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On the Connected Principals blog, 24 administrators from around the world share best practices in education.
They come from the U.S., Canada, England and China; they come from private, public and independent schools; and they come from different perspectives and experience levels.
But they all want to work together with educators to do what's best for their students. And they're sharing what they're doing on the blog, which started in August and now draws an average of 600 readers each day.
“It is about our learning through social media, that’s really the big key,” said George Couros, a K-12 principal from Forest Green School in Stony Plain, Alberta, who founded the blog.
Connected Principals has a higher meaning than just principals who are connected, said Patrick Larkin, the principal of Burlington High School in Massachusetts.
“The best leaders out there are connected to quality educators in their own buildings," Larkin said, "and we want to connect to quality educators all over the globe."
While the blog does reach principals who blog and tweet, it also should reach principals who don't participate on those platforms, Couros said. That's why they started a Facebook page and plan to host an Elluminate session once a month. By reaching principals in these areas, the connected principals hope to show them the value of blogging and tweeting.
On the blog, principals share how they deal with social media in school, what effective walk-throughs look like and other day-to-day things that help principals become better instructional leaders in their buildings, Larkin said. And they're also trading resources and advice on Twitter through the hashtag #cpchat that Larkin created, Couros said.
“It’s kind of like a way that we can share resources," Couros said, "but it’s also kind of like a bat signal for administrators needing help.”
And that call for help will receive responses quickly, unlike other methods of communication such as phone hotlines and e-mail lists, Larkin said. Technology allows them to collaborate, but the technology is not the focus.
“It’s not about the technology; it’s really about collaboration and communication," Larkin said, "and we just have new tools to do that.”
While some people say that their principals only care about technology, that's not true.
“What we care about is connecting with our students, our teachers, our parents, and showing them how connected their kids are going to be when they leave our schools," Larkin said, "and if we’re not preparing them for that, we’re not doing our jobs in this day and age.”
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