Skating through Life with the Right Tech Tools
Lisa Sjogren was only 5, but she vividly remembers the humiliat- ing feeling of being laughed at
for not “having the right tools,” as she
tells it. She showed up for a skating
excursion with her kindergarten class
wearing her double-bladed skates
to keep her tiny legs from wobbling.
“I went home to my mother and
started crying, saying that everyone
was making fun of me because of my
skates,” she recalls in the blog post
“Learning to Skate” (http://lisasjogren.
These days Sjogren never shows
up with the wrong tools, and no one
laughs at her—on the ice or off. She’s
the U.S. Senior National speedskating
champion in the 25K, and in 2009 she
held the North American championship as well. And she has been the U.S.
Marathon Overall champion three
Off the ice, she’s pretty successful too. A tech integration specialist
at Osseo Area Schools in Minnesota,
Sjogren has for the past year headed up
a project to create an educational technology professional development program called the C4 Model of Learning.
The four C’s stand for collaboration,
communication, and creativity embedded to make explosive content.
Sjogren says she enjoys working
with teachers because they are so hungry for the skills that she and her fellow tech integration specialists have to
offer. “They want to learn, and if they
get a chance to spend time with one
of us for one hour, it’s like a million
bucks,” she says.
Last year she trained 30 principals
to prepare them for the rollout of
Google Apps in her district.
“It was really scary at first,” she
recalls, but only for a few minutes.
The administrators in her district
of 21,000 students are generally tech
savvy. “We have a couple of them who
write blogs. Some have a webpage.
They use their Blackberries,” she
says.“They knew no one was going to
say to them, ‘That’s not right’. ”
Sjogren’s involvement in ed tech
extends beyond her school day. As
the communications chair for ISTE’s
Special Interest Group for Innovative
Learning Technologies (SIGILT), she
puts out the SIG’s hefty newsletter,
sends out regular e-mails and tweets,
and generally keeps the SIG organized.
Adam Wendt, a SIGILT officer, describes Sjogren as one of those people
who manages a dizzying number of
tasks. She puts herself out there and
always comes prepared.
“She works fast and is extremely ef-
ficient in getting things done,” Wendt
says. “Half the time she beats me to
the punch on SIG stuff.”
Sjogren admits that she loves to be
busy. “I love running around and do-
ing different things,” she says. “I don’t
want to be in my cube. Get me out of
That energy has paid off in her ca-
reer and on the ice.