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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 1/19/18 - Four things.. .including a free book we will mail you. Read on!

Today’s tip: Four things.. .including a free book we will mail you. Read on!

First: The 11th Annual National SAM Conference was wonderful. Overall, attendees ranked it 4.88 on a 5 point scale with “5” being the best conference they had ever attended. Thanks to Betty, Jim, Eric, Carol, Monica, Scott and the dozens of other SAM family members who help make the conference happen each year. Thanks, too, to the wonderful breakout session speakers and phenomenal keynote presenters.

Second: The keynote sessions were remarkable. One national presenter, renowned child psychologist, Catherine Steiner-Adair, spoke on the unintended negative and dangerous consequences of tech use by young children—adults, too. What made her message click is that she is not against tech and sees many positives.. .but believes we have overlooked the negatives. Did you know, for example, that when a person is reading something and is distracted by a smartphone for just a few seconds, research shows they would have to go back nine minutes in their reading to recover what their brain failed to capture in short term memory? Wow. Think what this means in a classroom. Think what this means when you are trying to talk to a teacher and you are both interrupted by tech. Sobering. We provided her book, The Big Disconnect, to attendees. If you couldn’t attend the conference and would like a copy we have a few extras. Email along with your full name and home mailing address. She will send you a copy .at least until our supply runs out. ©)

Third: Since we are on the topic of tech, do you know when Bill Gates gave his kids access to smartphones? 12 years old. He is even stricter than the Wait Until Eight movement that is sweeping the country. He believes most tech is far too distracting for young learners and pose other concerns including safety. Here’s an article about how tech gurus view tech use/access for children: Read it on

Fourth: Think the world is in trouble? Everything is worse? Sure seems that way, doesn’t it? An article last week in Inc. paints a different picture using data.. .and... importantly.. .shows why leaders need to accentuate the positive if they are to get the gains they want with staff and students. “...leaders who make a difference focus on positive progress instead of fixating exclusively on problems.” Sounds like a good SAM who points out the gains their leader is making each day. Love it!

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