A School Tour Solution that's Breaking Down Barriers

Our elementary school welcomes new and potential families on a regular basis. Providing tours to parents and their elementary-aged children is an inspiring part of this process. Despite our best efforts, kids can be understandably anxious, shy, or overwhelmed when visiting a new school. Some kids appear to cope fairly well, while others appear to be dying on the inside. (As the father of an introvert who struggles in social situations my heart goes out to these kids.) Click HERE to view a PDF that triggers the video above. It contains the directions for Grizz-e-mon GO. This week we launched a tour option for new families that is based on Pokemon GO. (This is the same game that has my in

5 Ways to Connect a Class to the World

Teaching the YouTube Generation without providing kids the opportunity to create content would be absurd. However, connecting kids to meaningful learning experiences that include other learners around the world is not always associated with traditional practice (unless you count pen pals). The TouchCast Ambassador video above provides a short (3 minute) synopsis of how a class could tap into video as a transformational learning tool. Disclosure of Material Connection: I’ve been using TouchCast for approximately three years. This year I am partnering with them as a Star Ambassador and paid consultant. TouchCast is a free app and I am not selling anything, but I want this partnership to be

What's Your One?

Have you ever returned from a conference and been asked to name a "take-away" or something you learned? I recently had the chance to collaborate on a special podcasting project with Theresa Stager (co-host of the PrincipalPLN podcast). We were both at the NAESP national conference in Maryland, and presented a session on podcasting together in the Innovation Lab. During our session, we asked school leaders their "one" takeaway. In addition to hearing what conference attendees were learning, we also wanted to model just how easy starting a podcast can be. (Clearly, we needed to spend a tad more time setting up the green-screen lights, but getting over the need for perfection is a big step t

My Pastor was Right. Again.

So a funny thing happened a few years ago. I was sitting in church and our pastor at the time, Steve Wiens, started talking about neuroplasticity. I’ve always been a big nerd at heart, so I immediately took interest. Actually, I was totally eating the science up and loving every second of it. The truth of the matter is that Steve’s message helped me overcome some gunk in my life, and it’s a message I still carry with me when reflecting on change, innovation, and education. In a nutshell, here’s what I gleaned from Steve’s sermon. We all have habits, tendencies, or even addictions that have become hard-wired into us. Some of these habits are good (holding the door for others, showering,

Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 


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