Shifting To A New Direction

I want to open this blog with a thank you to all of the incredibly talented and inspiring people I have met throughout my social media education mission. From being interviewed by numerous kind and caring educators across the nation, to speaking at Stanford University, to creating my own business and DVD at eighteen years old, to becoming the Bammy Awards’ 2014 Educator’s Voice Honoree for Resonant Student Voice, the journey has been indescribable and a huge blessing. I have collaborated with some of the greatest educators of this nation and hopefully left an impression on the countless others I was unable to meet. I am humbled to know that there are educators who respect the opinion of a high school student and to realize that I was a part of an amazing team all working together towards a common goal: improving the student experience and education in the United States.

Unfortunately, as my freshman year of college comes to a quick close, so must my social media education mission and Education Media Tools, Inc. I appreciate the help and insight I was offered by educators like Jennifer Scheffer, Howard Rheingold, Brad Currie, Eric Sheninger, Susan Spellman-Cann, Shelly Sanchez, and many others who have left an impression on my mind and my heart. As I continue my journey in the Kelley School of Business and to the career of my dreams as a business professional, I pray I can still make you all proud.

My website,, will be closing before April 2, 2015. If you would still like to order my DVD “Social Networks, Educator Empowerment, and Student Success,” please visit the website before April 2 or email me directly at and I will process your order directly.

Thank you all for joining me in this incredible experience. I pray this isn’t the last time you will see my name as the author of a blog or the owner of a company.

Until next time,

Paige A. Woodard

CEO and Founder of Education Media Tools, Inc.

Student in the Kelley School of Business

Avid reader and hiking enthusiast

Advocate for greater student education at the secondary level


A Lesson From Spain

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t already, follow me now at @paige_woodard so you feel included in the loop), then you know that this June I took an exciting and soul-fulfilling trip to Spain. Here are a few pictures that do not even begin to capture the beauty of the places we visited, but will give you an idea of what I have seen and experienced in my travels. Though this was not my first time to Spain, it was the first for my mother, so it was amazing to have her see with her own eyes the country that has captured my heart.

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As you can see, I have been blessed with some incredible opportunities in my short eighteen years of life. And throughout my travels, I have been honored with meeting some wonderful people with amazing stories, thoughts, and ideas. 

While on the eight hour plane ride to Madrid from Charlotte, NC, I spoke with a man sitting next to me named Edgar. For the first couple of hours we did the shy dance of two strangers sitting next to each other on the plane. He would put his arm on the rest and I would shift over a little more farther away from him. I would pull my feet up underneath me for comfort and he would lean in the opposite direction. He finally broke the ice by kindly offering his neck pillow when he saw my discomfort when trying to sleep and the rest of the plane ride was a real joy. We spoke about his life at home, my town’s recent heartache from the loss of two teens in a dam accident, and what was on our agenda when we landed in Madrid. 

Edgar was a marathon runner who was very knowledgeable on a variety of health tips and how to best build up your stamina to run a 5k (in my case) or complete a triathlon (his hobby). He was originally from Guatemala but lives in Texas with his wife and myriad of farm animals and other pets. Unfortunately, he was visiting Spain for the first time to spend last moments with an old teacher who was dying of cancer. I gave him my condolences and prayed he would return to Spain once more, for a happier occasion. 

Once the plane landed, he wrote down his email and told me to send him a message after I watched a documentary he suggested about the unhealthy food production system (I still have yet to contact him or watch the documentary, which I deeply regret), we wished each other well, and headed our separate ways. I figured that was the last time I would talk to Edgar in person.

Until day eight of our ten-day escapade in the southern autonomy Andalucia, where I was casually walking with my group and happened to see Edgar and who I assumed to be his old teacher walking in La Alhambra in Granada. 

Though this experience has nothing to do with the education system, it taught me that coincidences are not really coincidental. This is why I deeply regret not taking action and contacting Edgar before now, because for some reason I was meant to sit next to him on the plane and not my mother, who had offered to take my place before we even settled in to our seats. Sometimes the greatest connections, business-related or simply for information about another’s life, happen at the most unsuspecting moments. So learn from my mistake and immediately start speaking to your plane partner or that individual you see every Saturday morning at the supermarket if you have the inclination, because the stories you hear and the relationships you build could not be any more valuable. 

Is Education Reform & Its Solutions All About Perspective?

Recently I read an article titled “Tenure is not the problem: Debunking education reform myths — and providing a real path forward” and, though the article is much longer than any person really wants to actually read and not skim, I suggest it to any educator, administrator, teacher, or person concerned about our education system that believes there is a problem with our education system. The author, Morgan Agnew, provides insight from a teacher’s perspective on the problems within the education system and what truly are, in one individual’s opinion, the viable solutions. 

I’m not sure if I agree or disagree with all or any part of the article, though it is deeply rooted in fact and experience and provides more solutions than any we are seeing from anyone with actual power to improve the issue. 

So go ahead, give it a read. Tell me what you think in the comments below or simply keep your comments to yourself and write a passionate letter to the feds about how they should listen to Agnew. My only request: Don’t consume this information and then stay stagnant. Get up and do something, make a change! Bring awareness to the issues in the education system and attention to the fact that others (who aren’t in power but probably should be) have ideas to address the issue! 

Announcement: Workshop for RSCON5 on July 11th

This upcoming Friday (July 11th), I am conducting a 20 minute workshop with a 5min Q&A session following for the Reform Symposium E-Conference 2014 beginning at 1:30pm EST. This conference is FREE, so really there is no excuse for you to not show up and join the fun! I am touching on my social media education mission, how I created a business at the age of eighteen, and how to engage your students in the classroom–particularly through social media. The title of my workshop is “Reinventing Student Development in the Classroom” and more information can be found on the webpage “RSCON5 Keynote Speakers.”


P.S. I have a really awesome poster that has my picture and the information on my workshop, but with the new update of WordPress, I cannot add any media to this post! I hope this issue is resolved soon, as I miss sharing images!


You Decide: How Beneficial is Common Core? (With Two Examples)

Recently I have come across two stories about parents who are concerned about their children’s academic future. The first example is from the article “Why I’m pulling my kids out of public school” from Tampa Bay Times and the second is “Meet the ‘Brainy Bunch,’ family with 7 kids in college by age 12” from TodayParents. Now, there are a couple stark differences between the two examples, such as the parents’ reaction to their children’s education experiences.

The first article I mentioned,”Why I’m pulling my kids out of public school,” is written by Lynne Rigby, a mother of five and former teacher, who addressed a letter about her son’s experience with standardized testing to Florida Governor Rick Scott and Seminole County school officials. In this article, Rigby details the experience her third-grade son had while enrolled in a Seminole County school. Due to the looming FCAT–as well as son’s not-so-great scores on previous assessments–and AIR tests (which I assume are a state-mandated standardized tests similar to Indiana’s ISTEP and ECA), Rigby spent countless precious hours grooming her child for these tests. Or so she thought.

Fast forward to when her son’s scores are returned in the mail, with no explanation but what his answers were compared to what test officials deem the “correct” answer to each question. Now here is where the public education system, and standardized testing, is failing without even mentioning the great argument I’m sure I have shared on this blog before, which can be seen as a reminder below.



This argument is rather simple and does not take an educated official to analyze and understand: One Parents are not given the correct materials in order to benefit their students’ future, through methods such as reviewing each incorrect answer and analyzing why the correct answer is in fact correct; Two, Rigby claims states pay other states to field test their standardized tests and these officials estimate that “fifth-graders will have fourteen hours of testing,” and though I do not know if this declaration is backed by facts, it is a scary thought to mull over; and three, states are updating their curriculums without upgrading their tests to align more closely with that new curriculum. Thus, these children, bright and intelligent students, are being set up to fail from the onset. They are not given an opportunity to prove their brilliance, because even if they achieve A’s and B’s in all of their classes, they can still be assigned to remediation classes due to their test scores. Unfortunately, Seminole County school officials have lost two students due to this problem. Hopefully, this issue can be resolved before the public education system as a whole is recognized as flawed by a large number of parents who are willing to homeschool their children, such as the family we will discuss next.

Take a moment to now analyze the successes of the Harding family, who has already enrolled seven of their nine children in college by the age of 12. At first I didn’t understand how this was possible, but then I read the key piece of information that made the impossible possible: homeschooling. This is the same solution Lynne Rigby discovered for her disappointment in Common Core and it is the same idea that enabled Heath, Serennah, Rosannah, Hannah, Keith, Seth, and Katrinnah Harding to achieve a high school diploma and conquer the fears of college by the age of twelve. These children–because yes, most are still in fact children–have accomplished by age 16 what takes most to achieve in 22 years. Is this what is the future of our education system, where parents have to take matters into their own hands to ensure their students’ success and bypass all of the formalities that seem to only hold a student back?

Unfortunately we cannot blame educators. We can’t even blame school administrators or other officials. This is a problem trickling down specifically from the state and federal governments. Though we cannot pull every single child out of public school, and I’m not even suggesting that is a beneficial solution to the problem, we can write letters to officials such as Lynne Rigby. Inform your state representatives and governors that you are disappointed in the current system. Pressure them to change their ways of measuring your students’ academic capabilities. Facilitate a professional conversation that renders solutions to this issue or at the very least brings attention to the flaws of Common Core and other standardized testing.

I’m writing my letter now.

Title Change or Personal Transformation?

As I shed my high school student shell and develop into a beautiful college butterfly, I need a social media transformation to match my personal one. Therefore, if you haven’t noticed yet, I changed the name of my blog from the bland and to-the-point “Social Media Education” to “Skippedapaige Transformed.” Now this may be confusing, as I am sure you have no idea who “skippedapaige” is.

Well, it’s me. Actually, it’s my personal social media persona and digital identity to my personal friends and peers. And yes, I am transforming.

Before beginning Innovations and adopting a professional online persona, I was a naive high school student utilizing social media to complain about my bad day at school and even my mom grounding me for disrespecting her. Yes, I rolled around with the best of them in the dirty mud that is teenage social media use; in fact, when I was thirteen and still figuring out what was most important in my life, being popular or academic achievement, I probably could have been my own poster child for my later YouTube series “The Top Ten Things Not To Do On Twitter,” found here.

If you were to be so lucky as to scroll through my Facebook account and review posts from 2009-2012, you could still find posts that would more than likely contradict my social media education mission in 2014. So why are they still there? Well, luckily by my senior year I understood what was most important in my life–successfully enjoying it–and decided to clean up my act. I said goodbye to the negative posts, complaining about drama, and worrying about other people’s opinions and posting about them. However, I do still want to seem as if I am at least half-human and therefore want to keep those posts to show teenagers, my peers, that what I am doing is a tangible goal: you’re not too late if you start today. And by joining me in cleaning up our act on social media, other students will become aware of what they post, understand the purpose of what they are posting, and utilize social media for more than personal use and complaining about daily tribulations.

Thus, I have decided to expand my social media platform and mission and hence needed a name change for my blog. No longer will my posts be solely about “Social Media Education” as my previous blog title suggested. As I graduate high school (11 more days) and head to college, I want to document my personal encounters with social media and professional networking in addition to reporting my latest findings on what is trending in the education system.

So there. I am an eighteen year old business owner and young entrepreneur on a mission. I will still make mistakes, I will still stumble on my own feet, and I will need others’ help when I do. But I am now speaking not only to educators, but to my peers. I am transformed, I am present, I am real.


For more information on my social media education mission thus far and to contact me, please visit

Celebrating Those Who Deserve It: A Tribute To My Mom

This video has been circulating on the Internet for the past month and it has really opened my eyes to how wonderful and great moms really are. I rarely involve my own personal affairs in this blog, but this is one exception I HAVE to make. Because without my mom, her unconditional love and support, and her financial generosity, my social media education mission and DVD would have hit a wall within the first few months. And after watching this video, I realized just how much she has done for me over the years and how infrequently I show her how much I appreciate it.

Throughout this long and tedious process, my mother has stood by my side tall and proud, no matter my mistakes or frustration with a certain situation that was wrongly displaced onto her. She is such a strong and beautiful woman and she is the one who has taught me not only how to be confident but also patient and understanding when others need me to simply listen (which I will admit is extremely hard for me to do sometimes).

Moreover, we have a really weird and complicated bond because I am her only child. Growing up, it was only her and me, me and her. We did everything together and to this day tell each other just about everything. We are each other’s best friends. Though she says I never really had a childhood because I was always surrounded by her and her adult friends, whenever I reflect on my childhood, I think of all of the days we spent exploring The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis or hiking at a state park. I fondly remember her and I walking hand in hand, marveling at the animals at the zoo. And I cannot contain my smile when I think of the time we sprayed our entire backyard with food coloring when it was covered in a thick layer of snow and how intrigued I was with the different colors. Without these memories, I would not have the same amount of curiosity about the world or my fervor for learning more and exploring the possibilities of what could be if one simply tries.

In short, without my mother, I would not be the person I am today. I would not be as successful as I am today; I would not be a business owner; I would not be interested in professional networking; I would not understand what is appropriate conduct for the outside world. And without her, I would not have the same love for gardening or bird watching. In addition to all of the lessons she has taught me throughout my short eighteen years under her wing, she enlightened my soul to appreciate life for the great wonders it truly holds and how precious time with family and friends truly is.

I feel as though this post is extremely overdue, but with my leaving home and attending college in the fall, my mother and I have both recently been reflecting on our time together thus far and so this post also couldn’t be better perfectly timed.

If I could put it into words while looking my mother in the eyes without crying so hard that she could not understand what I was saying, I would tell her that I am so grateful for her love, patience, support, faith, and kindness not only for me but for life itself. I would thank her for not killing me when I scratched her new car, for hugging me when words were not enough, and for telling me the hard truth even when I didn’t want to hear it. I would offer her a hug that would last forever so that she would never have to live in an empty nest and apologize for not appreciating her enough.

We don’t know how long we have on this earth. Tomorrow, the woman who carried you for nine months, held you on her hip for years for comfort, and acted as your soundboard, maid, support system, personal bank service, cook, and most importantly your ATM of unconditional love, could suddenly lose her strength to carry her and you both and have to make the choice to put you first one last time. So look your mother in the eyes, pick up the phone, Skype her, do SOMETHING, and tell her how much you appreciate her love for you and always making you her top priority, even if you didn’t feel like she was. Your mother is your greatest role model for so many things. Let her know you finally understand and appreciate it.