson around culture…that was awesome, made some changes within our Spanish Immersion program that are going to make it even more amazing and chipped away at beginning of the year events.
It’s all coming together!

Video and Social Media Warm Up for Ed Leaders #vted #hackingleadership

Not always totally comfortable with shameless self promotion but I’m making an exception.
This’ll be a genuinely fun opportunity to sit with other admin and share how to do this stuff without struggling.  I always end up learning a ton myself and maintain those connections beyond the one or two days of the workshop.  It’s great…and I’m told there will be food!  Can’t go wrong with that!?
Check out the info here.

We Have This Technology…Maybe We Should Use It? #hackingleadership

We’ve been taking a careful look at interactions within our organization…how we connect, what we forget and what we assume.  In particular, this week, we’ve been preparing for our new staff coming into the district.
There’s so much information that swirls around and I think sometimes we forget some of the basics and assume that folks will figure it out.  I remember when I first started as a principal we had a meeting at another school in the district and I didn’t know how to get there (well before Google maps)!  I also didn’t know what anyone looked like or what they did.
So we’re going to pay particular attention to this…use some of this tech to make small connections with people throughout the year (just think how simple it is to make a quick video). Things like a simple, quick, informal video make a difference. I’m convinced of it.
So this is our first stab at it.  There will be more!

New Curriculum Vlog 011: What Are You Doing for Communication Plans in 2017? #hackingleadership

After taking a week off from the vlog and pretty much slowing down my social media to a barely there pulse I’m back and in full effect (I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull that phrase off, but I don’t get a chance to use it often).
In this vlog I talk about our second tier of communication planning for the year ahead.  We spent last school year building a base of communication systems and practices.  Now we’re taking each of those to a second level of performance.  Many of these are B.H.A.G.’s but I like that.
Apologies for the dog barking.  What can I say!?

Curriculum Vlog 010: C3, Bullet Journal, and a Hat #hackingleadership

This vlog episode is a reflection of my last four days of curriculum work. I’ve spent a great deal of energy making sure that I’m seizing every moment of the summer days.  I think in the past I’ve been guilty of letting one or two of these slip through my fingers and then when August hits I’m wishing I had them back.  I talk a little bit about my organizational systems, some of the daily habits that I’m trying to incorporate into the summer and few other points about what I’ve been up to.