The Lamest Excuses in EdTech & How To Do Awesome Things Anyway

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: Room 275-6
Experience live: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite

Listen and learn : Panel

Rodney Crouse  
Steve Dembo  
Zandra Jo Galvan  
Felix Jacomino  
Andrew Wallace  
Kimberly Wright  

If you work in EdTech, you spend half your day preparing schools for future-forward learning, and the other half battling the excuses for why "we can't" do those things. This session will help you armor up against the naysayers and refocus on doing awesome things for teachers and students!

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Not needed.
Topic: Online tools, apps & resources
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
  • Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This session is going to key in on identifying the most common challenges that people face when trying to gain approval for, implement or support new technology initiatives. It is a chance to Febreeze the odorous stench left behind by people dragging new ideas through the mud. We will focus on objections raised for personal purposes, by unions, by parent groups, school boards and administrators. While the session will employ tongue in cheek humor, the ultimate goal is how to dismantle and diffuse objections and allow technology initiatives to move forward in productive and healthy ways.


The format will be similar to "Stupid" sessions this group has done at the last several ISTE conferences. Each member will raise a 'stupid excuse' that has been put forth before them in response to a project that had merit. Then they will share the roots of the objections, what about them had merit, and how they mediated the situation to either re-align the objector(s) or at the least, remove the obstacle. This will be repeated approximately 6 times, with each example getting about 5-6 minutes before passing the baton. In between, we will insert group responses to simple, common excuses, and share the benefits of responding with humor.

Supporting research

This group of educators has decades of experience organizing events, authoring and publishing books, hosting and appearing on hundreds of podcasts and teaching nearly every subject in the curriculum. The session will be drawing upon their practical experiences having worked in nearly every type of school environment in existence.

More [+]


Rodney Crouse, Guilford County Schools

Elementary School Teacher STEAMinthePARK Ambassador DENSTAR I have been in public education for 18 years and have taught every grade K-5. My goal is to be the kind of administrator that I need as a teacher. I have traveled the country connecting with educators and sharing strategies that worked in a classroom for engagement and retention of content and curriculum.

Steve Dembo, Western Springs, District 101

Steve Dembo is the middle school Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence Teacher and Director of Technology at Quest Academy in Palatine, IL. He is the co-author of the book Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching and the president of the Skokie/Morton Grove District 69 School Board, serving his third term. Dembo is a dynamic speaker on the capabilities of social networking, the power of educational technologies and the potential for digital content to empower teachers to improve student outcomes.

Zandra Jo Galvan, Greenfield Union School District

Zandra Jo Galvan has been Superintendent of Greenfield USD since 2017 and has worked in public education since 1993. She earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies from Fresno State, an M.A. in Curriculum from CSUMB, an EdLeadership from SJSU, and is earning her Doctorate from USC. Galvan is passionate about preparing students to be technologically, socially, emotionally and academically prepared for college and career and ensures that every GUSD team member knows they are an ELITE team member dedicated to the arduous task of saving student lives. She is proudly committed to “ALL Means ALL.”

Felix Jacomino, St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School

Felix Jacomino loves learning and sharing (and food, and music, and making new friends). Over the last 22 years, he has experienced a great transformation in education as technology has made its way into every discipline across all curricula. His main focus and interest is ensuring that teachers understand when, why, and how to best use technology to accomplish learning objectives and empower students to be critical thinkers who own their learning. Felix is the Director of Technology at St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School, a private elementary school devoted to innovative teaching and learning practices, in Miami, Florida.

Andrew Wallace, South Portland Schools

Andrew Wallace has been the technology director for South Portland Schools in Maine for almost 20 years. He is President of the Maine Educational Technology Directors Association (METDA) and represents all Maine schools on the Forum of the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). He is a Trustee of the Portland Public Libraries, a Member of the Maine State Commission for Libraries and a former school librarian. Wallace is also on the faculty of the University of Maine’s Graduate College of Education with a focus on instructional technology, learning space design and computing for learning.

Kimberly Wright, El Paso, Texas

Kimberly is an Instructional Design Manager and global keynote speaker. She is a former Science teacher and Instructional coach. She has spent most of her career coaching educators and admin in STEM implementation throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. She believes that learning and curriculum should be engaging while affirming student identity. Kimberly is an advocate and mentor for girls in STEM and LGBTQIA+ students.

People also viewed

A New Teacher's Guide to Starting the School Year Off Right
CS for All: It's Elementary
Fostering student well-being with Minecraft Lab