Watch this short video as Matthew Shlian talks about himself, how he learns and the role that curiosity plays in his work. Then think about the kind of classroom that would foster Matt and learners like him. He states, A lot of my work is about curiosity. I come to understanding by making. If I can see what something’s going to look like when it’s finished, then I don’t want to make it. That would be like filling out a form.
Here’s how to engage students in historic research and critical thinking in an innovative lesson that combines biography, historic photographs, the 1900 federal census, the 1897 Sears Catalogue, and Google Voice.
Unique Ink is a student-staffed publisher based out of Roosevelt High School’s Writing and Publishing Center that was established in 2012. Volunteers at the center teach publishing to high school students to improve their skills in business, editing, and marketing. Through the center’s unique hands-on approach, students learn about the publishing industry by publishing and selling their own books. Proceeds from the sales of “Where the Roses Smell the Best” will help the Writing and Publishing Center stay self-sustaining.
Here’s a TEDx video – The Future Will Not Be Multiple Choice – that showcases the power of a PBL / design-based approach to learning. While you watch it, try to think of a meaningful career that looks like filling out a worksheet.
Publishing is an effective tool for getting students engaged and writing. The new book, Publishing with PowerPoint, walks the reader through a process of self-publishing that can be used in any classroom. PowerPoint is an effective book design software – it’s already on your computer and everyone know how to use it. Students find it easy to use PowerPoint templates and position a wide range of text and images on a PPT slide. Powerpoint slides can be quickly grouped and rearranged into book pages. Finally, converting PowerPoint slides into pdfs for publishing can be done with the “Save As” function. The teacher with a limited budget can print just one copy for the classroom. Parents can order their own copies online.
There’s a great new free iBook that I highly recommend as a source for project based learning and team building activities for middle school students through adults. “Innovation Challenges – Mind Workouts for Teams” is available – free at iTunes.
It tells the story of a great program at Saint Louis University, designed to promote creativity, innovation, and the entrepreneurial mindset through novel challenges. The book is a detailed how to for 22 challenges – team supplies, facilitator supplies, tips, learning outcomes and variations. It’s a treasure trove lavishly illustrated with photos and videos. Challenges run the gamut from STEM to marketing and sustainability. The iBook also details how to replicate the competition at your institution.
Too often teachers give students a Venn Diagram and ask them to compare. What looks like analysis on the surface is often no more than re-filling information from the source material into the Venn. Summarizing and comparisons are powerful ways to build content knowledge and critical thinking. But if students are going to master CCSS skills they need to design the model, find a way to express it to others, and have the opportunity self reflect on their product and feedback from peers. Here’s how to teach analyzing.
I will demonstrate how to meet these four keys to teaching analysis with FlipNLearn, a foldable that students design, print and share. It’s an innovative learning tool that students design on a computer, then print on special pre-formatted paper. FlipNLearn is a great way to give students a manageable design challenge that promotes teamwork, self-assessment and reflection. In 30 minutes, or less, they can produce tangible product that blends the best of PBL and CCSS skills in communication.
For years progressive educators have known the textbook was dead. Apple’s latest iPad Mini / iBooks Author event (October 23, 2012) suggests we are closing in on the tipping point that should hasten its demise. I’ll let others focus on the viability of the iPad as a textbook replacement in this era of shrinking budgets. Instead I’ll focus on three reasons why teaming iBooks Author (iBA) with the iPad can turn students from passive consumers of information, into active researchers, thinkers, designers and writers.
I am proud of my life-long career in public education - especially the 25 years I spent as a teacher. For nearly 30 years, I have worked with school districts, state DOEs, leading educational organizations and companies to improve the quality of teaching and learning. I provide training and consulting services across the United States and internationally. I'm exploring the instructional power of interactive texts and helping to foster the next generation of teachers as adjunct faculty at School of Education, University of Portland.
Based on an innovative teacher’s workshop sponsored by the Library of Congress TPS program. Includes both the training materials and fourteen teacher-designed document-based questions for grades 4 through high school. More
Awarded "Best Textbook and Best Widget, 2015" Archival photographs and dozens of video interviews with former Japantown residents detail life from the 1890s through the incarcerations of WWII. Reader can use interactive widgets to blend of then and now photos. More
Explore Portland Oregon’s historic Japantown with this user-friendly walking tour. The city’s vibrant pre WWII Japanese American community is archived in over 125 photographs and audio clips. This GPS-enabled app guides you through Portland’s eight block Japantown, a bustling community in the early decades of the twentieth century - better known today as the colorful Old Town / Chinatown neighborhood.
My iBooks are filled with videos, audios, posters, art, pamphlets, letters and long lost ephemera. "Stop-and-think" prompts based on CCSS skills guide students through analysis of the primary sources. Essential questions foster critical thinking. All documents include links back to the original source material so that students can remix the content into their own curated collections.
Download a free iBook and experience the future of the textbook.