Keep Your Eye on the “Prize”

Since September 2009, I have been immersed (I mean really IMMERSED) in my studies at Fordham University’s Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy program. If you have been in a doctoral program, surely you have heard the statement – “Keep Your Eye on the Prize.” And, you probably know that “The Prize” comes in the form of that new glorious title – Ph.D. or Ed.D.

In what will be a very short blog post (I’m warming up), I want to reflect on this notion of “The Prize” and what I believe to be one of the single most important issues in education. It’s only been two weeks and so many have congratulated me and said things like…

Doesn’t it feel great to be done?

Doesn’t it feel great that you never have to take another class again?

What are you going to do with all of your free time?

Why did you even put yourself through that?

The truth is, I have great difficulty in answering these questions, simply because I don’t want to offend anyone. But, I find myself asking the question,

How can anyone be “done?”

Is there a point at which we arrive and there is no need to grow as a learner?

As I reflect again on this notion of “The Prize” I submit that we (higher ed and doctoral students) have had it wrong for so long! The prize happens to be the awesome JOURNEY, not the final destination.

That’s just one of the many reasons I love my personal learning network, because it creates a constant flow of new knowledge for me. In this way, every new discovery through my vast network makes me smarter, and when activity in these networks is sustained, and one is connected to smart people, you’re guaranteed to get a bit smarter.  As I approached my study, I realized that were a few unanswered questions out there.

What happens when a school principal takes charge of their learning using social media?

What is the essence of this experience for them as a learner?

And, through their leadership, how are principals transforming organizations?

My dissertation sought to tell a new compelling story of how social media is changing our world. As I reference in my study, this change is slow (I will need to dedicate at least 5 new blog posts to this slowness), but thanks to the few outstanding principals who are taking charge, we are ready to tell this new story.

I’ve been on a hiatus with my social media use, as I’ve been so buried in papers, formatting, scholarly journals and other readings. I was recently re-inspired by a conversation with George Couros (Principals of Change) last Friday and am committing my free time (that’s a joke) to my next chapter of learning, and sharing this learning as I embark on yet a new journey (after all, my wife is showing me up with her blog –

Therefore, I’ve decided to re-launch what was a pathetic attempt at a blog in 2007-2008 to share my “new” reflections. A good starting point for me, and perhaps my audience, is to slowly introduce the rather exciting findings from my study in hopes to communicate a this new and compelling story about how building principals are using social media to create the next generation learning organization.

The study’s findings were awesome! With this, I introduce the concept of “Accelerate Intelligence,” (AI) a term I coined in my fifth and final chapter of the dissertation to capture the essence of this research experience. A special thanks to George and the wonderful principals who are leading this movement.

To be continued…

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One Response to Keep Your Eye on the “Prize”

  1. Tony says:


    This is great! Thank you so much for sharing your latest blog post with me! As someone who is at the start of their doctoral studies (seems like a Herculean task at this point but that’s a whole other story), I am inspired by your reflection on the dissertation process and experience – I am really motivated! That’s heightened by the fact that I am considering a dissertation topic that relates to yours- I will have to pick your brain!


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