This week, in the midst of conducting over fifty classroom observations (a normal occurrence), I realized something. There is a huge difference between traditional technology and bootleg technology. Traditional technology is expensive, intrusive and teacher–centric. Everyone gets expensive, but by intrusive I mean its use requires the subtraction of another activity (there are only so many minutes in the classroom). By teacher-centric I mean the teacher uses it, controls it, or manages nearly every aspect of student use. After all, the equipment and software is expensive and the activity better be useful because there is a lot of content for students to master in a very short amount of time. Bootleg technology is convenient, embedded and user-centric. With bootleg technology the teacher doesn’t have specifically plan for its use. It’s just there, used as a resource during the course of teaching and learning. Don’t know a fact, look it up. Need to remember an assignment, put it on your e-to-do list. Your buddy is absent, text him the assignment and remind him to get to school, etc, etc. I am the consummate student. I observe, collect analyze and report. Only my classroom is just the entire school. And now 75% of my work is done on my phone. I observe and collect raw data with my phone. I take notes on my phone. I look at the aggregated and disaggregated results of my data collection on my phone. I think about what I saw, what I wrote and how it all fits together and write a summary/analysis report with full color charts and graphs on my computer. But then I put that report in a cloud server or e-mail it to myself. Then from my phone, I present and share that report with others. If while doing so, if I notice a typo in the report I can make my edits with my phone. Your students have access to this same tool in their lockers, backpacks, purses and pockets right now. They are using this tool everyday between the hours of 3:00pm and 8:00am. It behooves us to figure out how to get that tool academically focused between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm. 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 February 12, 2012, as tabulated by the accountants at Price Waterhouse. 1. Ms. Stewart (Cottonwood Creek ES) shifted rigor from knowledge to application at the snap of her finger with small group purposeful talk. 2. Best 1-hour session I’ve attended in a long time… Thanks Sean Cain, you’ve already spurred great conversation among our administrative team. (By tlonganecker) 3. Further proof that IQ is fluid: Research indicates that an additional year of school is equal to 3.7 points. 4. Its ironic when we claim that “relationship” is critical for school success, yet we talk to students like they’re dogs throughout the day. 5. I propose a 5th R – Resiliency. The critical survival tool for all the kids that adults don’t want to build relationships with. 6. To not close the lesson because you don’t know to, is understandable. Because you choose not to, is inexcusable. 7. The problem with most plans is that the planner forgets that the World plays defense. 8. The teacher argument that the classroom is overcrowded rings hollow when 20-30% of floor space is devoted to teacher furniture. 9. Game On! Fever…catch it! (By @cheadhorn) 10. Anyone who claims to support job creation in Texas must support our public schools. Not Dem or Rep issue – it’s about the future of Texas plain and simple (By @SadlerTX) Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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  • Confirmed 2012 Presentations: Oklahoma Association of Middle School Principal’s Mid-Winter Conference; NASSP Conference; NASB Conference