Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects

We’ve all been there before when we were students. You’d hear the dreaded words “group project,” and immediately begin calculating the additional work that you would need to do to keep the group afloat; especially if the teacher chose the members. You check the list of names on the board. You’ll be with the drifter, […]

Why Every Teacher Needs a Mastermind Group

I’m about two-thirds of my way through my doctoral program and it’s beginning to get more challenging. I’ve spent hours working through the self-paced instruction in my statistics class while geeking out about professional development in my second course. My mind is ping-ponging back and forth between ideas I want to explore and research I […]

Seven Things That Happen When Students Share Their Work

When my middle son was in the third grade, he volunteered to share a joke with a big audience at a family camp. As I watched him standing in the line with older kids and quite a few adults, I felt nervous. What would happen if no one laughed? Would he be crushed? Did he […]

7 Ways UX Design Theory Transformed My Approach to Course Design

UX Design Theory can teach us a lot about how to build community, communicate clearly, and set up effective systems as we design our courses. The following is an exploration 8 ways UX Design Theory can change the way we teach.    What Is UX Design? User experience design theory (sometimes abbreviated as XD, UX, […]

Seven Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour Projects

Genius Hour (or 20% Time) projects begin with a simple idea: give students a dedicated period of time to pursue their passions, interests, and questions in a creative way. In this blog post and podcast, we explore the benefits of doing Genius Hour projects. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d […]

What Can *Making It* Teach Us About Creativity in the Classroom?

I’m a huge fan of Parks and Recreation because of a surprising element: being earnest. Yes, the show is goofy and the city of Pawnee can feel cartoonish at first glance. However, the characters feel surprisingly real. Most comedies move their characters further and further toward caricatures until they are essentially cartoonish. Dwight Schrute became outright […]

Five Structures for Helping Students Learn Project Management

If we want students to think like artists, entrepreneurs, and engineers, they need the chance to design real projects. But this also requires students to learn how to engage in project management. The following is a short video on the project management process: Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like […]

Ten Old-School Tech Skills Your Students Never Had to Deal With

I was born in the Ice Age, when Ice Cube, Ice-T, and Vanilla Ice were all the rage. If you had told me as a child that Ice-T would someday play a cop on TV, I would have thought you were crazy. As a kid, my biggest technology concern was making it through the Oregon […]

Five Ways to Boost Metacognition In the Classroom

If we want students to develop into critical thinking, lifelong learners, we need them to develop metacognitive skills. Metacognition is vital for helping students become self-directed learners (both self-managers and self-starters). It will help them navigate the complexities of a changing world and it will help them as they engage in creative work. In this […]

Students Should Be Creative from Day One

When I was a middle school student, I dreaded the first week of school. Teachers would walk us, line-by-line, through the syllabus and handbook and we would practice the classroom procedures. It was as if school started a week before the learning started. But then I remember one teacher who was different. She had us […]