Nine Things Minecraft Can Teach Us About Creativity and Learning

A few weeks ago, my son convinced me to download Minecraft on my iPad. He’s been playing it for a few years now and is at that stage where he is entering portals, creating drop world and doing parkour. Meanwhile, I’m at the basic level. I spent the first few hours trying to orient myself […]

How I’m Using Design Thinking to Develop a Free Resource for New Teachers

I need your help. In the next few weeks, I plan on creating a free resource for new teachers. I plan to use the LAUNCH Cycle (the design thinking framework that A.J. Juliani and I developed) to move from empathy and awareness into research and ideation, before eventually creating a beta concept. I want to […]

Treat Every Lesson Like an Experiment

I’m just going to put it out there. I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to making videos. For the last six weeks, I’ve been experimenting and trying things out. Every time I get ready to publish a video, these fears swirl around my mind. What if it’s not good enough? What if […]

We Need Librarians More Than Ever Before

It was about five years ago when a boy walked up to me and asked, “Hey Mr. Spencer, can you talk to the district and see if they’ll open up the library over the summer?” “I don’t think they can,” I answered. “But the city library is just down the street.” “I can’t go there. […]

Who was the greatest teacher at Hogwarts?

For our number one choice, we went with someone who is not actually a professor at Hogwarts. You guessed it. Argus Filch. That’s right, the mangy, angry caretaker of Hogwarts. You know, the guy with the cat? Okay, we didn’t choose Filch. We actually chose Harry. Harry was a phenomenal teacher. When he trained fellow […]

Because of Teachers (Good Things Are Happening in Our Schools)

Don’t worry. I am still doing the Best Teachers at Hogwarts series. You’ll see that post later today. However, I thought I would share something that was on my mind this week. It is 11:47 on a Friday afternoon and I’m right here at home. But somewhere at a school right now there is a […]

It’s All About the Relationships (Guest post by @trevormuir)

First off, he makes learning fun. From putting roller skates on Boggarts, to always having chocolate on him, to having a final exam that was an obstacle course, Lupin engaged his students with a great time. School isn’t always supposed to be fun. Sometimes it should be hard and boring, but you’ve got to lighten […]

I Was Just Like Neville Longbottom When I Was a Kid

When I was in the 7th grade, I this pair of shorts that were, well, embarrassing. They were way too short. They were pleated. They were plaid. They were everything you were not supposed to wear if you didn’t want to get beat up. But I wore them anyway because my grandma had made them for […]

snape

Was Snape the Best Teacher at Hogwarts? Guest post by @trevormuir

The 5th best teacher at Hogwarts is Severus Snape. Don’t look at me like that, Snape was not a terrible teacher. Yes he used public humiliation as a tool, played favorites, required rote memorization, spoke in a very mono-toned boring voice, and didn’t model proper hair hygiene to his students, But he was great at […]