Educated By Design

It took me a little over a week to read this book, and I am already revisiting it. 

Such a great book, especially for those teachers and students who say they are not creative. 

5 out of 5 stars. 



Aloha, EdTechTOSA

This is how it ends. Budgets get prioritized. Spreadsheets get adjusted. Cabinet decisions happen. Board policy does whatever it does. And, then the TOSA funding disappears. 

Well, it's not quite that simple. I knew my Tech TOSA position was a temporary thing. 

"All we are is dust in the wind, Dude."

Talking with attendees at Fall CUE and Spring CUE, this seems to be a trend across numerous districts in California. Maybe that's confirmation bias. Maybe it's just anecdotal evidence. Maybe it's purely coincidental. I'm no scientist. I am an Instructional Technology Coach, or TOSA. At least, I was for four years. 

On several occasions, I joked with my supervisor (the Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction) that I'd teach my way out of a job if do it properly. Meaning, I'm not just helping students learn technologies and using technologies to learn in new ways...I'm arming the teaching staff with digital tools, as well. 

Building Capacity

That was the big push before SEL. Don't get me wrong. SEL is a useful and powerful strategy. It needs the funding. I also know that district priorities shift. Learning goals change. Outcomes get realigned. 

It was a good four-year run as a TOSA. To be fair, I did ask the question in my interview ~four years ago, "How long will you fund this TOSA position?" The answer was three years for sure, and possibly four. And, here we are. 

But, what does it mean? 

It means that I'll be somewhere, doing something in the education field next year. At this point, I'm not sure exactly what that looks like. However, I'm optimistic. The bigger issue for me right now is deciding what to do with all this digital portfolio stuff and social media. 

One thing I do need: a total rebrand. I don't mean that in an Instagram influencer, social media evangelist kinda way. I just need to create an identity that sticks across platforms and is not tied to one job or one district. 

I really need to shy away from titles [see previous post]. I need to focus on building my own capacity. So, like any good planner, I reviewed Sun Tzu's Art of War and then I made a to-do list. 

Currently working on:   
  • Laying Plans 
  • letters of recommendation acquisition (3, but 4 would be ideal)
  • resume (in both traditional and infographic format) 
  • new URL for this website
  • new Instagram handle 
  • new Twitter handle 


No one cares about your title. They care about the results you generate. 

Life is not about being liked. It’s about being effective. 

My role as a TOSA will be ending in May, after a four year run. I was effective. I generated results. More importantly, the students and teachers produced amazing results. 

There’s still a lot of work to be done. instructional technology integration is never a job to be marked as complete. And, I’ll still be able to effect change in some capacity. Only, I’m not yet sure what that will look like in the 2019-2020 school year. 

Maybe it’s teaching at a middle school. Maybe it’s in administration. Regardless of the role, my title means little. However, the title of this website (and the URL) will be changing. 

Having a domain registered as is a bit problematic when one is no longer a TOSA. So, I’ve given a lot of consideration to branding and what that might look like going forward. 

At Spring CUE this past weekend, I paid special attention to the ways educators presented their story and, by default, how they branded themselves across platforms (Twitter, websites, marketing/stickers). 

And, that has got me feelin' some kind of way...

I have ideas.

CUE 2019

First time presenting at Spring CUE! 

First time attending Spring CUE. 

Lots of firsts for me at this conference. 

I started this entry while attending a CUE Rockstar session hosted by Jon Corippo, the CUE Godfather. I attended his session to learn more about presenting, and I was not disappointed. It helped me understand what I could do differently, and what I could do better. 

To be honest, I was terrified to present at Spring CUE. While I received a lot of compliments for my one-hour session on TOSA, I felt like I had not given the attendees what they wanted. Self-doubt can be crippling. I suppose the upside is that I know I can do better, and that teaching and learning are fluid. 

I have met many of the attendees at Spring CUE in a digital space (Twitter & Instagram), but never IRL. So, the pressure to perform was even greater. I did present at Fall CUE 2018 for the very first time. That was a huge step for me, as the thought of presenting to a (big) room full of teachers tends to make me anxious. 

To be honest, I never thought I would present at a CUE event. Trust that I want to give back. It was my CUE cohorts, and my friends at CapCUE who challenged me to move outside my comfort zone. Thank you, friends. #loveyou #meanit  

Some quick notes about lessons learned:  

  • Presenting to ~82 people in a big room can be terrifying. 
  • Kids skill level outreaches our delivery.   
  • Provide the solution, not suggestions. 
  • am·bi·vert /ˈambəˌvərt/ - a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features 

*selfie from the Friday 10am session: Know Your Condiments! Level up your TOSA dishes.