TL Advisor Blog

Student Inspires Educators to Think Outside the Ban

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October 21, 2011 By: Lisa Nielsen

Oct 11

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10/11/2011 7:15 AM  RssIcon

I had the pleasure of meeting Travis Allen at this year’s International Society of Technology Educator’s conference.  Travis explained that as a high school student he felt rather bound and trapped by the prison of school that enforced outdated restrictions that did not allow him the freedom to learn. It began with his parents getting him an iPhone for Christmas. He immediately found he enjoyed the endless list of applications on it and shortly after, began looking into educational apps to help in school. It wasn’t long before he realized the amazing capabilities this device would have in education.  He was so inspired by the unlocked potential of these devices that he made the following video, called the iSchool Initiative.




Unfortunately, teachers working in an educational system stuck in the past, told Travis that his technology was not an educational tool and he would not be able to use it for learning.  Frustration turned to inspiration.  If his school wouldn’t let him unleash the 21st century learner trapped outside the school walls, he’d take matters into his own hands.  Travis launched the iSchool Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated tor revolutionizing our education system through innovative technology.  Since its inception in 2009, the iSchool Initiative team has expanded to over 25 members consisting of students who work around the globe helping educators break free from outdated constructs and join the digital learning revolution taking place in the world.  

Travis explains his work in this interview with Wes Fryer.



Is your school one that traps students in the past or one that empowers them as 21st century learners?  If it’s the former, maybe you need to hire Travis and his team.  Visit http://ischoolinitiative.org to learn more.


Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in Huffington Post, EdReformer, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning,The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.  

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