Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating

I used to believe that creativity began in the mind. Ideas popped in and people responded externally by making things. I would get frustrated when students came into class having only used technology to consume rather than create. I would beg them to take risks creatively. Make something different. Be bold. Branch out even if […]

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 […]

The Seven Myths Keeping Teachers from Designing Makerspaces

In a previous post, I explored this idea that every student deserves a makerspace. In this post, I look at some of the most common myths I see regarding makerspaces. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like to listen to it on the go, just click on the audio below […]

Why Journalism Might Actually Be the Class of the Future

When we imagine the future of learning, we often hear about STEM and STEAM and things like robotics or coding. But I’d argue that one of the most relevant subjects for developing a maker mindset is actually journalism. Here’s why.  Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like to listen to […]

7 Ways to Inspire Divergent Thinking in the Classroom

The world is unpredictable. The corporate ladder is now a maze, which means our students will need to think divergently. In this article, we explore how to integrate divergent thinking into our everyday classroom practices. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like to listen to it on the go, just […]

Turning Problems into Solutions

When teachers view themselves as systems architects, they are able to view potential problems as design challenges.    What I Learned from Watching People on a Plane Yesterday, on a flight from Portland to Minneapolis, the flight attendant asked the passengers to check their seats for any belongings and to close the shade on the […]

Why Every Classroom Should Be a Makerspace

This is the first post in a week-long series on makerspaces.  I once taught an eighth-grade student who had written four novels online, despite the fact that she had only been learning English for three years. She spent her free time in class looking up how to set up lead magnets and create funnels for […]

School Should Be Impractical (The Practical Benefits of Being Impractical)

Schools are designed to be practical but this has a hidden drawback. Innovation is often impractical because it’s unpredictable. So, what if the push toward “practical skills” in school is actually making learning impractical? And what if impractical ideas and skills we ignore are actually what students will use later in life? The Impractical Idea […]

Five Ways Humor Boosts Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving in the Classroom

When we think about creativity and innovation, the words “humor” and “goofiness” don’t typically come to mind. But I’d argue that this is a critical piece of what it means to cultivate a climate of creativity.   Don’t Wait to Smile One of the worst pieces of advice I hear people give new teachers is to […]

Getting Past the Attention-Span Myth (Thoughts on Creative Focus)

There’s a common cultural assumption that “kids these days” can’t focus due to screen time. They simply lack the attention span needed to engage in deep work. But what if that’s not entirely true? What if this generation is capable of reaching a state of creative flow?  The Attention-Span Myth A few days ago, I […]