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There are so many implications for educators who work at all levels of the system here. Hatch inspired me as much as he pushed my thinking. Great weekend read! Some of my highlights: “We must make, create, and express ourselves to feelw hole. There is something unique about making physical things. These things are like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our soul.” p.1 “You must have access to the right…

This photo captures the thinking behind the most inspired moment of my week. I spent yesterday Gamestorming with a group of local English teachers in order to surface, prioritize, and resolve their emerging curricular needs. Once our work together was complete, we situated the games inside of a completely different context: lesson design. The anchor chart above reflects how we practiced using Post Ups, Clusters, Affinity Mapping, and Forced Ranking to help readers make…

I like my laptop, but I love Post Its. iPads certainly support the professional learning that happens in my sessions, but Post Its contain that learning and make it transparent and immediately to accessible to everyone in the room. We can touch each other’s thoughts and hold them in our hands. We can move them around and break them apart. We can remix them, and when we do, they change. And then our thinking changes. This…

Read anything awesome over spring break? I did. My favorite read was actually a reread, and I have a feeling I’ll be referencing it deep into the future. Sunni Brown, Dave Gray, and James Macanufo wrote Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rule-Breakers, and Changemakers. If you’re responsible for helping people generate ideas and solutions in any capacity, you will love this book. You might also love the app, which I spent this morning test driving as well.…

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to attend EdCamp Buffalo for the first time. This was something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Having an entire afternoon to sit down, connect with, and learn from local people who are so passionate about teaching and learning and leadership is a rare indulgence. I’m very grateful to Colleen Brown, Melinda Callihan, Rob Fetter, Mike Fisher, Kristen Frawley, Rebecca Tharp, and Patrick Wirth…

Steve Peha was the first teacher to help me realize the potential for visualization to serve learners. His Draw, Label, Caption strategy is still a favorite of mine, and I use it in varied contexts. You can find it by visiting Teaching that Makes Sense and downloading the Writing Teacher’s Strategy Guide. While you’re there, peek into some of his other resources. I know few people as generous as he is with his thinking and…

Over the last several years, I’ve come to rely on the ARCS framework, created by Communities for Learning, for nearly all of my professional planning. I use it to establish a baseline assessment of the groups I work with, to determine entry points into our work together,  to strategically plan, and to assess the influence of our efforts over time. This framework has also transformed the shape and structure of the professional learning experiences that…

Lots of kids in my world closing their Facebook accounts in recent weeks. I find this interesting, and I’ve  been asking a lot of questions from different populations of former Facebook users. Their responses have been enlightening. Here is what I’ve been told…… In fact, many of them don’t love it. They just know they are supposed to. If they don’t have an account, they are pressured into having one by their peers and sometimes,…

Internet filtering is a reality wherever I work. I’m sure it will remain so for some time to come, and in most cases, for good reason. I’m fortunate to work in places where many of the tools that I prefer to use are open, including Google tools and YouTube and even Facebook. When things are blocked, all of the administrators that I work with are happy to open sites up in order to facilitate great…

I’m not wild about Interactive White Boards. My reasons are fairly simple– we don’t expect young people and teachers to identify their real learning and creative purposes often or early enough, and I question how IWBs facilitate this well. I feel it’s important to begin most learning there, and  I have a hunch that when we overlook this, we increase the chances of integrating technology in ways that don’t serve any one very well. So…