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Digital Leadership


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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments About the Author A Day in the Life of a Digital Leader Chapter 1: How the Learning Landscape Has Changed The Fourth Industrial Revolution Technology and Society A New Learner Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 2: A Compelling Case for Change A School Leader's New Path Forward Excuses Hold Us Back You Get What You Model Embrace Innovation Bold Ideas for a Bold New World Grow Into a Digital Leader Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 3: Leading Sustainable Change The Journey of a Practitioner Unearthing the Secrets of Change The Process of Change Overcoming Potential Roadblocks to Change Moving Large Change Efforts Forward Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 4: Leading Through a Digital Lens A Superintendent's Journey Be in the Driver's Seat The Pillars of Digital Leadership ISTE Standards for Educational Leaders Future Ready Schools Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 5: Improving Student Engagement, Learning, and Outcomes School Should Reflect Real Life How Research Should Guide the Work Improving Pedagogy with a Learner-Focused Mindset and Framework Moving from Teaching to Empowered Learning A Pedagogical Foundation for Digital Tools Rigorous and Relevant Learning as the Standard Digital Learning in Action A Focus on Critical Competencies Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 6: Transforming Learning Spaces and Environments Clark Hall--A Creative Learning Environment Designing Schools to Engage and Drive Learning Makerspaces Devices for All (1:1) Improving Access With BYOD Blended Learning Versus Blended Instruction Individualized and Personalized Learning Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 7: Professional Growth and Learning A Shift in Professional Learning The Rise of Social Media as a Tool for Growth in Professional Practice Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) Connectedness as the Standard The Professional Growth Period Why Every Leader Needs a PLN Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 8: Communication No Better Time Than Now Trailblazers Modeling the Way Engage Stakeholders Using a Multifaceted Approach Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 9: Public Relations A District Forges a New Path Tell Your Story We Need More Stories of Success Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 10: Branding A Move to BrandED Thinking Two Conversations Around BrandED Thinking Why a BrandED Mindset Matters The Right Hashtag Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 11: Discovering Opportunity Strategic Partnerships Academies Leveraging Social Media The Interconnectedness of the Pillars of Digital Leadership Summary Guiding Questions Chapter 12: Leading for Efficacy A Shining Example: Wells Elementary School A Push for Efficacy Summary Guiding Questions Online Resources References Index

About the Author

Eric is a Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Prior to this, he was the award-winning Principal at New Milford High School. Under his leadership, his school became a globally recognized model for innovative practices. Eric oversaw the successful implementation of several sustainable change initiatives that radically transformed the learning culture at his school while increasing achievement. His work focuses on leading and learning in the digital age as a model for moving schools and districts forward. This has led to the formation of the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework for all educators to initiate sustainable change to transform school cultures. As a result, Eric has emerged as an innovative leader, best selling author, and sought after speaker. His main focus is purposeful integration of technology to facilitate student learning, improve communications with stakeholders, enhance public relations, create a positive brand presence, discover opportunity, transform learning spaces, and help educators grow professionally. Eric has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for his work. He is a CDE Top 30 award recipient, Bammy Award winner, NASSP Digital Principal Award winner, PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient, winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award, Google Certified Innovator, Adobe Education Leader, and ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar. Eric has published several books on school leadership, partnering with Corwin on Uncommon Learning, and the 1st and 2nd editions of Digital Leadership. He has also contributed on education for the Huffington Post, sits on the advisory board for many innovative companies, and was named to the NSBA "20 to Watch" list in 2010 for technology leadership. TIME Magazine also identified Eric as having one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds in 2014. He now presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders to embrace and effectively utilize technology. His blog, A Principal's Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2013 and 2011 by Edublogs. It was also recognized with an Editor's Choice Content Award in 2014 by Smartbrief Education.Eric began his career in education as a Science Teacher at Watchung Hills Regional High School where he taught a variety of subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Ecology) and coached several sports (ice hockey, football, lacrosse). He then transitioned into the field of educational administration as an Athletic Director/Supervisor of Physical Education & Health and Vice Principal in the New Milford School District. During his administrative career, he has served as District Affirmative Action Officer and was the president of the New Milford Administrator's Association. During his tenure as high school principal he successfully implemented numerous initiatives including a new teacher evaluation system (McREL), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), oversaw Common Core implementation, and initiated a new grading philosophy. Eric received his M.Ed. in Educational Administration from East Stroudsburg University, B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University, and his B.S. in Marine/Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.


Sheninger's Digital Leadership, second edition is straight from the heart of practice and it shows. Well advanced and consolidated from the first edition, more than anyone else Sheninger has integrated technology, learning, and change leadership. The seven pillars of learning are comprehensive. Leadership for quality implementation is captured beautifully. And the prominent positioning of efficacy and competencies nails impact. Digital Leadership is comprehensive for educators who want to advance learning with the latest know-how.

-- Michael Fullan, Author, Professor Emeritus
If you were not an inspired leader and advocate for technology before reading this book you will be by the end of it. As technology advances and becomes a way of being for students, Eric challenges school leaders not only to keep up but to excel. The book is thought provoking, encouraging, and most important practical for today's leaders. -- Dr. Russell J. Quaglia, Author, Executive Director

I'm glad to see that Sheninger revisits Digital Leadership for a second time. There is great value in the fact that Eric looked at this topic through a lens of efficacy during this revisit. He focuses on the fact that it's not that educators are resistant to technology, but that they often don't have the confidence to keep up with the changing nature of it all, and Eric presents us all with a way to do that.

-- Peter DeWitt, Author, Consultant
Digital Leadership is quite simply a tour de force of a book. It is timely, relevant, and essential reading for those leading educational change within a fast and furious digital world. The book is fundamentally about learning and pedagogy rather than software or hardware. It is a manifesto for change in a digital age and is fundamentally concerned with using technology to enhance the learning outcomes and life chances of all students. It is a must read! -- Professor Alma Harris, Head of the School of Education
This book will equip leaders to model the skills, competencies, and pillars of Digital Leadership like never before. One of the biggest misnomers of this generation is the idea that leadership is an act of knowing. The thing that's truly missing in many schools is modeling. Sheninger's Digital Leadership (2nd Edition) tackles the leadership gap head on by moving leaders from knowing the way to showing the way.

-- Dr. Brad Gustafson, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Digital Innovation in Learning Award Winner, and National Distinguished Principal

There can be a perceived hysteria when it comes to integrating technology into education, especially from a leadership perspective. As an administrator, I know how full our plate already is. This book helps simplify what YOU can do as a leader on your campus or in your district. The problem is our students today crave an environment that we struggle to provide. Sheninger provides a calming, thoughtful framework in Digital Leadership. Educators of all levels will benefit to his unlocking of a "solution" that combines where most districts are and where we should all strive to be. It is full of sound, relevant information that guides strategic thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and decision making-all to the benefit of the ones we serve. There are plenty of people lining up to offer up problems when it comes to how to lead in this digitally focused era, thankfully, we have Digital Leadership to help offer solutions.

-- Amber Teamann, Principal
I'm thrilled that Eric decided to put out a second edition of Digital Leadership. Since the first edition's release back in 2014, we've seen changes in the digital landscape due to advances in technology. As school leaders, we must continue to adapt to these shifts in order to lead sustainable and meaningful change in our schools. As a highly acclaimed educator, leader, writer and speaker, Eric has dedicated his career to providing pedagogical frameworks, practical ideas, and real life examples that he has gathered from practitioners in the schools in which he serves. Regardless of your role in schools, I am confident you will find this second edition applicable to your work and inspire you to want to shift your practices as you continue to evolve as an educator. -- Jimmy Casas, Educator, Author, Speaker, Leadership Coach
The role of a leader isn't to tell others what to do. It's to show them what they can become. The world of education doesn't change annually, it changes daily. The digital connection to how we lead is an ever-changing landscape and one all leaders need to knows how to navigate. Creating leadership capacity in others moves the whole system. Eric Sheninger not only provides a pathway to get there, but he also provides the connections to move forward. The intersection of ISTE standards, Future Ready Frameworks, and organizational change makes this a must read for leaders in a changing world. -- Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, Author and Superintendent
Five years ago, Eric Sheninger cemented the importance of digital leadership at all levels of a school district. In the time since the first book's release, the 4th industrial revolution has continued to accelerate changes on the outside of the school walls. To remain relevant throughout this evolution, school leaders must work to create the learning experiences today's modern learners need to thrive in their future workforce. In this second edition, Sheninger solidifies his leadership pillars, through a refined underpinning of evidence and research, to ensure efficacy and deeper learning experiences, while avoiding the low level fluff that has pervaded the education space. If you want to ensure a return on instruction and work to create schools that are future ready, this book will be a foundational support for your journey. -- Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation
Eric Sheninger has done it again! As I read through the second edition of Digital Leadership, it was clear to me that the title of the book alone tells a very "compelling story." Eric is not one who simply studied digital leadership and then started consulting on it-he walked digital leadership for years as a highly successful principal. He literally led his school digitally and resultantly the school experienced tremendous success. Through Digital Leadership, he has taken those strategies and infused them into this invaluable second edition. If you are in school leadership and you are looking for proven strategies toward successfully incorporating technology into your academic program, the second edition of Digital Leadership is your resource. -- Principal Baruti Kafele, Education Speaker, Consultant, Author

Educators like to read about the leadership journeys of others when approaching any change, especially when it comes to digital leadership. Eric Sheninger has provided current stories of trailblazing educators, including himself, together with essential research, to express the urgency of engaging today's students in preparing for the current industrial revolution of exponential technological change. It is unlike any other time in history when educational leaders must rise to the occasion to influence others with the tools to affect change in the way we approach "school".

-- Susan Borg, Corwin Author, Clinical Assistant Professor

A must have book! Digital Leadership, Second Edition thoughtfully presents the research and actions needed for leading a school culture to find relevancy and utility in the digital tools that ignite innovative learning and maximize achievement. Using illuminating explanations, engaging stories, and informative graphics the author presents steps to "prepare kids to do anything, not something."

-- Angeline A. Anderson, Independent Education Consultant

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