Author Archives: | Tom Johnson

About | Tom Johnson

TOM JOHNSON -intrapreneur, practicing academic, learning coach, designer, technology integration specialist, and educator -has lived in: Canada, Guatemala, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and China -loves: Skiing, Sushi, Badminton, Volleyball, Working Out, Contemporary Art, Clean Lines, Good Food, Great Music, People Watching, Exploring, and his Wife and Son.

Terrifying AI-fused data-gathering tech (not neuro-link)

Ok, watch this video. Tell me what you think.

The breakdown is that students are required to wear these EEG headsets in order for teachers, schools, parents (and others) to gather data about the students’ real-time attentiveness in class. Students appear to feel the devices hurt. Others are being punished at home when the trackers demonstrate the students are not paying attention.

Pairing with this technology appears to be data-sensing equipment that is tracking eye-movement.

In other classes, sensors are gathering movement of the limbs and torsos of students in real-time, and in other classes robots are monitoring the health and engagement of learners.

Data is constantly tracking where students are and if they are in attendance at the school.

The video also demonstrates how people can make purchases with their faces and persistent surveillance cameras monitor citizens through facial recognition.

Feels eerily like some episodes of Black Mirror – which are highly dystopian in their framework.

Ok, watch it again. Write your thoughts.


Posted by on March 29, 2023 in Technology


What happens when we change the look of a website?

Just did it…now thinking about the following now:

  • User Experience: The user experience can be improved or worsened depending on the changes made. If the changes are done well, users may find it easier to navigate and find what they are looking for. However, if the changes are confusing or make it difficult to find information, users may become frustrated and leave the site.
  • Brand Perception: The look of a website can affect the perception of the brand. If the new design aligns with the brand identity and values, it can enhance the brand perception. However, if the design is too radical or inconsistent with the brand, it can have a negative impact.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Changing the look of a website can also affect its SEO performance. If the new design is not optimized for search engines, it can cause a drop in traffic and rankings. On the other hand, a well-designed website can improve the user experience, increase engagement, and ultimately boost SEO.
  • Conversion Rates: A new website design can impact conversion rates. If the design is visually appealing and engaging, it can encourage users to stay longer on the site and convert. However, if the design is not optimized for conversions, it can lead to a decrease in conversion rates.

So, what do you think of the new look?

I am considering a large overhaul of the whole site soon.

Tom J.


Ultra-teachers checklists

For beginning teachers:

  1. Set clear expectations: Establish clear expectations for your students in terms of behavior, academic performance, and classroom rules. Communicate these expectations clearly and consistently.
  2. Develop a positive classroom environment: Create a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment where all students feel valued and respected. Build positive relationships with your students and create a sense of community.
  3. Plan and prepare lessons: Plan and prepare engaging and effective lessons that align with your curriculum and meet the needs of your students. Use a variety of teaching strategies and incorporate technology when appropriate.
  4. Manage classroom behavior: Establish a consistent approach to managing classroom behavior, including rewards and consequences. Communicate your expectations clearly and follow through with consequences as needed.
  5. Assess student learning: Use a variety of assessment strategies to monitor student learning and adjust your teaching accordingly. Provide feedback to your students that is constructive and specific.
  6. Collaborate with colleagues: Work collaboratively with other teachers in your school to share ideas, resources, and best practices. Attend professional development opportunities and seek out mentors to support your growth.
  7. Communicate with parents: Build positive relationships with parents and communicate regularly about student progress, classroom events, and academic goals.
  8. Take care of yourself: Teaching can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Make time for self-care activities and prioritize your physical and emotional well-being.

Remember that teaching is a journey, and it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. As you gain experience, you will become more confident and effective in the classroom.

For teachers who have been teaching for 1-5 years:

  1. Reflect on your teaching: Take time to reflect on your teaching practice and identify areas of strength and areas for growth. Use this reflection to set goals for professional development and improvement.
  2. Differentiate instruction: Continue to refine your ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners in your classroom. Use data to inform your instruction and provide targeted support for students who need it.
  3. Build a professional learning network: Seek out opportunities to collaborate with other teachers and build a professional learning network. Attend conferences, join professional organizations, and participate in online communities to stay up-to-date on best practices and trends in education.
  4. Engage in ongoing professional development: Take advantage of professional development opportunities to stay current on new research, trends, and technology in education. Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences to gain new skills and knowledge.
  5. Use technology effectively: Continue to integrate technology into your teaching practice in meaningful ways that support student learning. Use digital tools to enhance instruction, differentiate instruction, and provide opportunities for student creativity and collaboration.
  6. Expand your leadership skills: Look for opportunities to expand your leadership skills, such as leading professional development sessions, serving on school or district committees, or mentoring new teachers.
  7. Seek out feedback: Seek out feedback from colleagues, administrators, and even students. Use this feedback to improve your teaching practice and make adjustments as needed.
  8. Take care of yourself: As you gain more experience, it’s important to continue to prioritize your physical and emotional well-being. Make time for self-care activities and find ways to balance your personal and professional life.

Remember that teaching is a lifelong learning process, and there is always room for growth and improvement. Stay curious, stay engaged, and stay committed to providing the best possible learning experiences for your students.

For excellent teachers who have been teaching for 6-15 years:

  1. Continue to innovate: As an experienced teacher, you have likely developed many effective teaching strategies. However, it’s important to continue to innovate and explore new approaches to teaching that can enhance student learning.
  2. Collaborate with colleagues: Share your expertise with your colleagues and work collaboratively to improve teaching and learning across the school. Seek out opportunities to mentor new teachers and engage in professional development.
  3. Build relationships with students: Use your experience to build strong relationships with your students. Take the time to get to know each student as an individual and tailor your instruction to meet their unique needs and interests.
  4. Embrace change: Embrace change and be willing to try new approaches to teaching and learning. Stay current with trends in education and incorporate new research and best practices into your teaching practice.
  5. Incorporate student voice and choice: Give your students a voice in their learning by incorporating opportunities for choice and self-direction. Encourage students to take ownership of their learning and provide opportunities for student-led projects and activities.
  6. Foster a positive school culture: Use your experience to foster a positive school culture that supports student learning and well-being. Model positive behaviors and attitudes, and encourage students to do the same.
  7. Engage in ongoing professional development: Continue to seek out professional development opportunities that will enhance your teaching practice and keep you up-to-date on trends in education. Take the lead in organizing professional development opportunities for your colleagues.
  8. Practice self-care: Finally, make sure to practice self-care and prioritize your physical and emotional well-being. Maintain a healthy work-life balance and find ways to recharge and rejuvenate outside of the classroom.

Remember, teaching is a lifelong learning process, and there is always room for growth and improvement, no matter how experienced you are. By continuing to innovate, collaborate, and prioritize student learning, you can continue to excel as an educator and make a positive impact on the lives of your students.

For the master teacher who has been teaching for 16-25 years:

  1. Model lifelong learning: As a master teacher, it is important to model a love of learning and a commitment to ongoing growth and development. Continue to seek out new knowledge and skills to enhance your teaching practice and inspire your students.
  2. Mentor and support new teachers: Share your expertise with new teachers and serve as a mentor to help them navigate the challenges of teaching. Offer guidance and support, and be willing to learn from their perspectives as well.
  3. Advocate for education: Use your experience to advocate for education and the needs of students. Stay informed on education policy and work to create positive change at the school, district, and state levels.
  4. Create meaningful learning experiences: Use your experience and expertise to design and implement meaningful learning experiences that engage and challenge your students. Be intentional about creating opportunities for critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration.
  5. Use data to drive instruction: Use data to inform your instruction and track student progress. Analyze student performance to identify areas of strength and areas for growth, and use this information to adjust your teaching practice as needed.
  6. Cultivate a growth mindset: Foster a growth mindset in yourself and your students. Encourage students to embrace challenges and view mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth.
  7. Foster a sense of community: Use your experience to foster a sense of community in your classroom and school. Encourage collaboration and teamwork, and model respectful and empathetic behavior.
  8. Embrace technology: Use technology in innovative ways to enhance instruction and engage your students. Be willing to try new tools and platforms, and seek out professional development opportunities to stay current.

Remember, teaching is a profession that requires ongoing dedication and commitment to excellence. As a master teacher, you have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of your students and colleagues. By continuing to learn, advocate, and create meaningful learning experiences, you can continue to excel as an educator and a leader in your school community.


A good talk about ChatGPT from

A key take-away for me was about the need for triangulation when it comes to grading/marking summative assessments. Essentially, an educator needs to examine the writing, listen to the student, and witness products/processes at work.

Another was about how “true artists” take components generated from platforms like ChatGPT and turn it into something that is truly different and original from what others may conceive or create. The idea goes back to a post I had earlier about how we can harness ChatGPT to stand out from others?

What are your thoughts or take-aways?

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