I recently read an article addressing some of the problems associated with bootleg technology in the classroom. In the article a teacher points out that with I-Pads, students quickly get off task.  It seems that every time the teacher turns her back, the students start playing games on the device.

And there is the rub, bootleg technology is not the cure to poor teacher practice. In fact, the last thing a weak teacher needs is one more distraction in the classroom.  But sadly, most school policies and practices are designed to minimize problems instead of maximizing opportunity. This effectively insulates the suspect performer while simultaneously hampering those who are more skilled and creative.  The “No Bootleg Technology Use” policy is just one example of this. 

If you have struggling staff, work with them, coach them, make them better. That is what an instructional leader does.  But when you enforce a policy that is designed to cover up the real problem, you might be managing, but you aren’t leading.

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 August 5, 2012.

1. In the last 2 years…1,243 pieces of legislation added to “improve” education. How many actually funded? Just 2. (By @cheadhorn)

2. “High standards” folks don’t mind low standards of funding fairness. (By @johnkuhntx)

3. There is no substitute for experience. Problem is, experience gives you the test first and the lesson later. If you reflect enough to learn. (By @txschoolsupe)

4. Just walked through the Fun 5 Plans app! Wow! How convenient! Thanks for making common sense teaching EASY!! Fab Fun 5! (By @jenniferzsch)

5. Nice observation that our own ‪#nisdadmin2012 is implementing the Fundamental Five through our PD today. (By @cheryljhunt)

6. ‪@rufusotis following the Fundamental Five during PD. ‪#doingwhathepreaches (By @Tagurit72)

7. Being visible all over the campus is one of the most important things admin can do during the first days of school. (By @jachson_carrie)

8. It is easy to identify a problem. Be solution oriented! (By @NavySEALPTTest)

9. Drill and kill was very effective for TAAS, less so for TAKS, and will likely be of little use with STAAR. (By @txschoolsupe)

10. Never forget that the World plays defense. Prepare, but don’t fall into the trap of “planning paralysis.”

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: Comal 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 (Multiple Presentations)
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation