Eric Sheninger: Impressions of a keynote speaker

     Eric Sheninger
    Digital Leadership:Changing Paradigms for Changing Times

                        School Leadership Summit (SchoolLeadershipSummit.com)

          I got online 10 minutes after the beginning of the session. I haven't seen the speaker's picture. From his voice and way of speaking, I guessed he was a much older person. To my surprise, by the end of the session, I discovered from his picture that he can't be more than 42-45 years old. 
         His speech was flowing with confidence and resourcefulness. He didn't seem boasting or showing off. He came to speak about an experience or rather a vision that he believed in. "Integration" is the secret of success in education. You have to have a 'vision', 'a mission' to believe in. You should care for the good of the students and trust them. He believed that for a long time there has been a mis-communication or no communication between educators and students. That's why we have been looking for outputs without proper inputs. 

        If we look for better education, according to Sheninger, we should try to understand how our students think, what engages them most. We should observe and use the output for their good. He said he was not a good user of Twitter or social media in general and didn't know enough about them. He tried to observe what his students liked the most, tried to learn it later and finally came to manage it for the students' welfare. 

        He thought that not only could students' skills be upgraded, but those of teachers as well. He believed in professional development. He believed that "technology is not a catalyst of change, it is the people that share, implement and engage."

        If the teachers knew how to integrate technology successfully, this meant that they found a way out to communicate with students conveniently and this is  the core of teaching. 

         He believed that "social media is a Multi Media is a multidimensional tool" through which teachers can: involve students in school work, help them to create and discuss, thus achieve promotion which can be measured through different appraisal systems to check their development. 

        Finally, he believed that the integration of forces: (1) The Students by giving them trust, providing them with the suitable learning environment. (2) The Teachers by helping them to achieve professional development and (3) Finally, The School Administration or Stakeholders by talking them into the Principal's vision and how it would lead to great results. All these would lead to great success and wonderful outcomes. 

      He could see that technology could be integrated widely in the teaching process. He supported himself by learning about it and which tools could be used, made his staff believe in the same vision and helped them develop professionally and how to communicate professionally with the students fascinated with technology and tempt them into the educational process. 

      What Sheninger did reminds me of the integration of Bloom's followers. They believed that learning should involve the Cognitive Domain together with the Affective and Psychomotor ones. As educators, we should be wise enough to look at the whole picture to be able to use all the tools at hand for the benefit and success of the Learners and their schools as well. 

      I was so much impressed by Sheninger's enthusiasm and the trust he gave his students and staff. He made me believe in what he did. I felt he was not directing a school he was appointed to administer, but that he was responsible for his family's or business welfare. Sincerity and strong belief are the secret behind his success. 

      We are really thankful to Steve Hargadon, the Founder and Co-chair of Global Education Conference, and his staff for such outstanding opening and keynote speaker. 

       You can view the recording on the conference site: admin20.org