4 Ways to Create a Learner-Centered Classroom

Many classroom management gurus advocate that procedures and policies are the keys to classroom success. Others might tell you rules and expectations or the syllabus are a must in the first days of the school.  Now I am not going to argue that these things aren’t important, they are! But if you believe (and I do) […]

One Approach Does Not Fit All

I overheard a conversation between a group of educators debating whether or not taking notes by hand or typing them was better.  Each group could cite research that supported their side of the argument. They thoughtfully anchored their beliefs in their own experiences, shared how they learn and what works for them as educators to […]

Project-based Learning: Are You Focused on the Project or the Learning?

As the Gallup poll and countless others have pointed out, many of our students are increasingly less engaged in their own education. Much of this is a result of a focus on short-term, extrinsic rewards to coax kids through low-level tasks and provide technology as games or rewards to motivate learners instead of designing authentic […]

What if school could be better for students- and adults?

Last week at ISTE, I had the opportunity to give a keynote, which was an amazing experience, and I was honored to share my thoughts on what’s possible when we focus on learners and learning. As our world changes the role of the educator must evolve and human connections and guidance become even more important- […]

Do We Really Need PD?

I was talking with a good friend and former colleague of mine, Ed Hidalgo, who has transitioned into education from the world of business and has recently become the Chief Innovation & Engagement Officer in Cajon Valley Union School District. The district is making a bold effort to achieve their vision of “Happy Students, Engaged […]

Are you over-scaffolding?

As educators, we often feel like we aren’t doing our jobs if we don’t take people through the process and teach them every single thing they need to be successful. There is a tendency to model step by step and ensure we provide clear directions for how to do everything. It’s almost as if we […]

We Rise by Lifting Others

It is easy to become isolated in our roles as educators and overwhelmed by the enormous pace of change in the world.  I hear the stories and see the obstacles to meaningful change within the schools and districts. At times it change can feel daunting and unbelievably slow. The truth is that when you are in […]

Your Stories Matter #IMMOOC

I met with the principal recently and we were talking about his goals and what he wanted to see on his campus related to the larger district vision. He started talking about programs and specific expectations that were all very expected and typical. As he continued talking his tone shifted and he passionately shared,” I […]

Experiences Shape Practice

I hear stories all the time of people who set up their stuffed animals and played school all day long and dreamed of being a teacher.Many educators grew up as readers and loved school. That’s awesome but that wasn’t my story. My mom was a teacher and I spent time in her classroom. I saw […]