Hey! 1:1 Schools….check out this book!

In an interview with a couple that had been married for 70 years, the husband was asked what the secret to a long marriage might be. He said that in their marriage he made all of the big decisions.  And so far, there hadn’t been any big decisions.

Recently my wife, a Teacher on Special Assignment in a neighboring district, mentioned a book about which all of her TOSA colleagues were raving.  The book is Learning First, Technology Second: The Educator’s Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons by Liz Kolb

I take from the above successful marriage insight that a smart fellow listens to his wife. So I bought the book and started reading.

Holy cow.


If you are a district implementing a 1:1 program…do yourself a favor.  Have your leaders read this book.  Research based, common sense, practical, and instantly useful.

Here’s an early quote from the book;

“Over the past decade of the digital technology boom in schools, teachers and administrators have witnessed technology being used in superficial ways often enough to know that access to technology in and of itself is not a magic potion. Furthermore, empirical research has also shown that just putting technology into the hands of students does not guarantee improved comprehension of content or learning goals (Conoley, Moore, Croom, & Flowers, 2006; Schackow et al., 2004; Stein, Challman, & Brueckner, 2006, as cited in Filer, 2010). I don’t think educators would argue that technology is a tool that should help students reach their learning goals. In life, we don’t select a tool and then create a problem just so that we can use the tool; rather we select a tool to meet the needs of the problem.”

Intuitively we knew that just putting a device in a kid’s or teacher’s hand might raise the ‘engagement’ level.  It’s absolutely crucial to remember that good teaching practices don’t flee the building just because a kid or teacher has a device.  Good teaching practices are still the most important aspect of the teacher/kid interaction.

Two other strong quotes;

“Authentic engagement is not about using a specific technology tool; rather it puts the learning outcomes first and the technology choices second.”


“Teaching with technology is about the

learning first and the tool second.”





Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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