Using Design Thinking to Innovate in Your Own Practice

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to deliver an opening keynote and closing talk for EdEx, a conference in Eindhoven (in the Netherlands). When Jochem first shared his idea of a weeklong design expedition, I imagined teachers working in a makerspace, designing a product that would mirror the type of work they might […]

What the Netherlands Taught Me About Design Thinking

Last week, I stepped off the train and walked into the bustling streets of Eindhoven. I had never been to the Netherlands, much less Europe, so I became the obnoxious American taking quick snapshots, attempting to soak up the feel of the city. My first thought was, “Man, every dude here is 6 foot 4 […]

How Nature Inspires Better Design (and What This Means for Students)

We want students to be makers and designers. But there’s a surprising source of inspiration for design: the natural world. This is the key idea behind biomimicry, which encourages engineers to pay close attention to nature in order to improve their designs. The following post is an exploration of what this idea means for classroom […]

Design Thinking Can Work in Any Subject

Every day, I ask my kids, “What did you make in school today?” Too often, they can’t give me an answer. But on the days that they do, their eyes light up and they passionately describe their projects. It’s in those moments that I am reminded that making is magic. I want to see schools […]

Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break

Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post to download the Ten Creative Ways to End the Semester Resource Pack.  Let’s just put it out there. December is exhausting for teachers. The days are shorter. The weather grows colder and (at least here in Oregon) wetter. Students are anxious — whether it’s a […]

The Roadmap for Collaborative Projects

Five Really Good Reasons Not to Do Collaborative Projects With Your Students “Group project.” Say those two words and you’ll instantly notice the face of sheer dread as a handful of students calculate just how much extra work they’ll need to do in order to make up for the slackers in their assigned group. Look […]

Collaborative Projects Can Work in Any Subject

If we say we want students to become critical thinking life-long learners, we need to provide projects that encourage them to engage in creative collaboration. But what does this look like in each subject area? How do turn this idea into a reality? We’ll be exploring that idea in my second blog post in a […]

6 Student-Centered Projects for the First Week of School

Don’t Wait to Innovate! Teachers often begin the school year with team-building activities or a review of the rules and procedures. But what if we began with student-centered projects? The following is an exploration of six student-centered projects you can launch in your first month of school. Starting the Year with Student-Centered Projects So, imagine […]

Turning Problems into Solutions

When teachers view themselves as systems architects, they are able to view potential problems as design challenges.    What I Learned from Watching People on a Plane Yesterday, on a flight from Portland to Minneapolis, the flight attendant asked the passengers to check their seats for any belongings and to close the shade on the […]

Over 60,000 students from 12 countries are ready for the Global Day of Design #GDD17

Last year over 40,000 students and 450 schools from 5 continents participated in the very first Global Day of Design. The hashtag went viral as students and teachers shared and launched their creative projects all day long around the globe. This year, we are doing it again, and we can’t wait to see what students […]