Allerton Hill Blog

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Monthly Archives: May 2016

From the Podcast: Looking at Mississippi and Beyond

May 30, 2016

Today’s show touches on funding, equity, and resources in public schools and how socioeconomic status and zip codes are dictating the success of our students. Our guest is Dr. Denver Fowler, professor at the University of Mississippi, who has served as a coach, teacher, athletic director and administrator in P­12 settings for over a decade. He was named the 2015 State Assistant Principal of the Year in the state of Ohio and nominated for the National Assistant Principal of the Year. His research interests include ethics, leadership and research on the superintendency.

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.


Posted in Education, Podcast, Policy
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From Small Talk to Authentic Connections

May 27, 2016

Finding ways to make real connections and network authentically is an artform that takes practice, forethought and a bit of creativity. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your next conference and walk away with more than a pocket full of business cards.

1. Know what your objective is. Are you attending the conference to find new community partners? Are you interested in learning about new policy shifts or industry best practices? Are you looking for allies? Are you looking to make a job shift and putting out feelers? Knowing what you want to get out of the conference will help you prioritize your schedule and frame your conversations.

2. Attend as many events as you can. Immerse yourself in the culture of the event. Talk to people at dinner that you saw at the interesting panel earlier in the day. Recap, review and relate.

3. Think about what you have to give and not just what you want to get. Make a list of what experiences and skills you have to share with your fellow colleagues.

4. Small talk isn’t easy, especially in fish bowl scenarios like industry conferences. It’s okay to talk about non-industry related topics. Especially when you are at mingling-oriented events, feel free to talk about your hobbies and ask questions about theirs. Finding common interests will make your more memorable.

5. Volunteer and become more visible. Man the registration table, offer to distribute materials, host a cocktail hour. By stepping up, you make yourself more visible and more approachable.

6. Do your homework. If you are looking to impress someone at the conference, research what it is about them that impresses you. Comment on their most recent article, initiative or even Twitter post. Engage them with sincere flattery that will establish your connection.

7. Follow up. Don’t just hand over your business card and walk away. Follow new contacts on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn and email them a week after the conference with a follow up to your conversation. Remind them of what you talked about, link them to the article you mentioned and make a firm suggestion on how your work together.

Posted in Community Outreach, Leadership
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Use Crowdsourcing for More Creativity & More Support

May 25, 2016

We’ve all heard about crowdfunding — a way for individuals or organizations to raise money via small contributions from a large number of people, often done through internet-based platforms such as the popular Kickstarter, GoFundMe, IndieGogo and YouCaring. CrowdSOURCING uses the same concept but applies to collecting ideas, skills and other input.

(Side note: crowdfunding can be considered a subset of crowdsourcing for the purpose of this article, we are going to set aside fundraising.)

Wikipedia is an excellent example of crowdsourcing. Millions of users contribute to the growth of an ever-evolving online encyclopedia. Websites offer ways for artists, writers, designers and engineers to solve problems, create art and pool resources.

Why is crowdsourcing valuable?

Of course, crowdsourcing is the implementation of the age old adage of “two heads are better than one” many times over. More input means more creativity, more solutions, more support.

Crowdsourcing also creates personal investment. When people contribute their own ideas and talents — even if they aren’t used in the final product — they feel more attached to the project and will be more likely to promote it.

How can you harness the “power in numbers” strategy of crowdsourcing?

First, you probably already do! Any time you are collecting data, you are using crowdsourcing to gather multiple perspectives on one issue. Any time you hold a meeting to discuss a new campaign, you are crowdsourcing. Even the contact page on your website encourages crowdsourcing!

But there are more ways to crowdsource. Here are just a few ideas to get your staff, community and students involved.

Create a poster contest for upcoming campaigns. Have students contribute their own artwork for fundraising campaigns, blood drives and upcoming events.

Host a staff talent night. Students LOVE to see their teachers in a new light. A staff talent night guarantees a full house — and a full cash box if you charge entrance fees!

Use a mock presidential election to also gather input from your students. Add in a few opinion poll questions such as “What would make

Tap into the talents of your media & performance arts clubs to create videos for the school.

Challenge your computer science students to create or customize apps that can be useful to your

With a little creativity, you’ll be amazed at how much more creativity your crowdsourcing efforts can yield!


Posted in Campaigns, Community Outreach

From the Podcast: How to Guide Change and Make It Stick

May 23, 2016

This week’s show concerns several approaches to guide an organization through change. Our guest is Dr. Jenny Hooie, from Dynamix, a company that works to help organizations improve their workflow and navigate change. With Jenny, Carole explores how school districts can adapt and change with ease and transparency.

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.


Posted in Community Outreach, Podcast
Keywords: , ,

Original Content Is King

May 20, 2016

We’ve talked about where to find free images to use in social media and on your website, but sometimes the only image that will do is YOUR image. Having a readily available folder of professionally taken photos whose subjects span the variety of academic opportunities and extracurricular activities your districts offer is key. Use the photos to accompany posts promoting upcoming events and campaigns and to drive the emotional story of your school’s outreach.

Creating content daily doesn’t mean taking photos daily. Setting aside a week once or twice a year to focus on taking a stockpile of photos around the school is a great start. I suggest using a photo storage system that allows you to add multiple tags to to each photo to be able to find an appropriate photo quickly. Adding text to an image to add context and highlight one key message can be a good way to recycle images and to create instant connections. This will allow you to focus your creative design efforts on creating graphics for complex concepts and bigger picture campaigns.

Posted in Social Media, Technology
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Finding Images to Use in Social Media & on Your Website

May 18, 2016

An image is worth a 1000 words… and in social media terms, an image is worth an increase of 80% readership of your blog content and a 53% increase in engagement on social media.

Images help draw attention, simplify complicated concepts and re-enforce retention.

But if you are posting social media posts 2-4 times a day, how can you find enough quality images to use?

You cannot use any image that you find on the internet. Whoever took the photo owns the image — even if they haven’t noted this fact with a watermark or copyright notice. Copyright is an automatic right to content creators and does not require the author to file special paperwork. Using copyrighted work inappropriately can result in embarrassment, having your website/social media post removed for violations or even legal issues.

There are 4 kinds of rights applied to images. Understanding what these terms mean will help you avoid issues later.

Public Domain
These are images which are now able to be used by the public domain free of charge for any purpose due to their age (the copyright has expired) or the owner has released their rights.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons was created to allow photographers put their images online and dictate how they can be used. They are able to dictate whether the images can be used in other forums, whether they can be manipulated and what credit should be provided along with the image. It is important to read the attached CC license to the photo to understand the limitations placed on your use of the image. Most times, this requires requiring attribution including a link back to the photographer’s site.

Royalty Free
These images are available on stock image websites and the “free” aspect of the title doesn’t reflect the cost but rather that once you pay for the image (using either a subscription or pay-per-image model) you are free to use it as often as you’d like.

These images are also purchased but also include a limitation on the number of times they can be used without paying for more licenses.


Posted in Social Media, Technology
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From the Podcast: Helping Girls Navigate Childhood and Achieve Success

May 16, 2016

This week’s show discusses girls, experiences unique to girls, and the effect of these experiences on women. Our guest is Dr. Lisa Hinkelman, a professor at The Ohio State University and founder of the group, Ruling Our Experience (ROX), an evidence based empowerment program for girls.

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.


Posted in Community Outreach, Podcast
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YouTube in the Classroom

May 11, 2016

With so many options for accessing media in the classroom, it can be difficult to navigate where to find the best content and how best to present it. There are more than 80,000,000 videos on YouTube. Some are great for a laugh, some are great to inform and some are incredibly inappropriate. Performing blind searches in front of your classroom is an easy way to run into a dead end — or worse. So where should you start?

  • Sticking to reputable channels such as Ted-Ed, National Geographic and Khan Academy guarantees quality.
  • If you like to watch silly, political or other videos that might be deemed inappropriate for the classroom, use a separate YouTube login for the classroom to avoid malapropos recommendations from popping up on the screen.
  • Get to know advanced search options so you can filter videos by creator, narrow topics and dates.
  • Be creative. Find videos of writers reading their own work and use them as a writing prompt. Share different perspectives by finding multiple videos on the same topic. Bring history alive with archive clips.
  • YouTube playlists saved and shared with your students can help reenforce your lessons and allow them to watch the videos over again at home.
  • Have students make their own videos and tutorials to share in class.

How have you used YouTube in the classroom? Do your students bring you videos to share? What are some pitfalls you have discovered?

Posted in Social Media, Technology
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From the Podcast: A Roundtable Discussion on the November Elections & Education

The November Elections & Education / a roundtable discussion with Dr. John Marschhausen, Carole Dorn-Bell & Joel Gagne

May 9, 2016

This week’s show is a roundtable discussion with Joel, Carole, and John Marschhausen, superintendent of Hilliard School District, about education and the upcoming Presidential election in the United States.

“It’s a civil rights issue.” — John Marschhausen, on education & socioeconomics

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.


 Visit the We Love Schools Podcast Website »

Posted in Campaigns, Podcast
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Planning for the Transition from High School to College

Allerton Hill Consulting podcast on transitioning from high school to college with Elizabeth Probst

May 2, 2016

This week’s show focuses on the all important question of what college to attend and the factors that go into making that decision. We welcome Beth Probst, from At the Core, an organization that was founded to help serve students as they prepare to make important decisions that surround their transition from high school to the future.

To SUBSCRIBE to our podcast via iTunes, click here.


Posted in Education, Podcast
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