MC Innovations Lab

On Expanding EdCamp Leadership

Posted by Joe Mazza

Sep 12, 2014 12:53:31 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

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

Hearing Voices… A Reflection on Social Media and the NAESP Annual Conference

Posted by Eric Bernstein

Aug 12, 2014 10:06:22 AM


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Topics: social media,, Conferences, Voxer,

Lessons from #NAESP14: The PLN = PD

Posted by Tony Sinanis

Jul 17, 2014 2:03:00 PM

There it is… The PLN = PD… And for those of you who don't know what the letters stand for here it is… the Personal Learning Network equals Professional Development! My words of wisdom… My profound moment for the day. Done!

Ok… so this may not be too profound and not so wise because most of you reading this probably realized this idea a while ago but this was crystalized for me over the last couple of days while at the National Association of Elementary School Principals (#NAESP14) Conference in Nashville. NAESP '14 was my first presentation at a national conference – needless to say, I was beyond excited and totally nervous. I was fortunate to be invited to speak on the Power of Branding and the importance of telling your school story (check out the resources from that presentation here). Don't get me wrong – I have presented on this topic before but never on a national level. Furthermore, the presentations I had done in the past were never really that “fun” for me (let alone the attendees) and I never felt like I hit the “sweet” spot were the overall experience was not only powerful but that people left the room inspired to try something new. That all changed over the last couple of days.

<- #NAESP14 Social Media Lounge Ambassador Team

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Topics: Leadership, social media,, Conferences, NAESP, PLN,

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

Posted by Martha Richmond

Jul 1, 2014 1:46:00 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,

Lessons from Alaska: The SAMR Model

Posted by Jennifer Botzojorns

Jun 16, 2014 11:14:00 AM

Last year a University of Pennsylvania @MCDPEL group traveled to Helsinki to study education in Finland. Two weekend ago, three members of this group, Joe Mazza, Martha Richmond and I had the opportunity to attend the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) Spring 2014 Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

Our goal at this conference was to share understandings from last year, but also to learn from others from around the world -- Australia, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Guam, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, and many other countries.  Workshops spanned a variety of topics from Creating a Learning-Scape to Explore Digital, Social, and Mobile Media, designing MOOCs and Bridging the Digital Divide.

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Topics: Leadership, International Program Travel,, technology integration

MCDPEL Perspectives: Alaska's Statewide Youth Suicide Efforts

Posted by Joe Mazza

Jun 10, 2014 10:28:00 AM

1,130,192 = # of calls answered by a Careline number (emergency call center) throughout US in 2013


Following #HETL14 in Anchorage, AK, a MCDPEL study team of Jennifer Botzojorns (Cohort 11), Marty Richmond (Cohort 4) and Joe Mazza (Cohort 9) were lucky to meet and visit with Barbara Franks at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The team aimed to learn about ANTHC efforts to provide suicide prevention awareness and education to Alaska natives. Barbara's son Ron Whitcraft died by suicide at the age of 23. Shortly after she lost her husband to cancer. Listen to her story and how she is now taking an active role to prevent youth suicide during the team's one hour interview below via Soundcloud. 

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Topics: Network Outreach,, International Program Travel,, Youth Suicide,

Saturday Commons: New Nat'l FCE Framework Revealed by USDOE

Posted by Joe Mazza

Apr 14, 2014 12:18:00 PM

During the Saturday, 4/12/14 Saturday Commons, we discussed the new National Family & Community Engagement Framework rolled out by Dr. @Karen_Mapp (Harvard GSE) during last week's National FCE Conference in Ohio. U.S. Secretary of Education @ArneDuncan introduced the new Framework using the following video: 

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Topics: Leadership, Family & Community Engagement (FCE), Saturday Commons

Archive: MCDPEL Partners w/ ASCD to Discuss Leadership Implications to Whole Child/Whole Teacher

Posted by

Mar 20, 2014 7:10:00 PM

Earlier today, the MCDPEL host it's monthly #pennedchat Twitter conversation in partnership with ASCD's Whole Child Initiative. The conversation took place from 8:30AM-9:30AM EDT, immediately following the weekly #satchat conversation, previously hosted at MCDPEL last month. For those not on Twitter, many followed the conversation at

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Finding a larger audience, social media implications for higher-ed

Posted by Joe Mazza

Mar 1, 2014 7:11:00 AM

Mark Hoffman is the Assistant Executive Director for Educational Services at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (@BucksIU22) and current MCDPEL doctoral student. He was in attendance for MCDPEL's LIVE Global #SATCHAT in mid-February. Here are a few of Mark's takeaways.

Our professors had just upped the ante. They informed us that the next two assignments would be written for and shared with the entire class. In other words, we were no longer writing for just the two of them. In addition, they told us that the writings would be aggregated into a single document for easier distribution and that work would serve as the basis for ongoing classwork; there would be no other assigned readings. In short, we were now tasked with writing our course textbook. While there may have been some initial sense of apprehension or insecurity, I would argue that this experience serves as one of the greater unifying forces in our time together as a cohort of learners. While we had been together as a group of students for some time, exchanged in hundreds of hours of conversations, shared countless inside jokes, and bonded over our shared adventure in higher education, we had never actually shared our academic work with each other. How ironic.

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Topics: Leadership

PAESSP President Talks Future of Ed/Leader Preparation Programs

Posted by

Feb 24, 2014 11:02:00 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