A LYS Superintendent shares the new Bootleg Technology initiative in his district (the 31st poorest in Texas). DATELINE: SPLENDORA ISD Many of our students are digital natives—meaning they have never known a life without technology. Our students live in a world of Google, Apple, and Yahoo. But too often the only place they are not free to use their natural skills in technology is in the classroom. If we as educators truly believe Splendora ISD is preparing our students to be productive in the 21st century workplace, we must open up more opportunities for our students to be exposed to technology on a daily basis in our classrooms. Splendora ISD began this journey three years ago with the implementation of a one-to-one laptop program for all students in our college programs (Early College, Dual Credit, and CTE). The following year all certified staff were provided with a laptop. The idea being that our staff would be expected to use and be role models for our students and bring more technology into the everyday classroom. Our next phase will begin in January 2012. A pilot program for sixth graders will be implemented that allows students to use a district-provided smart tablet. The tablets will be used for 21st century learning opportunities. We recognize that mobile devices today play a significant role in our students’ lives. We want to incorporate these devices into our classrooms, change the way our teachers teach, and give our students the opportunity to explore, collaborate, and develop skills that are necessary to succeed beyond the classroom. By August 2012, we will expand the pilot program and allow 7th-12th graders to bring and use their own devices (laptop, netbook, cell phone, tablet, etc.). With fewer resources and dwindling budgets, and by allowing students and staff to bring their own devices, the district leverages its technology in a cost-effective manner. Additionally in the 2012-2013 school year, Splendora ISD will offer a filtered wireless network (Wi-Fi) on all campuses. Students will be expected to connect to the filtered Splendora ISD public Wi-Fi for educational purposes and exhibit digital responsibility. Learning about and being held accountable for the responsible use of either district-owned or personally owned electronic devices is an important part in preparing students to be successful in the future. We also plan to convert our libraries to electronic checkout by August 2012. In other words, we will allow our students and community members to checkout books electronically using our e-readers or their own. Technology is integral to student achievement. It is time to embrace what you, as parents, may have already provided for your children, and by the District providing a filtered Wi-Fi network, the District can partner with you to provide students with the best academic resources available. Splendora ISD will always strive to provide the best learning environment for our students and staff. Initiatives such as Bring Your Own Technology and electronic libraries are only the first step in our journey to continuously provide opportunities for digital natives (students) to compete and succeed once they graduate from Splendora High School. When the 31st poorest school district in Texas embraces Bootleg Technology, what exactly are you waiting for? A number of you in the LYS Nation are now using your own bootleg technology devices to follow Twitter. If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us. To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of January 22, 2012, as tabulated by the accountants at Price Waterhouse. 1. Tablet and e-book ownership nearly doubled during holiday season. (By @PrincipalDiff) 2. I’m visiting classrooms now. The improvement in engagement when the teacher is in the Power Zone is astounding! 3. The Closing Product is not the lesson activity. It is formative proof of learning. 4. BRILLIANT: One stereotype we have not been able to break in the United States is that ‘faster is smarter’. (By @anniemurphypaul) 5. Without deliberate practice, even the most talented individuals will reach a plateau and stay there. (By @anniemurphypaul) 6. In my experience, those who hate failure generally beat those who love success. 7. “Where we say something is as important as what we say”. Wisdom from Sean Cain of Lead Your School about being in the Power Zone. (By @principalschu) 8. Just finished a promo video for my ESC 16 Leadership Conference keynote presentation. Can’t wait to meet with the LYSers in the Panhandle! 9. Senator puts teachers, police officers, and fire fighters in the 1 percent. (By @eschoolnews) 10. Vouchers are education welfare for millionaires. (By @johnkuhntx) Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/4ydqd4t
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation
  • Get the Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan App at the App Store – Fun 5 Plans
  • Upcoming 2012 Presentations: Oklahoma Association of Middle School Principal’s Mid-Winter Conference; Region 16 ESC Leadership Academy (Keynote Address); NASSP Conference; NASB Conference