“Be so good they can’t ignore you” and other things I learned this week

Rough draft thinking – Interesting thoughts here on rough draft thinking. Essentially the idea is that you encourage students to view their talk in class discussions as being in rough draft form. This encourages students to use talk in a way that they don’t feel like they have to have the right answer, especially initially. This encourages students, ideally, to worry less about being right, recognizing that their working towards a better understanding.

My writing – I wrote up this post on How ten minutes on Twitter reminds you that you’re awful and not trying hard enough. It discusses how it’s easy to fall into the mental trap that everyone around you is doing better than you. I also wrote this post entitled It’s just a notebook and it’s stupid. This was a fun piece about how I agonized for months over the best way to use my shiny new notebook.

34 Reasons my Toddler Lost her Shit – by Stephanie Wittles Wachs If you have had, do have, know of, or were a kid then you might appreciate this article. It’s a great 2 minute read that perfectly encapsulates life with a toddler.

Tim Ferris Podcast (again) – As has tended to be the case in the weekly recap, I ended up with a couple revelations listening to The Tim Ferris show podcast. The episode was Marc Andreessen — Lessons, Predictions, and Recommendations from an Icon. Marc said two things that stuck with me. The first was “Smart people should build things”. The second was a quote from Steve Martin which was, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” (Click here to jump directly to that part of the podcast.)

My AP Calc students finished their final projects (In which they had to spend two weeks learning anything they wanted) and there were a few that stood out. Check out this time-lapse video of a student building a card house. One of the most interesting projects was by a girl who’s family is originally from Palestine. She chose to learn two things. First, she wanted to learn documentary filmmaking. Second, she wanted to learn about her family history. She put these two things together and produced the short video below. Have a look!

Last, I’ve been giggling about this meme all week. Thanks for reading!

This is a weekly recap of the major things I learned or have been thinking about this week. It’s primarily for me but I thought other people might find it interesting as well. All these posts have been categorized under “Weekly Recap”.

The Testing Phase of Design – Education Edition

In my current grad class at Michigan State, Learning Technology through Design, I was asked to create a video describing the testing phase of the design process, especially in regards to how it applies to education (and my problem of practice). The testing phase is important because, as I like to think of it, it’s like a soft opening for your solution(s). It gives you an opportunity to get feedback on your big ideas and designs. This feedback loop will then drive future iterations of your prototypes to something polished and worthy of being fully implemented. The video below describes the testing method I used to test my prototypes and also explains why I think this phase is so important in education.

A Call to Innovate…Now


Click here to read about South Korea’s telepresence tools

If you can be replaced by a video then you should be.
If you can be replaced by a computer program than you should be.
This post is not designed to incite anger. It is not to suggest that technology is a better job at teaching that most educators. The purpose of this post is to get some thoughts off my chest (starting with the above two lines).

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Prototyping Like a Ninja

I really enjoyed this module in my current grad class (Learning technology through Design) as it allowed me to figuratively get my hands dirty with  building some prototypes of design solutions for the problem that teachers have a tremendous lack of time to innovate and collaborate. As I’ve mentioned before, this problem has several layers. My goal was to try and develop a solution for each layer. Please note that these are not silver bullets but an attempt to shift the tide, if even just a little bit, to help teachers feel a bit less buried and to help them get back their weekends (or at least their Saturdays).

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The Lack of Time Education: Developing Empathy for my Users

In this paper I have compiled my research and reflections on what I gained from empathizing with my users (teachers). The problem I’m trying to address this semester is that many teachers in America don’t feel like they have the time to innovate and collaborate. This is a serious problem as teachers, arguably more that any time in history, have to be creative and innovative in their craft. By the end of the semester I hope to have gained insights into how to help teachers get (or feel like they’re getting) more time. I do hope you’ll follow along.

(Take my survey at this link and see the results here.)