Podcasting Can Work in Any Subject Blog Post

Last week, I shared why student podcasting is a great idea. Podcasting is a powerful way for students to share their voice with the world. Along the way, they learn to communicate, engage in critical thinking, and go through the design process as they ultimately…

10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers Blog Post

A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was…

Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership Blog Post

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…

What Can Video Games Teach Us About Instructional Design? Blog Post

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…

Three Reasons to Try Video Prompts in Your Classroom Blog Post

Last summer, my son started an online writer’s workshop. Although it fizzled by the end of the summer, there was a period where they were all working on a collaborative story and writing their own editorials back and forth. This wasn’t a school-sponsored activity. It…

Research Should Be Fun (Why Research and PBL Are a Great Combination) Blog Post

I remember the first time we did a PBL unit and I asked students to fill out a survey on their favorite and least favorite parts. Overwhelmingly, students described dreading the research process. Similarly, when we first used design thinking, students asked me why we…

How Do You Teach to the Standards When Doing Project-Based Learning? Blog Post

It’s easy to remember the highlight reels of the project-based approach I used when I taught eighth grade. I think about the moment we finished our second mural and my students were so excited they started spontaneously cheering or the moment students asked thoughtful questions…

10 Creative Risks to Take with Students This Year Blog Post

My daughter looks up from her cereal and says, “You know what day I can’t wait for?” “Um, your birthday?” She shakes her head. “Next Christmas?” She shakes her head again and then says, “The first day back to school. I can’t wait to see…

Five Ways to Boost Student Engagement with Flow Theory Blog Post

If we want students to develop a maker mindset, we need to empower them to hit a state of creative flow. Flow Theory explains what happens when we hit that place of “optimal experience,” where you are fully engaged, present, and focused. The following blog…

Seven Ways to Help Students Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset Blog Post

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,…

School Should Be Impractical (The Practical Benefits of Being Impractical) Blog Post

Schools are designed to be practical but this has a hidden drawback. Innovation is often impractical because it’s unpredictable. So, what if the push toward “practical skills” in school is actually making learning impractical? And what if impractical ideas and skills we ignore are actually…