A recent survey reports what is becoming increasingly obvious; students are using bootleg technology as they work on their homework. Away from school, the use of smart phones and tablets is encroaching on the use of laptop and desktop computers. 

Not surprisingly, students reported that they were more likely to use their bootleg technology to complete their academic tasks at home than they were at school.  That’s on us, the educator.  Older generations are much slower to adapt new tools than younger generations, so as school leaders we must keep encouraging our staff and peers to adapt and grow. 

Buried in the report was an interesting finding, which I believe has practical and powerful implications.  Hispanic and African American students report higher usage of bootleg technology to complete their schoolwork than white students.  White students rely more on laptop and desktop computers.  So what does this mean? Two things:

1.     Bootleg technology availability is less a factor of SES status than any of us (middle class educators) believe. 2.     As computing becomes increasingly app based, bootleg technology may become a primary tool in decreasing achievement gaps.  In fact, those students who traditionally have less may be able to navigate faster and more successfully on bootleg devices than the traditional “haves” due to greater exposure and familiarity. 

This means that the wholesale practices of disallowing and discouraging the use of bootleg technology in classrooms could very well be a real, yet inadvertent, discriminatory practice. Since this is not the intent of any educator that I know, let’s fix this.    

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 December 2, 2012.

1. Congratulations to LYSer, Raul Nuques. He is the new Director of Special Education in Austin ISD! Who will be next?

2. In an elementary class, kid pukes, wipes his mouth and keeps working. Not hygienic but I admire his focus.

3. You’ve got to write a lot to learn how, but many kids are not writing more than a paragraph of text in school. (By @anniemurphypaul)

4. Education needs to become a priority in Texas again. We need to grow business but not at the expense of schools, roads, and health care. (By @DrJerryRBurkett)

5. Was at Rutherford this morning and saw excellent examples of framing the lesson. Teacher said it helped her and students to stay focused. (By @LindaHenrie1)

6. Teachers at Sanger MS will receive copies of Fun 5 tomorrow. Excited to see increased time in the “Power Zone.” (By @dsteeber)

7. 4th graders show up to flag football Super Bowl in limos… How many of those parents will send them to school in limos on the day of the STAAR test? (By @ cheadhorn)

8. Politicians and pundits can save themselves a lot of time trying to identify problem with education by just looking in the mirror. (By @ cheadhorn)

9. Texas ranks 48th among all states in public education spending, spending on average $8,654 per pupil–Thank you Mississippi and Louisiana! (By @tgrierhisd)

10. Expert testifies that Texas underpays teachers & that is impacting teacher quality. In other breaking news, water is wet.

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: North Dakota Principals Association Conference (Keynote Speaker), TASSP Assistant Principals’ Workshop (Featured Speaker), American Association of School Administrators Conference (Multiple Presentations), National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations), Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (Multiple Presentations)
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation
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