Luna's tech task force facilitator says 'turn off your technology;' Luna fails to comply

Facilitator Lauren Morando Rhim asked members of the Students Come First Technology Task Force to respect colleagues' time, attend regularly and arrive promptly to complete their duty to make recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 31.

"To the degree that it's possible, I would encourage you all to turn off your technology and stay focused on what you're discussing at hand," Rhim told the group at its opening meeting Monday. "It will enable you to contribute in a much more significant and meaningful way. There are breaks built into all the agendas so that you can check in with your office, but please be present during the committee meetings."

But several of the 39 task force members, including the chairman, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, had trouble heeding Rhim's advice. The panel is charged with helping the Legislature implement Luna's Senate Bill 1184, which shifts state K-12 spending from teacher salaries to technology.

Luna viewed his iPad during much of the 45 minutes he spent in Monday's Online Learning Implementation subcommittee.

He also appeared distracted during a presentation by Cassia High School math teacher Dan Thomander, who demonstrated a "Mobi," a $400 mobile interactive white board manufactured by eInstruction.

Thomander told the full task force that he has a Mobi and his students have clickers, which they use to send him their answers to problems.

Later, Luna said, "I had a question: Maybe you mentioned this, but do your students have one of those devices or is it just you, and the students have a clicker?"

Thomander repeated that he has the Mobi and students have clickers, adding that eInstruction also offers a mini-tablet for students, allowing teachers to check their work, not just see answers. "What they're trying to do is sell one for every student in your classroom."

As Thomander was answering, a mobile device from a task force member seated near Luna sounded off, with the voice of
Johnny Chung Lee, who Thomander had recommended as a guide to building a smartboard on the cheap. "My name is Johnny Lee. I'm going to show you --"

Observed Luna: "I think somebody just logged onto Johnny Lee."

Luna also asked Thomander about applications that can turn smart phones into clickers. Thomander was cool to the idea.

"If they're allowed to use their phones and act like they're doing work, I'll lose them," he replied. "As it is, they already text each other non-stop, and it's a battle to make sure they're keeping their phones put away. I'm constantly catching them with them in their sleeve or down in their lap, hidden."

Another task force member, Jayson Ronk, vice president of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, was openly using his iPad on Tuesday. Ronk, chairman of the Platform, Specification, and Procurement subcommittee, was absent Monday, missing Rihm's advice on turning off technology.

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What a Joke

To the nth degree.

Yes it is.

We knew that Popkey was a partisan hack, but this has to rival his previous low.

Are you conscious?

The only thing that's low about this is your response. This is just another chapter in the Luna saga. If you're going to pretend to involve actual people in your implementation program, you might want to pay attention to what they have to say. The article also does a nice job of presenting problem #1 with overuse of tech in the classroom, i.e., monitoring unauthorized use. Apparently Luna's attention span is similar to a 7th grade student's. If you want to see the partisan hack, look in the mirror.

Carry on

Sorry to interrupt your crybaby whining.Do you always fear change? A review of the k12 virtual academy results would show just how ignorant you are.

wakeup2: Obviously, the only one afraid is you.

Other wise you would have the testicular fortitude to comment on the content of this article, versus attacking the author.

Reporting what he sees

You know you can attend these meetings and see if what he is reporting is accurate or you can just keep drinking your kool aid and spouting the party line.


He reports like every other reporter...what he WANT to report. Not what he wants. He's no better than Luna or the others.

You obviously

need to go back to school and learn English and how to write. I suggest eighth grade...a good fit for you.

hhblacker, you are far too generous.

5th or 6th grade is more appropriate for this yahoo.


"Tommy! Put your I-Pad away. You need to hear this lesson!"

"But.... I'm so close to beating the Level 7 of Halo."

"Right now, Tommy. this is important."

"I'm the Superintendent of Schools, and nobody tells me what to do....."

Good "teachers" make technology work for the classroom by being firm about when and when NOT to use it.

Can you say ADHD? Take a ritalin Tom.

I'll bet he texts while driving too.

Darn teachers trying to teach him something.

Is anyone really that surprised?

Seriously, is anyone really that surprised that Luna would be tuned out? It is as if someone actually thought he was interested in education.

R.I.P. Idaho Education

Great way to lead by example...


every CEO or executive in Idaho does the same thing in their meetings. So, how bad is it? They seem fairly successful for the most part.

Mighty fine examples right there!

Yes Sir! Mighty fine examples.

He's not interested

in what others have to say. Only if it agrees with his plan. He's already been quoted as saying that the panel will do what he tells them to do this summer.
Please try to remember this isn't about the kids it's about his plan.


You are right, Mr. Luna made it clear that the Board of Ed will simply rubber stamp the plan.

I was going to post the same thing...

Luna already knows all the answers...has his mind made up...and has no interest in hearing what anyone else has to say.

And Luna is unintelligent enough,

to not even pretend to care about his "task force".

It also isn't about online education,

so much as private online educators getting the business.

immediate feedback

I believe that the purpose of clickers is to give immediate feedback to the teacher. This is an effective part of teaching, as I've read in the research.

At my son's school, they use small white boards made of lionite paneling. They cost about $2 each. The students do the work, write the answer on the board and hold them up. The teacher gets quick feedback as to what kids "get it" or don't "get it."

This may not be as novel or as fancy or as fun, but I believe the results are the same.

If money is really the issue...'s perfect...there's's perfect...there's also body motions for letters (great for ADHD kids) and lots of other inexpensive solutions that don't require sending our money out of state.


This has got to be the biggest FLUFF piece of work that Popkey has floated in a long time.....and that is saying something for Popkey's work too. This piece would be better suited to a middle school newspaper than a major daily publication. The Statesman staff obviously not Luna or educational progress fans either.

I have been to many a meeting where 'facilitators' throw out really trite rules of the meeting and expression likes "be present at the meeting". In those meetings, I still had to be accessible to people that needed questions answered and work direction whether I was in that meeting or not.

Grow up Popkey - some of us are in the real world.


I believe you meant to say that Luna would be better suited to a middle school class...then I saw it was from EagleWing and knew that if an article goes against the republican mantra, it is bad, biased, fluff, liberal based.

You have no business attending a meeting

if you have to be accessible to people elsewhere...unless of course you are an arrogant ***hole and find it acceptable to waste other people's time with your presence.

Its a blog

Catch a clue. Its a blog, not a major article. Popkey is blogging about what happened at the meeting. Hey but thanks for showing that no matter how lame Luna gets you have no problem supporting him. Way to have standards. Our children thank you for helping screw them over.


If this meeting wasn't Luna's priority he shouldn't be there (in my opinion he shouldn't be there anyway, but that's a different matter.) For what these meetings are costing he should put aside the toys until there is a break and then he can address his masters when his attention isn't needed IN THE MEETING HE IS ATTENDING!

If these meetings are so unimportant that he doesn't need to "be there" mentally then these meetings should be cancelled. I should play the tea-bagger card here and say stop wasting my money.

Hey, ignoramus...

If your people are so dependent on you that they have to interrupt you in a meeting, then you are one of the worst managers I have run across.

In the real world, meetings are to get consensus about actions to be performed, not about you're short attention span and infantile sense of 'me first'.

No outcry at the wasted tax dollars due to Luna?

You show yourself to be nothing but a hack, who has obviously bought into the Idaho Republican Party's loyalty oath, at any cost.

Maybe you should join them.


Just because it's a WORLD wide web doesn't mean anybody past Jordan Valley cares! Get drunk and give us that crappy singing voice we missed.

Shaking My Head

Seriously! I just threw my hands in the air...this is ridiculous.

I agree - this story is just

I agree - this "story" is just plain stupid!


but I am on the other side of shaking my head. Luna doesn't want to hear from anyone else expect from his clients. That is what I got out of the article. This article is more telling than I think you might lead on.

Shocking! Not really, most

Shocking! Not really, most of us know what Luna is all about; and it ain't education.

Our tax dollars

Are being used for this "Tom"foolery. There should be an outrage.


But don't just blame's being wasted by the entire establishment including the teachers and education administrators, trying to push their agenda. It works both ways.

Is Luna dumb for actually doing this? Sure! Are his ideas and programs bad? I don't know. Nobody will really know unless they try to actually put the effort forth to ensure success, and you won't get that from the implementers in this case.

So the entire thing is a wasted effort and wasted resources. As it always is when things like this happen. It's not about what is right for the education system for either side. It's about getting what they want!


The entire tone of this "blog" is just - juvenile. Look what Tom did? Can you believe what Tom did? Oh my gosh, I'll go tell Timmy and you go tell Nancy and then lets meet back here in the lunchroom......see you in a few. I got dibs on the red ball at recess!

I am more concerned and focused on what comes out of the meetings and what progress or decisions are made - you know the really important stuff people - than what Tom did with is Ipad during the meeting, or his Blackberry at lunch, or if he had peanut butter on his sandwich or peanut butter AND jelly!

This blog post is pathetic and is intended only to fan the flames that still burn bright in the groups that LOST in this last legislative cycle. Period.

Defend Tomfoolery all you want

Can you find a way to exempt me from having to pay for it? Maybe if you all give me a special interest grant and pretend I'm Vandersloot.

Any other person would be reprimanded

If I behaved this way in a meeting for my clients a reprimand would be placed in my personnel file. In this case Tom Luna displays disrespect to the speaker and everyone who is attending, not to mention the taxpayers who are paying for him to be there. It is telling that you're more annoyed at Popkey for pointing out the shortcomings of Luna, than you are at Luna for wasting taxpayer time and money. Again, our kids thank you for helping screw them over.

This is all a big joke to Luna

If he had wanted input he would have done it before his eection.

Thank you Zeke,

for stating the obvious.

I could not agree with you more....

It's pretty ironic that we live in a Right to Work for Less state, which I'm sure Luna supports considering his party. If any of us were to act like that at our workplace, the risk being fired on the spot with no explanation required. I find this quite humorous. Considering the fact that technically he works for us!!! This speaks volumes to the lack of respect he has for his constituents. That doesn't surprise me here in state of idaho. Being in most conservative state in the country the politicians here seem to feel that they can do or say what ever they want, cuz I know from past history that they will win elections and continue to convince the voters here vote against their best interest. I have seen some signs in the past few years that give me hope that the tides are changing. And if the right continues as they have been that they are taking their own graves!!!! There is hope....

Juvenile Behavior

There's definitely juvenile behavior going on, but it's not on the part of Dan Popkey. I can't belive that you are defending Tom Luna's disrespectful behavior at the meeting.

Notice how Eaglewing only shows up...

...when there is a post about Tom Luna? I think he sees Tom as the eagle and he (EW) is his wingman. I wonder if he gets paid for that job? What do you call that, "damage control?" "Multi-media spindoctoring?"

The more I see his posts, the more I know TL's done something stupid. You know, like not listening to anyone but to those who line his pockets...

Maybe Eaglewing IS Tom Luna

Maybe Eaglewing IS Tom Luna or Jason Hanock.

Let's put it another way.

Let's put it another way. Imagine this is a class. The facilitator is the teacher, and there is a guest speaker. Luna is one of the students. The teacher directs students to be respectful and to give their full attention to the presenter, especially because the information presented will be on the test. Do you see the correlation? Luna is THE HEAD of ALL OF THE SCHOOLS IN IDAHO!!! The test will determine where millions of tax payer dollars will be spent, and how all of Idaho's children will be educated. And Mr. Luna cannot be bothered to give his full attention and respect to the folks he has gathered to make these decisions?! Perhaps disrespect is accepted in the business world, but it is not accepted in the classroom. I am glad Mr. Popkey has reported what he observed because it should open some eyes.

Best Post of the Day

Print it!

I agree. And I don't think this is accepted in the business

world. True, there will always be some who think the world revolves around them and what they are doing is more important than the work of anyone else. However, I have rarely been in a meeting where the participants were asked to put their technology aside and the CEO ignored that request. In most cases, if the CEO is the one who called the meeting to work on a project he/she had identified as a priority, he/she pays close attention and leads by example. In my experience, it has been extremely rare to see the CEO disregard the facilitator's request for people to set aside their technology and concentrate on the meeting at hand.

That's what I thought.

That's what I thought.

This is news?

I feel stupid for having read this story.


Could not AGREE MORE.