If you and your classroom / campus / district are to begin embedding the use of bootleg technology during instructional activities, from a policy/procedure perspective you must consider three things:

1. Preventing harm to students 2. Protecting the district’s network 3. Preventing disruption to the educational process

In doing so, we know that the following two policies are not realistic:

A. No one uses any technology, ever.


B. Anyone can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants to.

Which means that the answer, as you go forward, lies somewhere in the middle.  What I recommend is the following:

Understand that the advances in technology hardware, software, connectivity and portability are progressing at a rate faster than that of school bureaucracy.  Which means that your brand new technology policy is already out of date.  Therefore, technology and use policies need to be reviewed and revised annually, at minimum.  Summer is the perfect time to do this.

Understand that technology will be misused and abused.  Expect this.  Monitor and enforce with reasonable consequences.  Realize that for many, “getting over on the man,” is a game.  What these “gamers” are doing is showing you the weaknesses in your system.  Don’t get mad, fix your system.  This fix usually entails regular checks, monitoring and adults just paying attention to what students are doing.

Learning requires the risk of failure.  With bootleg technology, if you remove all the risk, you remove the opportunity to learn. If you ignore the risk, the fallout from unattended consequences can be devastating.  If you manage the risk, the positive effect on instruction can be exceed your expectations.

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 15, 2012.

1. Congratulations to LYSer, ‘Bake’ Baker. He is the new principal at Livingston HS! Who will be next?

2. Congratulations to LYSer, Annette Villerot. She is the new Assistant Superintendent in Comal ISD! Who will be next?

3. Just gave my wife the Fundamental 5 to peruse; she’s a curriculum director for an Indiana district. Get her on board. (By @patriot_teacher)

4. @LYSnation has turned around literally hundreds of school with Common Formative (Non-Graded) assessments! (By @tra_hall)

5. I wish principals would spend as much time thinking about next year’s instruction as they spend thinking about next year’s theme.

6. Quotes I’ve never heard: “What really made a difference in student performance this year was our theme.”

7. My rule with late work was that the student policy should be the same as the staff policy. If Teachers could turn in paperwork late, so could the students.

8. You have to experience adversity to experience success. No Fear! (By @NavySEALPTTest)

9. The platform of the Texas Republican Party opposes teaching critical thinking skills to students. (By @anniemurphypaul)

10. Having dinner with three of the big brains in elementary education, Barbara Fine, Lesa Cain and Becky Koesel. I’m getting smarter by the second!

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/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook
  • 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)
  • Upcoming 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), American Association of School Administrators Conference
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation