I was recently talking to an assistant superintendent about the issues facing her district (which were many). During our conversation, she said something that I had to quickly address. In her assessment of the district, she felt that if there were more technology in the classroom the academic performance issues in the district would quickly be solved. She believed that the root of the district’s ills could be found in the lack of student engagement and motivation. The cure – more computers. Instead of concurring (surprising from a Bootleg Technology advocate), I instead reminded her of the reality of the situation. The roots of the problem in the district are a haphazard use of a common scope and sequence, a weak common assessment program, unreliable classroom observation data, poor to non-existent leadership coaching, and low quality classroom instruction. In short – adult practice. Technology, bootleg or otherwise, is merely a tool that leverages adult practice to enhance student learning. I didn’t want to rain on the assistant superintendent’s parade, but the stakes are too high to lose focus on what is critical to student success. 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 5, 2012, as tabulated by the accountants at Price Waterhouse. 1. Working on helping my faculty understand any change in teacher behavior must occur before any meaningful change in student outcomes is seen. (By @blitzkrieg607) 2. If after reviewing your data you don’t quit something, add something or do something different, why would you believe things will improve? 3. Game On! is Moneyball for schools! (By @CabidaCain) 4. The reason why you post a closing product is so when you close the lesson you have proof of learning. But first you have to close the lesson! 5. Practicing research-based instruction provides us a moral high ground that establishes teachers as respected professionals in the community. (By @tlonganecker) 6. Either improve front line instruction or find a program to replace it. But doing nothing as students fail is darn near negligence. 7. I’m always a little skeptical of the successful school model that has entrance requirements for students. 8. Texas School Funding Formula Inequity: Districts rated Exemplary $6,580 per WADA; Recognized $5,751; Acceptable $5,662; Unacceptable $5,538 (By @DrJerryRBurkett) 9. Teach to the depth and complexity of the SE not to the test. The one constant is that the curriculum has not changed. (By @DrJerryRBurkett) 10. Simple Rigor Gauge: If students are not deconstructing, building, talking academically or writing critically – Rigor is low. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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