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 […]

ROADBLOCK IMAGE.001

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 […]

pokemon go

Nine Things Schools Can Learn from Pokémon GO

We are wandering around our new neighborhood, exploring the lush Oregon terrain. An older man waves at us. “You playing Pokémon?” “Yeah,” my older son shouts back. “There’s a Jigglepuff –” the man begins. “Jigglypuff,” she corrects him. “Yeah, there’s one of those about twenty yards that way.” “We just found an Eevee,” my younger son says. He […]

kleon quote.001

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 […]

revised goal thing

Product goals or process goals?

At the beginning of the year, I set a New Year’s Resolution to be less productive this year. It was a pretty unambitious New Year’s Resolution, but it has proven harder to do than you might think. For weeks, I braced against silence, solitude, and space because I had so many different project ideas that I […]

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 […]

day 11

Brainstorming Is Broken. Here’s How You Can Fix It.

Brainstorming is a critical part of design thinking. It’s the first part of the Navigating Ideas in the LAUNCH Cycle that we explored in Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student.   Brainstorming Is Broken Brainstorming can be fun. You get together and generate a massive list of […]