Bob Dylan, Meet Steve Jobs

Hilliard City Schools

Steve_Jobs_Headshot_2010-CROPHe wasn’t known for playing an instrument.

He didn’t go down in history as a great songwriter.

But, part of the legacy Apple founder Steve Jobs left behind was music.

Jobs transformed the music industry (at least, that is the gist of the caption under his photo holding an iPod at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – yes, the business genius has his own section in the esteemed venue).

Jobs didn’t define his world as computer exclusive. As educators, we could all benefit from this lesson.

October is Connected Educator Month, a well-timed reminder as we hit stride in the new school year to not settle into a pattern of isolation, but to consciously strive to view issues in education through multiple lenses.

The work we do is far too important to rely solely on our own expertise – we must continually seek opportunities to connect, challenge and reinvent. Our network of ideas, support and inspiration provide us strength when we are challenged. Our peers are no longer limited to the neighboring classroom; we have the potential of a global network.

As a district superintendent, I endeavor to connect with classroom teachers, I reflect on my time and experiences as a building administrator, and I engage our students to gather input from a learner’s perspective. Being connected also permits me to connect leaders in the areas of business, marketing, and higher education. Connections aren’t limited to educators … we are all learners.

At the Hilliard City School District, this type of engagement completely changed the conversation. It has transformed education for students from traditional classrooms into an Innovative Learning Center designed to personalize the educational experience of each child. Our students are connected to instructional opportunities designed for their own success and passion. These connections are within our community and across the world.

Education, like almost no other global institution, is bound by a common goal and purpose. Educators everywhere share a unifying passion – a passion to make the future better than the present. As an educational leader my connections inspire me to strive to be better, encourage me in times of frustration and enlighten me through shared experiences – providing the occasion to teach, share and model for those within our organization.

I encourage you to step outside the classroom, and to explore your community, your nation and the larger world to see how someone else is promoting positive change.

Make that connection; build your network; share your voice and listen to others.

Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have sat in the same classroom. Their paths were very different – but, in the end, when their worlds connected, the result was magic.

What legacy will you leave behind?

The only limit you have is the one you place upon yourself.

For Connected Educator Month, Superintendent John Marschhausen, Ph.D. was asked to submit this article for the blog Connected Principals. You can read the entry at