In case you are still trying to decide if bootleg technology should have a role in your class or on your campus during the upcoming school year, consider the following short list of benefits:

A. Many of the books and articles that are accessed though bootleg technology are now enhanced with more images, video and audio.  This can often makes the text more engaging for students.  In addition, the ability to increase/decrease font size and adjust contrast and brightness may increase readability for students with reading difficulties. Couple all of that with embedded (and shareable) note taking and highlighting capabilities and reading just became a much more active instructional activity.

B. Bootleg technology is lighter, more portable and stores more than a locker and backpack full of textbooks and notebooks combined.  And with the ability to email documents and save material in cloud servers, the “dog ate my homework” excuse may finally be put to rest.

C. Bootleg technology saves the district money.  No need to but classroom sets of graphing calculators, dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias.  All of that, and more, are now available as free apps.

The above is just scratching the surface of bootleg technology benefits.  And here is the best one of all. Bootleg technology will walk through the front door of the school at the beginning of the school year at no cost to you, your campus or your district.  It will be in pockets, purses, backpacks and lockers. All you have to do is let teachers and students pull it out and use it.

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 July 8, 2012.

1. Me, Starbucks and The Fundamental 5. Rereading it in preparation for the upcoming year. (By @kimbarker25)

2. The “assets effect”: @DanaGoldstein on findings that kids with a savings account are more likely to attend college (By @anniemurphypaul)

3. According to a Duke report, 40% of our daily actions are driven by habit. Based on my observations I’m surprised it’s that low.

4. “Problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts and the stupid ones are full of confidence.” (By @johnkuhntx)

5. It would be nice to spend billions on schools and roads, but right now that money is desperately needed for political ads. (By @BorowitzReport)

6. The self-contained classroom may be the most inefficient system constraint we place on elementary teachers.

7. Steve Snell: research shows for every ten minutes of teaching, kids need 2 minutes of interaction to process. Aka, Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk! (By @principalschu)

8. In general, adult comfort and student performance are inversely related. Student success is labor intensive, adult comfort is not.

9. “We’ve yet to find a disease where exercise isn’t helpful”—Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., Director of John Hancock Research Center, Tufts University (By @CooperAerobics)

10. Summer testing OVER! Finally can focus on improving instruction on campus through Fundamental 5 and PowerWalks. The new school year begins. (By @blitzkrieg607)

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! 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available 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: Livingston ISD Leadership Team Kickoff, Channelview ISD Leadership Team Kickoff, Bushland ISD Staff Kickoff, Canadian ISD Staff Kickoff, Highland Park ISD Staff Kickoff, Sunray ISD Staff Kickoff, Region 10 ESC Fall Leadership Conference (Keynote), Advancing Improvement in Education Conference (Multiple Presentations)