Posted in education, technology

#ETCoaches Book Study




Today the weather is super cold and miserable here is The Texas Gulf Coast.  John is busy working on getting things ready for our tax accountant, I, on the other hand, am bundled up with hot chocolate and a book!

Guess who is having a better day?!

I started reading the book Learning First, Technology Second by Liz Kolb.  This is part of a book study, hosted by ISTE, with Ed Tech Coaches around the world.  I have loved the ISTE book studies I’ve taken part of in the past as I get such a global perspective.  It is also one of the reasons I love the ISTE conference!

Today is day two of our “slow chat” on Twitter.  Essentially we have one question a day to answer.  I love that because it allows me time to think about my reading.

As I started the book yesterday, one thing really resonated with me.  As an educator, we talk a great deal about “framework.”  In #edtech we discuss SAMR, TPACK and TIM Frameworks.  All have some validity to them, but they didn’t hit the mark of the learning comes first.  Kolb introduces us to her thoughts on the Triple E Framework.

In my mind, this framework makes a great deal of sense to the educator because it closely resembles a Universal Design for Learning.  As we move forward to help personalize learning for students; giving them a variety of ways to learn and to express their learning, #EdTech coaches have to follow suit with a variety of possibilities, not just one way of doing things.


Triple E Framework
from Learning First, Technology Second


The tool must always match the goal, not the other way around!



from Learning First, Technology Second


I’ll post some of my thoughts and link to some of the quotes that resonate with me along the way.  If you are taking part in the study, then I look forward to learning with you.

If you are part of this book study with me, what are your goals?

Posted in education

Building School 2.0

I recently read the book, Building School 2.0.  The book is written with 95 essays on changes that should be made in education to help us meet the needs of every child.

I love the essays – they get you fired up and start you thinking.   How could this look in my school?  In my district? In my classroom?

What if a campus looked at their problem of practice, and asked teachers to pick and read just one of the many essays.  After teachers choose the essay that hits home with them, they make goals on how to improve their classroom.  Just a few baby steps here and there, nothing huge or grand, but progress.

Imagine if every campus did this – a few baby steps at a time, how a school would improve for each child.  How learning would improve across the board for all children.

Here is my Goodreads review of Building School 2.0


Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We NeedBuilding School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need by Chris Lehmann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good book with multiple essay-style chapters that bring to light some of the changes that need to happen in education. These essays do highlight the changes that need to happen to assure that we educate all children, and not just a few.

This book really fired me up to share with others, I can see this being a great read as a faculty. I’ll write more about that on my blog – but this is a great book to start discussions amongst educators.

View all my reviews

Posted in education

Thinking About Innovation



I spent much of the past weekend in the car reading.  As a little girl, I found long car rides to be some of my best reading time.  Lots of quiet, the humming of the tires on the road and the dream of the adventure ahead of me always lent itself to quiet reading and reflection.  Our trip from Galveston to South Louisiana was the perfect road trip to reread some of my favorite passages.

Unlike those trips from my childhood where I’d bring a large bag filled with heavy books, I carried my laptop.  Once Ebook readers like The Kindle became available, I quickly moved all of my professional reading from books, to EBooks.  I can read a variety of texts at one time, and now my favorite books snaps can easily be displayed both in the book and on my Twitter feed.  I sometimes wish I could meet the very first person who thought of putting books online for readers.  What an amazingly innovative idea.  Making books available to the world at the tip of our fingers.  Great idea.  The lower cost of books, the ease of purchase and the ability to borrow books from a virtual library have opened up a lot of possibilities for this reader.

My travels this week had me reflecting on innovation.  After all, this blog is about how I inspire teachers to be innovators so it is something I think about and something I help teachers foster in their classrooms.

What is innovation what it could be and how to make it happen?  I reread part of some of my favorite books on innovation in our educational system, reread some of the notes I have on innovation from schools I’ve been able to spend time in.  I’ve watched countless TED talks.  My pre-Turkey feast weekend has been focused on how to move from saying we need to innovate and help assure it happens.

In The Book Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner, he quotes a study how by the time our students are six that the school system has already squashed some of the curiosity out of our children.   I had to booksnap that quote.  While I’ve read it before, this time it really hit me.

How can an institution brought about to help our children prepare for their futures move past the limitations of the walls of a classroom and help foster that curiosity and innovation in our children?

That question is worth a great deal more reading and reflecting!  There will be more blog posts to come on this topic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Posted in education

#IMMOOC Building Conditions to Support Innovation

If you are new to my blog, I am taking part in an online course (IMMOOC) over the book, The Innovator’s Mindset.   This entry is my reflection on the reading and the answer to my blog question.

Assigned Blog Question:  How do you create or build on these conditions to support innovation? What has been the impact on those you serve?

This week’s blog challenge has helped cement my ideas on howfoundation a technology coach can help a teacher develop an Innovator’s Mindset.  As I ask teachers to take a risk, it is my job to take risks with them.

I really like the foundation graphic on the right,  creating meaningful learning experiences for educators really speaks to me.  Most of my day is spent in professional learning experiences.  Either simple training or more complex coaching.  These learning experiences help a teacher build their own road to innovation.

When our district first went 1:1, I made a sign for my office door. The sign said, “It is NOT about the device, it is about the learning” but I wonder if in my zeal to help teachers become more innovative, if I really practiced what I preached.

Relationships – Relationships – Relationships

If I want someone to take a leap, I have to be there to catch them if they need it. It is not about the device, it is about the people.  As those relationships grow, my role as a coach becomes more meaningful.

Also, when I look at relationships, I have to remember that it is important for me to stay networked. This includes my immediate work family, but also my PLN.  I’m very excited to go to ISTE this year to meet some of the other #IMMOOC members!

I have realized that it is not just the ideas that I might get, but the courage to step out and try something innovative.  I’m looking forward to going to ISTE and meeting some of these people face to face.

Later this week I’ll share my reflection on how an innovator’s mindset can affect students.

One of the fun things we did this week is to develop a MEME based on our learning for the week.  I really enjoyed making a Meme!



(Challenges for this week can be found here on the #IMMOOC Page)

Posted in education

Innovation is not about the stuff! #IMMOOC

th This week in our #IMMOOC  study  of the book, The Innovators Mindset, we were encouraged to reflect on critical questions for educators in Chapter Two.  As I started looking at the question it reminded me of a grad school project on my perfect school.    I pulled out that old “perfect” school, and found that my new perfect school was focused more on the staff  then the stuff.

Questions that resonate with me focus on recognizing the student’s passion and assuring that we’re focusing on the needs of each student.  Having a staff that focuses on what each student needs at that moment and what each student is passionate about is my perfect school.  In my perfect school students will create, innovate, fill safe to try, realize that if they falter the first time, they can try again. To be able to assure that students have all these things we need to make sure our teachers are resilient and have the grit to keep trying new things, realize that they must think about the students’ needs and not their teaching style.  We need innovative educational facilitators.


I want teachers who are leaders, willing to take a risk and do things that allow students to think and create.

Essentially, my new perfect school is very people focused.  Of course I want a great facility that supports innovation.  WIFI that never goes down – great computers – a world class library with databases filled to meet all student needs – flexible seating options -a performing art center –  a music wing – an art wing that celebrate the arts  – Science and Math labs that allow for creativity -an Agriculture Wing that grows the food our students eat at school everyday – engineering and robotics classrooms  – a culinary arts lab that will provide our school lunches – an AV program that creates news for our school and reports on the local news stations – A CTE program that provides students options for the future  –   a state of the art Makerspace and each student will go home with a computer and WIFI accessible to them at home.

As cool as all that “stuff” sounds – innovative educators are paramount!

8 Characteristics of The Innovator’s Mindset