@MCDPEL Innovations Lab

100,000 Silicon Valley Steps & Counting

Posted by Joe Mazza

3/30/16 3:52 PM

100,000 Silicon Valley Steps & Counting

I've been back on the east coast for 3 days, and I'm still sore from all the walking our #pennsv16 team did. After averaging just over 5,000 steps a day in the past month, visits with over 30 companies and schools across the Silicon Valley area netted me 113,000 steps (48 miles!)

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, study trips, edtech, pennsv16

EdLeaders Kick-Off Silicon Valley Immersion Experience

Posted by Joe Mazza

3/22/16 5:03 AM

EdLeaders Kick-Off Silicon Valley Immersion Experience

Take 20 minutes and walk around the building. Explore classrooms, public spaces, private spaces inside and outside. Snap pictures of the spaces you see that represent or contradict the 12 Brain Rules (Medina, 2015). These were the directions I gave to our #pennsv16 Study Team as a culmination of our first morning at Penn's Wharton San Francisco Campus.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, edtech, pennsv16, suptchat, silicon valley, cpchat

[LISTEN] Authentic Learning in the Digital Age - Engaging Students Through Inquiry w/ SLA Teacher Larissa Pahomov

Posted by Joe Mazza

1/20/15 4:36 PM

We sat down with teacher Larissa Pahomov (@Lpahomov) to discuss what educators and school leaders can learn from her new ASCD book, Authentic Learning in the Digital Age - Engaging Students Through Inquiry. Pahomov teaches students English and Journalism at The Science Leadership Academy (SLA), an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement. Larissa has been published in NCTE's English Journal and is a contributor to the National Writing Project's Digital Is website. 

How can school leaders support this authentic learning in the digital age? Larissa details how her school principal, Chris Lehmann, has supported staff in this area over time. The book also has detailed “making the shift” sections to help educators transition from current practices as much or as little as their environment allows.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, technology integration, School District of Philadelphia

#SharedSolutions - PennGSE & SD of Philadelphia Partner for School Improvement

Posted by Joe Mazza

11/18/14 4:11 PM

Last week over 100 participants, including principals, teachers, administrators, school staff, researchers, central office staff, and community members came together over at the School District of Philadelphia for a late afternoon conference entitled Shared Solutions for School Improvement: Developing a System of Excellent Schools. The conference brought together several faculty and staff members from the Mid-Career Program including Harris Sokoloff, Elliott Weinbaum, Sigal Ben-Porath Christopher Pupik-Dean, Joe Mazza and others to discuss the SDP's Action Plan v2.0 and strategies for improving public education in Philadelphia.

Key insights from the conference are being posted on the partnership website located at www.gse.upenn.edu/partnership. LIKE the partnership Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SharedSolutionsPartnership.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, Family & Community Engagement (FCE), School District of Philadelphia, PennGSE, Assessment, School Budgets

On Expanding EdCamp Leadership

Posted by Joe Mazza

9/12/14 12:53 PM


On Monday, August 4th, our program hosted the annual EdCamp Leadership experience. For those who haven't attended over the past since years of its existence, Edcamp Leadership (@EdCampLdr) is a free un-conference devoted to K-12 education issues and ideas. The goal of the day is to assemble forward-thinking school administrators, board of education members, classroom teacher leaders, parents/community members and anyone interested in K-12 education for a day of conversation, reflection and inspiration. The official website cn be found at edcampleadership.org

The experience brought together over 250 educational leaders from nine states for a free all-day conference. (Free thanks to the Program and supporting sponsors) Many, however, left many who attended wondering why we do not have more events like this in other parts of the country. There have been over 500 EdCamps around the world since the first event in 2009 here in Philadelphia. One of the goals of experiences like EdCamp or EdCamp Leadership is to motivate and inspire attendees to go back into their local learning organizations and create more participant (teacher) driven, relationship-based professional development experiences. 


Below are all 32 sessions held during EdCamp Leadership this year. Most are linked with a Google Doc of session notes (completed by participants) to give you a window into the discussion happening in each room.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, Conferences, School Leader Preparation, EdCamp, Personal Learning Network

Strangers in a strange land: making the familiar strange and expanding edu-scapes through social media

Posted by Martha Richmond

7/1/14 1:46 PM

When I returned from Finland I was invited to lead a faculty workshop on insights I gained through our trip. Using technology such as social media offered an authentic voice to the ideas I wanted to share with colleagues and fellow administrators. Technology offered the group the chance to “hear” ideas and novel stances that in other formats would have been regarded with suspicion of hidden agendas. Instead, using social media and hearing the voices of Finnish teachers as well as some of my fellow travelers, my colleagues found themselves hearing, thinking and then examining ideas about our practice in a novel way. Topics of inclusion, action research and team teaching tainted in the past as politically loaded, were reframed and now on the table with new understandings, non-stereotypical thinking and new voices. As a result of the presentation, our faculty discussion seemed unbounded by previous institutional prejudices and commitments. The familiar had become strange.

Thus, I found myself pondering some essential questions:

  • How can looking at technology through the lens of the

    sociology of the “stranger” change percepti

    ons of the role of technology in the classroom?

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Topics: Innovation, technology integration, social media,

PAESSP President Talks Future of Ed/Leader Preparation Programs

Posted by psumazza@gmail.com

2/24/14 11:02 AM

Dr. Bill Ziegler is a high school principal and President of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary/Secondary School Principals. He was in attendance for MCDPEL's LIVE Global #SATCHAT hosted here on the PennGSE campus. Here are a few of Bill's takeaways.

It was so good to have the University of Pennsylvania’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership host the nation’s largest weekend chat on education #Satchat. As I attended the chat, I was encouraged by the collective ideas to strengthen teacher and school leader programs. I was especially inspired by Penn GSE’s, doctoral student, Khalilah Harris, as she spoke about the need to engage African American students in the educational system.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership