Make Room for Innovation

By Jennifer Klipp
May 2015, Volume 38, Issue 9

“Professional development is not just happening at the office anymore.”

“These tools need to be viewed as a timesaver, not as an extra. We need to work quicker and smarter.”

These are just two of the powerful statements made by Joe Mazza and Don Jacobs in their recent NAESP webinar on how school leaders can effectively use social media tools. With a two-minute timer set for each mini-presentation, Mazza and Jacobs sailed through a collection of practical tools—sharing not only the names, but also practical advice for how to put them to work for you every day.

From Voxer to Periscope and Pinterest to Feedly, participants received a bird’s eye view of the tools, including a brief overview of how to set up and use the tool. Armed with a basic knowledge, participants were encouraged to choose one or two that would be most practical for their individual settings. For example, while MixLR offers an efficient way to record meetings and make the audio available to absent faculty members, Voxer provides a “walkie-talkie” communication option. Periscope opens up a whole arena for live streaming and could be used to replace the standard parent/teacher meeting attendance format.


Other tools, such as Pinterest and Instagram, open a whole new arena for quick, efficient, and effective communication and social bookmarking. No longer can a lack of communication or connection be justified. Mazza and Jacobs also addressed the importance of leaders consistently exposing themselves and their faculty to professionals—something that can easily be done using the tools presented.

The landscape of educational leadership is on the move, and these two professionals encouraged participants to think out of the box and work smarter. So true to reality, they described how leaders’ begin their day: like human cannonballs being shot out of a cannon as they are met with questions even in the parking lot and deal with multiple issues long before even reaching their office. There is no time for inefficiency. The tools presented in this webinar provide a support structure to help leaders push through the noise to focus best on what really counts and do what they do best: lead.

Explore these topics and others at #NAESP15 Innovations Lab, a featured event at the Best Practices for Better Schools Annual Conference in Long Beach, California. Mazza and Jacobs will be leading sessions on topics such as Twitter 101/102, social media to engage families, and podcasts for #Edleaders.

Jennifer Klipp is assistant principal at Bob Jones Academy, Elementary School, in Greenville, South Carolina.

Copyright © 2015. National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP’s reprint policy.