Education Opinion

More Independent School Voices: A Blog Sampler (Part II)

By Peter Gow — April 03, 2013 4 min read
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I promised last week to add to the list of bloggers who are “impact players” in the independent school community and whose messages are likely to resonate beyond our not-so-ivied walls.

An observation: Not surprisingly, in my lists overall there is probably a disproportion of writers who entered the field as educational technologists of one sort or another. The evolution of “tech support” to curriculum and program experts to influential thought leaders is, to me (an old humanities teacher with a taste for gadgets that brought me to technology by a different route) one of the cooler developments in the world of school administration in the last couple of decades. That so many tech folks are now leaders in our schools is yet another, somewhat unexpected, manifestation of the power of technology in education.

Bo Adams at It’s About Learning
A former administrator, now consulting, Bo Adams is on top of a wide range of resources and subjects of interest to forward thinking educators. He’s not afraid to speculate on big questions, and he’s happy to engage with other sources in kind of thinking-out-loud dialogues that intrigue and compel.

Jim Jump (and occasionally Carey Pohanka) at Ethical College Admissions
The college admission sweepstakes is in the news this week, and it’s seriously important to the many independent schools that call themselves “college prep.” But the whole process is rife with possibilities for ethical dilemmas at all levels: student, counselor, school, and college. Ethical College Admissions deconstructs some of these dilemmas from a clear-eyed, highly principled perspective.

Kim Sivick and others at Teachers of the Future
The National Association of Independent Schools Teachers of the Future program combines leadership development for a chosen cadre of teachers with an opportunity to showcase cutting-edge classroom practices. Kim Sivick created the Teachers of the Future blog for members of that cadre to explore the challenges and opportunities they, and all other teachers, face as the future becomes the present.

Linda Vasu at Linda Vasu: Lateral Thinking
Lateral Thinking takes thoughtful looks at the possibilities inherent in all aspects of innovative education. Linda identifies herself as a humanist, and her posts are filled with references that prove it, but the whole point of Lateral Thinking is her deep engagement with technology in all its manifestations, from Fab Labs to TED talks to Google Docs.

Lorri Carroll at Lorri’s Blog
Sensitive reflections on many aspects of school and learning--a real teacher’s blog about teaching, from classroom challenges and lesson plans to musings on the state of learning and the future of education--one of my favorite perspectives. Lorri is also the moderator of the weekly #isedchat Twitter chat--Thursday evenings at 9:00pm Eastern.

Michael Wirtz at Our Work, Their Education
Michael reflects on all aspects of the work of teachers and school leaders in a blog whose tone and focus are constant reminders of what the title says about what we do. From classroom quandaries to celebrations of the quotidian tasks of teaching, Our Work, Their Education really speaks to both parts if its title.

Multiple contributors at the Social Media in Education Blog
Many contributors (including yours truly, on occasion) reflect on the ways in which teachers, leaders, and schools at large can capitalize on social media’s power to connect in the service of learning.

Nishant Mehta at The Independent School Leader
Administrator and sometime educational journalist Nishant Mehta has a big following with this blog that has a little bit of everything--from conference stories told through Twitter to technology updates to ruminations on the world of contemporary teenagers. Independent School Leader covers the gamut of topics and questions all school leaders are thinking about.

Pamela Nye and others at The School Archivist
Any school culture of today is an outgrowth of the institution’s past, an important factor anywhere but especially so for independent schools, where heritage and alumni/ae engagement are cornerstones of institutional survival and advancement. This relatively young blog is about the work of maintaining and organizing, well, school archives.

Patrick O’Connor at the Huffington Post
Another college counselor working hard to put the Big Picture of a frenzied process in perspective for a general audience, Patrick O’Connor offers calming wisdom that is always, always focused on what’s best for kids in an enterprise in which there often seem to be competing interests and too many shrill, extraneous voices.

Peter Hutton at P. Hutton blog
A head-of-school blog, this from the iconoclastic leader of Beaver Country Day School outside Boston. Peter is adamant that education needs to change dramatically in order to serve the needs of both students and society and that the most fruitful sources of effective change lie outside the traditional boundaries of the education world.

Vinny Vrotny at Multi-faceted Refractions
Vinny is another tech guy turned school leader, with a strong vision both for the future of teaching and learning and for the development of collaborative professional cultures across boundaries of school and region. Vinny is also one of the hosts and producers, with Arvind Grover and Alex Ragone (Twitter: @AlexRagone), of the 21st Century Learning podcast at EdTechTalk.

I can already see a need to do this yet again some time.

Engage with Peter on Twitter: @pgow

The opinions expressed in Independent Schools, Common Perspectives are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.