Seven Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour Projects

Genius Hour (or 20% Time) projects begin with a simple idea: give students a dedicated period of time to pursue their passions, interests, and questions in a creative way. In this blog post and podcast, we explore the benefits of doing Genius Hour projects. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d […]

Why Journalism Might Actually Be the Class of the Future

When we imagine the future of learning, we often hear about STEM and STEAM and things like robotics or coding. But I’d argue that one of the most relevant subjects for developing a maker mindset is actually journalism. Here’s why.  Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like to listen to […]

Getting Started with Content Curation in the Classroom

Content curation is a vital part of the creative process. In this blog post and podcast, we explore why curation matters and how we can help students learn how to engage in the curation process.   We Need Critical Consumers When we think of creativity, it’s easy to picture a person coming up with something […]

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 […]

Why Deep Work Has Become an Essential Skill in a Distracted World

This is part of a series on The Future of Learning and it’s a trend that I’ve noticed often. It’s the idea that some of the more “vintage” skills (philosophy, curating, deep work, making things from scratch) are actually the most relevant in an age of connectivity.  Last Friday, I had a massive list of […]

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 […]

Helping Students Leverage the Connective Power of Research

  I still remember the moment I went to the computer lab to check out the World Wide Web. This was somewhere around 1993. The librarian called it a Field trip to the Information Superhighway and for awhile I thought she was like Ms. Frizzle. “See this page you’re reading right now? Other people can […]

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, […]

In an Age of Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy Is More Vital Than Ever

Imagine you are building a self-driving car. Chances are you’ll look for a team of engineers who can figure out how to make each part work fluidly in an interconnected manner. You’d look for software engineers and mechanical engineers and experts in user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. But then you realize that people […]

Helping Students Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

About three years ago, a student approached me before class. “Mr. Spencer, I heard that you wrote a children’s book.” I nodded. “I co-wrote it with my wife and then we self-published it.” “Can you teach me how to publish my own novel?” I launched into a brief elevator pitch about character development, conflict, and […]