Eric Sheninger, the High Tech Principle
The Internet is quickly becoming an integral part of education as advances in technology allow teachers to strengthen and expand their lessons with the numerous resources available to them online. Social media, online learning and an endless wealth of information all contribute to broadening the scope of traditional lessons. Furthermore, as the Internet becomes more and more important to everyday life, students are becoming increasingly literate in using online tools. Because of this, educators are making an effort to become Internet savvy themselves and are learning how the web can benefit their students.
One of these online masters in education is Eric Sheninger, the principal of New Milford High School in Bergen County, New Jersey. He began his career in education as a science teacher, teaching biology, chemistry, marine biology and ecology, as well as coaching several sports teams. He went on to become an athletic director/supervisor of physical education & health, vice principal and, later, principal in his New Milford School District.
Eric’s work integrating technology into the classroom has gained a lot of attention as one of the foremost examples of how teachers can and should become online masters in education. According to his website, Eric is “passionate about establishing and fostering learning environments that are student-centered, collaborative, flexible and prepare all learners to succeed in the 21st century.” To do this, Eric uses social media and web 2.0 technologies to engage with students and help his teachers grow professionally.
Twitter is one of his primary resources, which he encourages his teachers to use in facilitating discussions, connecting with parents and promoting learning beyond the classroom. He speaks at numerous conferences and panel discussions about the importance of technology in the classroom, helping others become online masters in education. He is also a co-creator of the Edscape Conference, an innovative gathering of educators from across the country who are committed to adapting to the changing landscape of education by engaging with their students through technology. He keeps a blog called A Principal’s Reflections, writes for the Huffington Post and is the author ofCommunicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals.
Eric has received various accolades and recognition for his important work as an innovative leader in educational technology. He is a Google-Certified teacher and was named to the NSBA “20 to Watch” list in 2010. In addition, he is a 2011 ASCD Annual Conference Scholar, 2012 NASSP Digital Principal Award recipient, Learning Today Blogger of the Week and is featured in Tech & Learning 100@30. His blog earned him the 2011 Edublog Award for the Best School Administrator Blog (for which he was the first runner up in 2010) and has been named one of the 40 Most Trusted Education Blogs of 2011.