This afternoon, for the first time, I felt myself drowning. It was as if the entire room was closing in on me like a scene from a movie and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t feel. I was just here…barely existing.

I have never felt this type of energy before, not since my divorce, but here I was…unable to comprehend what was happening…unable to cry…even though I felt like I needed it.

Taking the advice of a dear friend, I paused all of my thoughts and found a way to center myself so that I could literally breathe…

I have so much to say as much has been buried deep inside my soul. It honestly feels weird to be able to express my thoughts without worry that I just might offend someone enough to warrant a conversation.

In case you missed it, I am no longer working in a school district and to be honest, I have no plans whatsoever to return to one any time soon.

I have had some of the greatest honors of my life occur during my time as a classroom teacher from working alongside some of the most impactful humans I’ve ever known…

This morning I opened an email to this…

“I’m not seeing you doing much education these days, only music. We were looking for a message on equity and diversity and weren’t seeing this reflected in your tweets and blog. Is this still your expertise?”

Lately I have been away from social media edu, not for any real reason other than that I discovered something else that I love and wanted to openly embrace.

My passion and career has always been centered on education and for most of my life since college, I have dedicated every single waking moment to it…

November 20, 2017

The morning after the American Music Awards, I decided to check out the previous night’s performances…especially after seeing a group that I knew nothing about trending on twitter.

That group was BTS.

I remember being alarmed at how amazing they were while being simultaneously aware that they were not singing in English and that awareness created a mental barrier that would soon come crashing down.

I watched their performance video multiple times and then clicked other videos as YouTube suggested. Eventually I found my way to “fan chants”, “fan cams” and YouTube reactions.

There was an entire…

Three years ago, I joined my current school district in what can only be described as my dream job in education. After walking the pavement of doing the work for kids, traveling on my own dime to learn and fully immersing myself into the life of an “edtech using connected educator”, I was finally ready to tackle the school district role of my dreams…leading our digital revolution.

Three years doesn’t seem like a long time at all but in education, three years can be a lifetime. What I can tell you is that as much as I complained as a…

In 2015, I was selected to repeat my ignite speech on the lack of diversity in edtech ahead of Soledad O’Brien’s keynote during ISTE. It was a monumental moment in that no one had really said those words on that stage before. They’d been said, but not like that.

What followed that speech was an influx of emails requesting my presence at conferences. Some wanted a list of speeches while the majority just wanted me to turn that 5 minute ignite into a 60 minute keynote because in their words, “they needed that message in their space”.

In hindsight, I…

“Catch your bubble. Stand in a straight line.” by Braeden Carroll

Last week our cohort of students began designing their making/coding engineering projects and as exciting as it was, we still had a moment of pause in which we thought that perhaps we needed to insert a little more control and guidance.

…for the sake of time and because it would’ve been much easier.

I’m glad that we didn’t.

In the aftermath of “plan day” and amidst the exhaustion of coaching and continuously trying to promote more “yes and” in lieu of “but”, I’ve thought about the diversity of ideas that kids had and the joy in their eyes as they…

Earlier this week, I was scrolling twitter in the wee hours of the morning when all of a sudden, I stumbled upon a video of a teacher’s lesson involving coding the civil war.

The video was super upbeat and full of images that children drew representing various parts of the war. The main focus though was the trail of “coded robots” traveling a “timeline-like” path along the war with kids cheering as the bots reached their end.

I watched the video maybe 30 times, pausing…zooming…replaying…cringing…

…because aside from the mortifying thought of robots being coded to travel what I presume…

Multiple times per week, I see claims on social media that teachers who aren’t coding are somehow causing inequities amongst students or are inefficient themselves.

It’s mind boggling to me that people can say this and even more so considering that the same statement used to be said about teachers who fail to use technology when we all know that having a teacher who puts her/his heart and soul into students trumps tech every time.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that kids should indeed have access to use technology just as teachers should be using it but this…

Circuit Playground Express Education Kits

This past summer at ISTE, I was able to get my hands on a few Circuit Playground Express base kits through Microsoft’s MakeCode initiative. The circuit playground express, a microcontroller created by Adafruit, serves as a pretty solid introduction to electronics and programming that can be coded with Microsoft’s makecode, CircuitPython or the Arduino IDE.

I knew that this fall we would have an opportunity to introduce physical computing and programming through a dedicated program in elementary (3–5) that my department teaches with a focus on technology but I wasn’t quite sold yet on the CPX being the tool of…

Rafranz Davis

Dreamer, Blerd, Educator, Disruptor of Ridiculousness, STEM & Digital Access Advocate

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