learning + technology + innovation

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to this blog via e-mail or our RSS feed. We also are each on Twitter (see sidebar on right). Thanks for visiting!  The internet is blowing up with first-day-of-school selfies and stories on social media, reflections…

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Forbes, How we do business, #1st5days

Forbes, How we do business, #1st5days

After reading about the Most Innovative Companies in Europe, I wondered how the companies’ ideology and mission supported their success. Curious, I visited the website for innovative companies #1 and #10 mentioned in Forbes. #1  ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital…

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Recipe for Magic

Recipe for Magic

Ingredients: (1) nephew, age 15 (1) daughter, age 6 (1) Mr. Pibb, sustenance for teenage-boy when snarky-ness ensues (1) Lego Mindstorms, EV3 package (1) Pandora station, recommend: classic rock or an 80’s station (teenage boy needs to have autonomy with music choice) Directions: Provide ingredients, a workspace…

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My Tribe

My Tribe

I would like to introduce you to my new tribe and quite possibly, my first tribe.  I’m learning (thanks to Seth Godin) that a tribe is a group of people that are connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea….

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4Q: The quadruple win

4Q: The quadruple win

Four big questions to ask about a lesson, unit, or activity… Deeper learning. Did it allow students to go beyond factual recall and procedural regurgitation and be creative, collaborative, critical thinkers and problem-solvers? Did it really? [If not, why not? Our graduates need to be deeper…

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Pink’s Purpose

Pink’s Purpose

Wow.  I just had my first taste of Dan Pink and his thoughts on what motivates people.  I’ll be adding Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us to my reading list.  In short, autonomy, mastery and purpose.  Duh.  Let people own what they do, get better…

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Influence

Influence

I just started reading Influencer-The New Science of Leading Change written by several leaders in best practice training products and services.  Sounds kind of dry, right?  Actually, no.  I was very surprised on how easy it was to pick it up given the title and the…

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Playground PD #ISTE2015

Playground PD #ISTE2015

During the 2015 ISTE conference, I volunteered to help in the Digital Storytelling playground. Brad Wilson, co-founder of WriteAbout, and I shared the morning shift helping with the first sandbox/table. The playground consisted of seven sandbox/table areas highlighting a learning goal equipped with a list…

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I did it and I survived

I did it and I survived

So I am literally 9 minutes removed from my first “big stage” presentation at ISTE, a 1 in 3 (1 topic, 3 minutes) on design thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever learned as much in three minutes as I just did. Not from my presentation, but…

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When will the bucket tip?

When will the bucket tip?

At our local pool they recently put in a new play area. There’s a large bucket with a stream of water pouring into it, and every 15 minutes or so it reaches the tipping point, where it will flip and drench all the screaming, playing…

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Summer of Code

Summer of Code

It’s Summer of Code at our house… Phase 1 (Group) Everyone works through Course 2, Course 3, and Course 4 at Code.org to ensure that we have basic conceptual understanding of key terms and ideas. I have a teacher account and can print certificates of…

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TICL

TICL

Last week, I was fortunate to attend and present at TICL in Storm Lake, Iowa. The collaborative efforts of Northwest AEA and Prairie Lakes AEA converge to create a three day conference on Buena Vista University’s beautiful campus. I appreciated the enthusiasm of keynote Tony…

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When I Designed Units…

When I Designed Units…

The list of my considerations is in no particular order… 1. What standards do I need to address? Concepts? -The answer to this helped me focus and be intentional and #4, #5. 2. What do my students care about? -The answer to this helped create…

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Living Your Legacy – Ella Mozzarella

Living Your Legacy – Ella Mozzarella

This spring I started a new video series, to be published quarterly, highlighting the amazing things that students across the globe are doing. For my summer video I had the opportunity to do an interview with the most amazing little girl from New Jersey, and I’m…

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Guest Blog: Susan Oehlertz, PAC MAKER DAYS, Full Steam Ahead

Guest Blog: Susan Oehlertz, PAC MAKER DAYS, Full Steam Ahead

The magic and power behind PAC’s Maker Days, read about it HERE. 

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#JJAProject Capture, Create, and Share

#JJAProject Capture, Create, and Share

Thanks to my treasured PLN, I learned of #jjaproject. During the summer months (June, July, August), share pictures to the hashtag using your favorite social media channels. I will be posting to Instagram and Twitter. Feel free to edit and add text. I plan to…

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Worth the Conversation: Screenshots of Instagram Pics/Art/Law/Money

Worth the Conversation: Screenshots of Instagram Pics/Art/Law/Money

Reporter, Jessica Contrara, published in the Washington Post’s Style Blog: This month, painter and photographer Richard Prince reminded us that what you post is public, and given the flexibility of copyright laws, can be shared — and sold — for anyone to see. As a part…

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The roars of approval as we revert back to what we’ve always done

The roars of approval as we revert back to what we’ve always done

George Couros said: Sometimes when the statement is made, “it is not about technology, it is about pedagogy”, you then hear the roars of approval, and off we go on our merry way with nothing changing for many students. In reality sometimes it is about…

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(Instagram) You’re so Vain…or Not so Much.

(Instagram) You’re so Vain…or Not so Much.

A few months ago while traveling for work, I heard a morning weatherman rationalize why he did not have @instagram. Of course, I tweeted. The weatherman is just misinformed or uninformed. His enlightenment comes from all of us revealing the benefits of connection. Valued member…

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As I Lay Dying/End of Year Classroom Packing

As I Lay Dying/End of Year Classroom Packing

Almost two decades have passed since I read Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. As I considered the end of the year traditional classroom routine this evening, the reading came to mind. As I Lay Dying is more complex and involved than I will explain…a woman…

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