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

Schools and Disasters

Students_FirstToday I woke up to a Facebook post that mentioned a school in Rockport, Texas had been severely damaged from Hurricane Harvey.  My prayers go out for those teachers and students. (News story on Rockport School)

As a teacher, I remember when Hurricane Ike came in and took part of the roof off of my campus.  I lost books and materials that I’d personally purchased, my classroom was wet and heavily damaged, and while it was hard not to be a little angry, I realized my focus still had to be on the students.

Remember, it is ALWAYS students first.

For many kids the school is their safe place.  It is where they learn to be part of a community.  It is hard when you hear about the devastation of the building not to get caught up in the building, the stuff, the money, the bother.  Instead – think about the kids.

Faced with the devastation of a building, what do you do to let the students know that they will be OK?  How do you help them become a part of the rebuilding and keep them positive in the face of such a devastating event? These students will have lost their homes, their parents may be overwhelmed, what do we as a school community do to help our students?

How you answer those questions gives you insight on the climate and culture of your building.  Do you focus on the students, the staff, or the stuff?

During the rebuilding of IKE our district opened up school gyms so students had a safe place to play.  I remember our yards and streets were covered in debris so a safe place was needed to just let students remember the joy of play.

Teachers whose homes were destroyed were there for the kids – and when the world seems very unfair, that laughter of a little one playing with their friends helps make the world seem right again.hh

I pray for the communities in the path of this storm.  When Harvey is a thing of the past, I hope our schools can easily go back to focusing on the students – damaged or not.  It is always about the students.