refine-my-work

Showing My Work: How I Use Feedback and Self-Reflection to Modify My Lessons

Every Tuesday and Wednesday night, I teach a 4-hour pedagogy class. I use the design thinking cycle to plan the course (a topic for another blog post) and so as I teach, I am in the Highlight and Fix phase. I thought I would give a sneak peak into my process with my Wednesday night […]

Critical Questions for Making Sense Out of a Connected World

A few days ago, I noticed people sharing a few random articles from Atlas Obscura. I noticed a few of their tweets rising to the top of my Twitter feed as well. As I drove to work, I caught a part of an NPR story with one of the lead curators from Atlas Obscura as well. Why all […]

10 Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour This Year

As I arrive home from work, I notice a trend. Every room has a project. My oldest son is creating his own sport, designing his own experiments, and trying to create a video game. My middle son is building a world in Minecraft, writing his own graphic novel, and making things with Legos. My daughter […]

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Treating Challenges as Design Opportunities

I’m sitting on a plane right now writing this blog post. I just spent an hour working on a sketchy video and before that, I worked on another blog post. I’m nestled up against a window where I can look to my right and remember, in awe, that I am floating on the clouds. I’ve […]

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Share the Product and the Process

About a month ago, someone placed a pair of hipsterish glasses on a museum floor as a prank. Within minutes, a crowd gathered to take pictures of the new “work of art.” You could read this as a throwback to the Dada movement or you could view it as yet another ironic, cynical, postmodern statement […]

Five Ways to Engage Reluctant Learners

I am currently on my fifth solid day of doing things that I find difficult, scary, or boring. Two days ago, I called the cable company to set up my internet. This might not seem like a big deal, but I am terrified of phone calls — especially to strangers. Although I hate conflict, I engaged in a […]

learning spaces

How Would Students Redesign the Learning Space?

A quick disclaimer: I don’t know a thing about redesigning learning spaces. I love thinking about the creative process and I believe creative thinking can happen anywhere. Anywhere. Some of my favorite creative work in high school happened when I was sitting in a row, bored in a math class, and quietly writing stories that […]

AFFIRM CREATIVITY

Seven Ways to Affirm the Creativity in Every Student

A few months ago, I received a Facebook friend request from a former student. I remembered her as a quiet kid that you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t paying attention. I also remembered her vibrant imagination that came out whenever she wrote her blog posts. A minute after the friend request, she sent a message. […]

genuine collaboration

Seven Keys to Creative Collaboration

I’m not a fan of group work. I have vivid memories of doing “team projects” where I completed various tasks while other members disappeared. As a classroom teacher, I preferred to plan alone, dreaming up projects and planning out units in isolation. I am comfortable in my own mind and I can work alone for hours […]

What’s it like to be a dad?

A friend of mine is an expecting dad. He asked me, “What it’s like to be a dad?” “It’s world-changing,” I told him. And then I wrote this out. I hope it makes sense. When I’m at home, I’m a dad. But that doesn’t last long. Within minutes . . . I get to be […]