How Action Research Sparks Innovation and Boosts Creativity in the Classroom

If you like this video, please click “like” and subscribe to my channelWhat happens when you give students exemplars? Do they simply copy the pre-existing examples? Do they fail to take creative risks? Do they internalize the idea that their work must fit a previous model? Does it implicitly tell students “this is what it […]

Be Fearless (My Mantra for 2017)

Here’s my second vlog post (video blog) on my YouTube Channel. I almost didn’t post it (which connects to this post’s topic). If you enjoy the content, please subscribe to my channel. It’s what helps people find the videos on YouTube. My son and I both love to draw. Sometimes we’ll sit right next to each other, two […]

Great Design Can Begin Anywhere (6 Starting Places for Design Thinking)

For the past five days, our yard has been canvased by a thick sheet of snow — well, thick for a southwestern guy who has just moved to the northwest. I’m pretty sure my friends in Michigan would call it a “dusting.” However, my kids have been throwing snowballs and making snow monsters and sledding […]

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Six Videos to Spark Creative Thinking

Limitations and challenges can be frustrating. However, they can also be the creative constraint that leads to problem-solving and divergent thinking. Over the years, I’ve learned that students love challenges that they find engaging, intriguing and meaningful. Some of these are practical and real-world. Others are fantastical and require a bold imagination. I want to […]

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Why We’re Letting Our Sons Have a YouTube Channel

My oldest son wants his own YouTube channel. He wants to film science experiments, modify maker projects and test out different “life hacks” to see if they actually work. He wants to film stuff with drones and make up his own challenges (think bottle flip or mannequin challenge). His younger brother wants to record Minecraft videos, […]

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Seven Reasons to Show Your Work (Why You Should Share the Process)

When I was a kid, I loved watching reality TV. Okay, it wasn’t really reality TV. It was PBS. However, I would watch an entire season of This Old House, as Bob Vila walked viewers step-by-step through a cumbersome restoration process. This never included a “choose these three options” or “surprise ending.” Instead, the homeowners […]

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This Is The Hero We Are All Looking For

My son has been doing #nanowrimo with me, but with a twist. He’s not writing 40,000 words. Instead, he’s creating his own graphic novel. He has characters like Bottle Flippin’ Awesome who he describes as “an anti-hero who works for both sides by annoying people who are trying to concentrate. And who always refers to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Future Belongs to the Makers

When I was in the eight grade, my entire goal was to go unnoticed. Fly under the radar. Keep away from the Cool Patrol (the people who ran the school social hierarchy). I had one friend, this kid named Matt, who I knew from church. We were two nerds in a pod. And, fortunately for me, […]