Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership

Recently, I asked my students (pre-service teachers who are currently in their practicum) about the ultimate goal of education. Some described the need for raising democratic citizens who will think critically about the world. A larger group described the need for preparing students for the global economy. Others wanted students to develop into life-long learners. They […]

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 […]

Seven Reasons to Pilot a Game-Based Learning Unit

  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 or subscribe via iTunes/Apple Podcasts (ideal for iOS users) or Google Play and Stitcher (ideal for Android users).   Exploring Game-Based Learning For the last two weeks, I have worked with on a team of […]

What Can Video Games Teach Us About Instructional Design?

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours playing Tetris. I would zone out everything else and hit a state of hyperfocus. I was fully engaged. I could spend hours playing Tetris. Over the years, the trending games have changed. I may or may not have created my own fair share of Sonic […]

Who Owns the Learning in Your Classroom?

It took me years to transform my instruction toward a more student-centered approach. This is my story where I share my journey toward student ownership through student choice. Note that this is a revision of a post I wrote last year. I’m taking a few weeks off to work on a novel (which I can’t […]

6 Student-Centered Projects for the First Week of School

Don’t Wait to Innovate! Teachers often begin the school year with team-building activities or a review of the rules and procedures. But what if we began with student-centered projects? The following is an exploration of six student-centered projects you can launch in your first month of school. Starting the Year with Student-Centered Projects So, imagine […]

Seven Ways to Help Students Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset

This post is loosely based on a chapter from my latest book Empower. Thank you to everyone who has helped make it a number one best-seller on Amazon! Thank you to anyone who has left a review on Amazon and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat. It’s been so cool to watch people respond […]

What’s Your Legacy as a Teacher?

On Saturday afternoon, I felt my phone buzz. It was a message from George Couros. “Congratulations guys, your book is up.” Our new book Empower was officially live on Amazon. Terror set in. What would people think of it? How would people respond? Would they like the visual-oriented style or would they mock it? See what […]

Teachers Need a Roadmap, Not an Instruction Manual

Last October, A.J. Juliani shared an idea for a book we should write together. After we had talked about student choice, voice, and ownership, he said, “I want to do a follow-up to Launch called Empower. Let’s make it a why book. Let’s make it a book about a big idea.” We decided to make a different kind of […]

7 Things That Happen When Students Own Their Learning

The best way to prepare students for the future is by empowering them in the moment.   A Snapshot of Student Ownership Right now, my middle son is at the computer typing away on a shared Google Document that he and three of the neighborhood kids created for a collaborative story they’re all writing. They […]