How To Become An Education Entrepreneur: The Top 5 Voices You Need To Follow
Dr. Scott McLeod currently works at the University of Colorado Denver. He started his education career as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Schools. In addition to being a professor, he also served as the Director of Learning, Teaching, and Innovation for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa.
He is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and one of the nation’s leading academic experts on school technology leadership issues.
McLeod’s work focuses on the intersection of two rarely connected scholarly worlds: P-12 school leadership and digital technologies. He is one of a very small number of educational administration professors who explores the leadership implications that accompany schools‘ deployment of instructional and operational technologies. He’s written over 170 articles and is one of the most visible education professors in the United States due to his social media presence. He was one of the co-creators of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens), and has received numerous awards for his technology leadership work. He blogs regularly at Dangerously Irrelevant.
McLeod is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only university center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. CASTLE has served as a national focal point over the past decade for leadership issues related to P-12 school technology.
Also, he was one of the pivotal figures in Iowa’s grass roots 1:1 computing movement, which has resulted in over 220 school districts (two-thirds of the state’s districts) providing their students with powerful learning devices. With the help of some excellent partners, he also launched both the annual Iowa 1:1 Institute and EdCampIowa, the nation’s largest EdCamp event.
Why you should follow McLeod
McLeod is on a mission to help schools be less boring and more relevant. McLeod claims, “The world outside of schools is changing much faster than the world inside of schools. This innovation gap will be the defining story of P-12 schools over the next few decades. We need our learning spaces to focus more on deeper learning, greater student agency, more authentic work, and rich technology infusion.”
He continues, “Through my writing and online spaces, I try to share my own thinking and resources – and those of others – in order to help school leaders and policymakers think differently about and act upon these needed transformations.”
McLeod’s advice for potential edupreneurs: Be authentic and create more value than you consume
Any educator can be an edupreneur. We now have numerous examples of classroom educators, principals, media specialists, technology integrationists, and other educators who have initiated innovations within their local classrooms, building, or school systems. By sharing their work publicly, they have found a multitude of ways to share and scale that work through blogs, Twitter, and other social media channels.
Some of those innovations have even resulted in published books, commercial products, or full-blown companies. These educators are models for the rest of us. If the desire and sweat equity are both there, amazing things are possible.
Find your network. The people who care about and are interested in furthering your initiative are out there. Social media makes it fairly easy to find them. Once you are a trusted voice and a valued contributor to relevant communities, then you can start leveraging those connections and shared idea spaces to move forward. There are no quick and easy paths to success, but people are willing to help you if you’re authentic, and if you create more value than you consume.
Where to follow McLeod