CHAPTER 2. Relationships and Culture

Flipped Book Study: Watch before reading to enhance your learning.

Audio Outtakes: Supercharge your book study with these shareable chapter-by-chapter audio clips with colorful commentary. Connect with Brad to schedule him to join your book study or university class "live" on Skype, GHO, or Voxer.

Water Cooler Questions:


  1. What are the leadership behaviors we model that show relationships matter?

  2. How does a school's culture lend itself to academic improvement and innovation?

  3. How might we cultivate connectedness in digital-age schools?

Additional Listening/Viewing:


  • Where Good Ideas Come From: This whiteboard video discusses the space where creativity and innovation thrive...relationships and culture can facilitate the collision and iteration of ideas that Johnson describes.

Additional Blog Posts/Articles:



Before we try to transform how technology is used, or change our schools' strategic goals, we need to consider the role of culture.



When we talk about relationships, culture, and connectedness we need to be aware of the different feelings that may (or may not) surface.


This article describes how we've used augmented reality to connect with families before school begins in innovative ways.

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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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This TED-inspired talk introduces a real-life renegade, and unpacks the basic tenants of a digital-age pedagogy.



Personalize your learning and double-down on your leadership! Complete at least one of the mini challenges at the end of each chapter to earn your Renegade Leadership badge.

#RenLead on Twitter

Additional Books:


  • Transforming School Culture (2009) by Anthony Muhammad


  • The Missing Voices in EdTech (2015) by Rafranz Davis

Double-Down Challenge:


Personalize your learning by selecting from mini-challenges at the conclusion of each chapter. Most chapters offer at least two different options to personalize your learning. Choose the mini-challenge that you would like to 'double-down' on, and then click HERE to track your progress on the Worlds of Learning digital badging platform.

  • Challenge 2.1: Connectedness Makes a Difference

Identify the day-to-day interactions of staff that exemplify your vision for your school's culture. Take time to connect and personally thank the difference-makers doing this work.

  • Challenge 2.2: Owning Our Impact and Influence

Lucy Stone disregarded the impossible and impacted the culture and trajectory of an entire country. What have you been avoiding that needs to be confronted? What conversations are your students counting on you to have? Start the process.