Yesterday was such a great day at VSRA 2016. I had the opportunity to learn from Lester Laminack and Ruth Culham during one of the pre-conference sessions. Then, I attended a literacy lunch with Lester Laminack. Both sessions were thought-provoking, especially Lester’s reminders about stories developing from play. He reflected on his childhood and how the element of play and imagination was a vital part of his experience, but that our students today are growing up in a different world that is ruled by technology. While I love my technology, Lester is right in that we cannot become so embedded in our use of technology that we lose our imaginations and stop playing. I thought about how this relates to specific writers in my classroom. I thought about D, who writes about hunting and whose voice rings through his pieces on this topic. He goes out an explores the woods on a daily basis and is able to use those experiences as a writer. He’s not glued to a smartphone (I don’t think that he even has any kind of a cell phone) and I don’t hear him talk about video games like some of the others in the group. He has experiences that shine through when he writes. However, not all students have these experiences, particularly in this ultra-connected world that we live in. How do we balance the promises of technology with old-fashioned play and imagination? That seems to be a million-dollar question.