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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Spend the Summer Making Stuff #teachermakers #makered

You were born creative. You learned to dance with reckless abandon. You made up songs without ever thinking about pitch. You drew wild pictures in bold colors in sidewalk chalk and crayons and sometimes you even used the living room walls as a canvas. You invented worlds that didn’t exist, friends that adults couldn’t see, […]

Seven Ways Schools Can Foster Original Thinking in Students

My son is weird. Not bad weird. Not socially awkward weird. Just weird. He sees the world differently. This last January he asked me if I would make him a graphic novel about a mutant taco-turned-superhero. He loves to design his own Pokemon characters and invent his own games. He constantly asks, “what if?” questions […]

Who are the Jerry Gergiches of your building?

Disclaimer: This post just barely tiptoes toward education. It’s mostly a post about my all-time favorite television comedy.  About a week ago, I watched the final season of Parks and Recreation. It struck me, at the end of the series, that this might be the most counter-cultural show I’ve seen on television in the last […]

The Incredible Legacy of Joe Bower (@joe_bower)

As I sit here at this computer, I am overwhelmed by emotion at the death of Joe Bower. I can’t imagine what his family is going through right now. I’m at a loss of words about what to say. I’m not a close friend or family member and yet . . . I just wanted […]

Reading is Rewarding When There’s No Reward for Reading

When I was a kid, I used to get jealous of classmates who were rewarded for reading. They would get video games or money or whatever and it seemed odd to me. I didn’t understand why someone would get rewarded for doing something fun. It was like paying a kid to play basketball or draw […]

Eight Free Photo Sites That Require No Attribution

I’m a strong proponent of respecting copyright. I think artists deserve to be paid for the work that they do. I’m also a fan of using Creative Commons photography in my blog, on my visual writing ideas, and in my presentations. In general, I use the Creative Commons Photo Search to search through Flickr (though […]

Four Options for Dealing With Broken Systems

I don’t believe that schools are broken. I know that sounds so non-innovative or whatever, but I don’t care. I see amazing things that happen at my school on a regular basis. I watch what my kids have learned and I’m blown away. I see value in celebrating the small stories of the great things […]