EdTech Expert, ICLE Senior Fellow Eric Sheninger Named an Education IT Influencer

Photo: Eric Sheninger presenting during a session at the 2018 Model Schools Conference in Orlando, Florida.

In the field of educational technology, many of today’s leaders make their voices heard on social media. EdTech magazine recently named 30 Must-Read K-12 Education IT Influencers who frequently share their expertise through tweets, blog posts, and even podcasts. A big congratulations goes out to our very own Eric Sheninger (@E_Sheninger), a Senior Fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE)—which is a division of HMH—who made this year’s list

Sheninger, who has received the magazine’s honor several times in the past, is an award-winning principal and digital leadership pioneer. At New Milford High School in New Jersey, he oversaw the successful implementation of several sustainable change initiatives that inspired a school culture shift and boosted achievement. His efforts to transform teaching, learning, and community engagement through technology led to the creation of the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework for all educators to initiate change in their schools and districts.

Sheninger has authored Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times (2019) and Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today (2017). He has received numerous awards and honors for his use of social media to speak to educators, including TIME magazine’s “The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2014.”

With over 146,000 Twitter followers and about 1,200 YouTube subscribers, Sheninger is a widely heard voice among IT leaders and educators and often tweets about digital leadership and edtech. He shares his thoughts (and helpful resources!) in greater depth on his blog, A Principal’s Reflections, and also answers questions live on Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis.

To celebrate Sheninger’s achievement, we’ve rounded up some blog posts and videos created by him that may be helpful in your teaching and leading.

Top 5 Recent Blog Posts by Eric Sheninger

1. What Learners Really Need

How does learning in your classroom, school, or district appeal to different types of learners—creative thinkers, reflective learners, team workers, self-managers, effective participators, and independent enquirers? Sheninger explains why an education needs to help students develop critical competencies for success in today’s world.

2. The Pedagogy of Blended Learning

Sheninger highlights the strategies, elements, models, and tools needed to develop a sound pedagogy for implementing blended learning in the K-12 classroom—and brings each to life with specific examples.

3. The Critical Role Movement Plays in Learning

Movement is critical for a K-12 curriculum—physical education is a must, but movement should be incorporated into all classes too. Research shows that recess and physical activity often lead to improved learning outcomes, including higher test scores and greater content knowledge.

4. The Two Most Important Questions to Ask to Determine If Learning Is Taking Place

Educators should ask themselves two key questions about using educational technology in the classroom: Are kids thinking at increasing levels of knowledge taxonomy? How are they applying their thinking in relevant ways? The ICLE Rigor/Relevance Framework can help with finding the answers, Sheninger writes.

5. The Case for Coaching Leaders

The concept of coaching extends beyond just sports. Many districts invest in instructional and digital coaches to assist teachers with developing their curriculums—but it’s also critical for education leaders, who need constant support and feedback in order to improve.

Top 5 Recent Videos by Eric Sheninger

1. 10 Strategies to Improve Instructional Leadership

Instructional leadership is essential to providing a powerful learning experience for students. In this video, Sheninger provides tips to help education leaders improve their skills in this area through direct involvement within the classroom, a focus on professional development, and staying up to date on the latest research. 

2. 10 Things Great Leaders Do

Everyone has the ability to lead, but what are the qualities of great leaders? To Sheninger, leaders are adaptable, dedicated, effective communicators; they love their work; and they know how to delegate, provide detailed feedback, and stay focused. 

3. Do We Want Just Skilled or Competent Learners?

What’s the difference between skills and competencies? A skill is the ability to do something while a competency is the ability to adapt that skill to solve problems. Students, Sheninger asserts, need to be competent learners. What role should educators play?

4. Improve Instruction and Learning With These 10 Strategies

Proper learning only occurs when there’s quality instruction. Sheninger shares strategies to improve your teaching, including modeling, providing feedback, making lessons relevant, and applying lessons authentically.

5. Create Spaces Where You Would Want to Learn

What are learning spaces? Sheninger suggests that teachers consider what environment they would want to learn in and apply this concept to their students. Students learn best in natural spaces without too much or too little stimulation, but learning spaces must also be flexible and able to accommodate individual students and different types of instructions.

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Blog contributor Eric Sheninger is an ICLE Senior Fellow and thought leader on digital leadership and learning. You can book a keynote with him to help your school or district explore solutions for leading and learning in the digital age. You can also view our full list of thought leaderswho provide customized presentations on a range of key education issues.

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