How Nature Inspires Better Design (and What This Means for Students)

We want students to be makers and designers. But there’s a surprising source of inspiration for design: the natural world. This is the key idea behind biomimicry, which encourages engineers to pay close attention to nature in order to improve their designs. The following post is an exploration of what this idea means for classroom […]

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.  The Most Underrated Subject in Schools? If you looked at my teaching contracts, it would […]

10 Tips for Global Collaboration Projects

Two years ago, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of speaking at the White House and sharing the story of a global collaboration project. It was part of the Future Ready initiative and I spoke about the need to leverage the connective and creative power of technology in design projects that were human-centered. I shared a few […]

Helping Students Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

About three years ago, a student approached me before class. “Mr. Spencer, I heard that you wrote a children’s book.” I nodded. “I co-wrote it with my wife and then we self-published it.” “Can you teach me how to publish my own novel?” I launched into a brief elevator pitch about character development, conflict, and […]

Seven Technology Trends that will Transform Learning in the Next Five Years

I knew social media had hit mainstream the moment that my mom sent me a friend request. Suddenly Facebook had become a place where “mom” and “friend” were synonymous. I knew that Facebook had lost its cool, edgy, college vibe. Since then, Facebook has become such a normal, habitual part of life that we rarely […]

We Can’t Predict the Effects of Technology

I’ve seen two dominant media narratives revolving around the Apple Watch. The first is a technophiliac, utopian vision of how wearable connectivity will make life better for people. In this vision, we’ll use the watch to diagnose diseases, utilize more accurate exercise regiments, and stay connected with friends and family while being more mobile. The […]