Eric Sheninger is the Principal at New Milford High School, and he is on a mission. He is in the trenches working tirelessly to improve the education of every single student that walks through the doors of NMHS. And his weapon of choice is “technology.” We’re talking the internet of course, but also SKYPE, Facebook, and even Twitter. His innovations as an administrator have been so successful that he has been singled out by the National School Boards Association as one of their “Twenty People to Watch” in the coming years.
Take the time to check out the “digital portfolio” on his website at www.ericsheninger.com to see the ways technology is being used to improve learning at New Milford.
The website began as a joint effort between himself and a company called Allofek12. A representative of the company contacted him after reading a blog he had written discussing branding in education. They formed a partnership and, as a result, they have been developing a brand presence for New Milford High School and Principal Sheninger himself. His website is constantly changing, and he says he is very happy to be involved with Allofek12.
According to Sheninger the website has been extremely rewarding in several ways. He has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents in his school district, and that has encouraged him to embrace technology and use it as a tool to become an educational leader. To him, the site is a window on the many technology related improvements being implemented at his high school. The site also serves as a resource and model for improving communication, inspiring students, inspiring teachers, and engaging the community.
He says the website has allowed him to be “extremely transparent” in his role as Principal, and has provided an avenue for him to establish “his vision of 21st century leadership in education.” At a time when many school administrators see cell phones and Twitter as distractions to education, Sheninger sees them as powerful tools for communication with students, parents and the community.
One of Sheninger’s favorite things to post are articles about the many successes of students at New Milford High. “These types of posts get the most traffic,” he said, “because they are authentic models of innovation, and they provide a glimpse into how we are preparing our students.”
Mr. Sheninger is also a strong proponent of social media. He joined Twitter in March of 2009, his Twitter name is NMHS_Principal. He has used Twitter to establish what he calls a PLN — a Personal Learning Network. He is consistently sharing his resources, ideas, news, answering questions and providing feedback.
EricSheninger.com is a great resource with a lot of tools. As a former teacher myself, I know that school districts often filter educational websites – preventing valuable, worthwhile material from being viewed in the school setting. I wish every administrator would take a look at the video posted on EricSheninger.com. He talks about his concept of using social media to encourage and motivate students. Students need to be prepared for the 21st century and Mr. Sheninger is a leader in addressing issues that these students will face when they graduate from high school. Mr. Sheninger is seeking change and moving education in a new direction. That’s why Principal Sheninger is also on The Tutoring Solution’s list of “People to Watch.”
For more information about Eric Sheninger, visit his website, www.ericsheninger.com or read a previous post written by me about Eric Sheninger: the Principal of New Milford High School, http://thecatutoringsolution.com/359/an-interview-with-eric-sheninger-principal-at-new-milford-high-school/