10 Things That Happen When Students Engage in Design Thinking

In a recent post, I wrote about why I want to see students become innovators: Unfortunately, the system isn’t designed for innovation. For years, schools have been stuck in a one-size-fits-all factory model, where students passively consume content. Some people will point out that this model is outdated. However, I would argue that factory education was […]


It’s Time to Celebrate the Small Stuff

When my grandpa died, my grandma told me that she missed the small stuff. She had plenty of photo albums packed full of memories, but what she missed the most was waking up next to him in the morning. I remember visiting her on a hard afternoon. She had accidentally poured two cups of coffee and […]


Innovation May Be a Buzzword, But It’s a Term I’ve Grown to Love

If you like this sketchy video, I encourage you to subscribe to my channel and be the first to see my latest short videos. I used to hate the word “innovative.” See those quotes right there around the word? Those are actually air quotes that I would use whenever I used the term. “It’s a […]


Start with the Mindset, Not the Space

Yesterday, I got the chance to lead a discussion on makerspaces. I felt out of place as a facilitator, because I’ve never actually created a maker space. I know my limitations; and that includes redesigning the physical space of the classroom. If you asked me to create a list of items that “every maker space […]


The Power of Hands-On Simulations to Push Critical Thinking

I’ve been exploring this idea of “vintage learning” all month. It’s a simple idea. Sometimes the best way to look forward is to look back. Some of our most innovative lessons are actually low-tech.  Two students in my social studies pedagogy class chose an area that they knew students would find confusing and maybe even a […]


Why Duct Tape and Cardboard Might Be a Better Option than a 3D Printer

This is the third post in a series on vintage learning.  A few days ago, I met Manuel Herrera at MORENet. He has an amazing maker space where students engage in creative thinking on a daily basis. It’s a bastion of creativity and wonder and his passion for it is contagious. However, as we talked […]


Should School Be More Confusing?

I recently listened to a 99% Invisible podcast where they mentioned an excavation of a ship deep underground in the San Francisco business district. I paused the podcast and pondered how a ship would end up buried deep within the city. Who put it there? How did it get there? Why did it remain buried? […]


It’s a Big Deal to Someone (The Power of Tiny Innovations)

My kids don’t have homework this year. Both the middle school and the elementary school in our area have abandoned the practice. The result? My oldest son is researching ancient civilizations and peppering me with questions about the Assyrians (yes, they were that brutal and they included them in their frescos). My middle son has […]


Ten Vintage Ideas to Spark Innovation in Your Classroom

I love how everything that people mocked as being “outdated” is now coming back. “Don’t lecture. It’s horrible,” people said. Now it’s, “Hey, we have a TEDx Event at our school.” People mocked non-techie projects and now it’s “we really need hands-on Maker Spaces. Maybe we should have some cardboard and duct tape.” We went from […]


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 […]