Recently, I was talking with some school leaders and our conversation turned to bootleg technology.  The concern of the group was that many teachers seemed to be missing the point. The point being that bootleg technology isn’t there as a substitute for something we already do, it should be used to enhance and supplement classroom activities.  The best example being when these campus administrators would visit a classroom and observe students simply reading text on an e-reader, instead of using the e-reader to take better notes, or to chat with other students about the ideas they are exploring, or to do some other exciting thing.

I think their concerns are both valid and invalid at the same time.  The concerns are valid because low rigor / relevance activities with bootleg technology seem to be a significant waste of opportunity.  And if this is always the case, that would be correct.  However, during the course of the day, there are numerous peaks and valleys in the rigor / relevance of instructional activities.  The presence of bootleg technology does not and will not change this.  Also, the use of bootleg technology is in its infancy.  Just like the requirement of learning to crawl, before you walk, before you jog, before you run – for most teachers, the embedded use of bootleg technology in the classroom will progress thru stages.  

As school leaders, what we have to remind ourselves is that the early rewards of bootleg technology use may seem inconsequential next to the initial risks and investment it took to get it into our schools. But the power and promise of bootleg technology is that of compound interest, not flashy nor overly complicated, simply relentless and ever expanding.

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 May 6, 2012.

1. Leadership 101: “Awareness” is not “implementation”

2. School districts need to do a better job of informing employees about school funding issues. Many teachers still don’t understand. (ByDrJerryRBurkett)

3. “Austerity” is a word said mainly by people with a full stomach. (By @BorowitzReport)

4. Teachers will take an interest in school funding when their job is affected. Meanwhile, they still vote against their own self-interest. (By @DrJerryRBurkett)

5. You don’t “program” your way out of instructional issues. You “practice” your way out of them.

6. If as a profession we don’t vote, and vote for those who support public education, we only have ourselves to blame.

7. Texas pays Pearson $468,000,000 for 5 year contract. (By @symphily)

8. Reviewing some stats that show that Charter Schools perform worse than traditional schools. Study didn’t address the fact that the student populations aren’t the same.

9. We just discovered the Fundamental 5 through #schoolchange.  So great! (By @CoopArtistsInst)

10. Found out that for today, our book “The Fundamental 5” (by Cain and Laird) is the 3rd best-selling education theory book on Kindle!!! Thank you LYS Nation!

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!
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool)
  • Confirmed 2012 Presentations: TASSP Conference (multiple sessions); Region 10 ESC Fall Leadership Conference (Keynote)