Saturday, August 17, 2013

An Idea for Engaging Students

I love it when my Twitter Network serendipitously provides me with a creative idea. One such moment occurred this morning. A tweet came across mentioning This is a site with an interesting concept: scavenger hunts for the purpose of team building, experiential marketing or social adventures. While that sounds like all kinds of fun to me, I began thinking about how to capture the concept for K-12 students. Each hunt, the site says, is jam-packed with clues for your team to uncover, sent in unexpected ways and placed in various locations. There is a photo challenge that encourages creativity and out-of-the box thinking. There is a team challenge, a guide on the side and a wrap-up reflective activity. Am I the only one out there that thinks this sounds like the beginnings of a lesson structure? The missing pieces are the learning targets. What if we could design a lesson plan that incorporates a similar scavenger hunt structure while uncovering resources/information that will help students answer essential questions? I even began thinking about how someone could provide clues using Aurasma, a leading augmented reality platform app. I really must find some time to put a lesson together while this concept is fresh in my mind. Thanks @scitechyedu for sharing this with @boadams which allowed me to eavesdrop and provided me with excited contemplation!

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Over the years, I have followed many great thinkers in the realm of Education. One of those great thinkers is David Warlick. It is sad to me that he is "retiring" from the Education Consulting business. Don't worry, he mentions on his blog that it just means he won't be writing/speaking as often as he has in the past. I enjoyed reading his latest post on Learning-Literacy. Think about that a minute. There is a literacy to learning. I have always been a fan of teachers being "chief learners" in their classrooms. I will never forget one teacher who mentioned to me after a professional development experience that the biggest thing he gained from it was the fact he would have to be always learning. Wow! I took that as a huge success.

In Warlick's blog post, Schools that Practice Learning-Literacy, he mentions several indicators that characterize schools that practice learning-literacy. Some of the indicators like the lines between teacher and learner are blurred and reliance on learning taking precedence over reliance on textbooks might be indicators you would expect. One of the indicators Warlick mentions is "The library magnifies the world outside, but also reflects the culture inside, curating collections of learner-produced media products." I love the idea of libraries curating collections of learner-produced media products. One of the emphases during my K-12 education career has been to give students a sense of audience and purpose that goes beyond the classroom and the teacher. A good way to curate these student produced projects has been a challenge for a lot of teachers. What if part of the school media center transformation was to have a system for doing just that? Take a look at Warlick's indicators and let us know, how does your school measure up?

Monday, August 05, 2013

iSummit 2013

I was fortunate to work with a great group of educators again this year on the steering committee for iSummit 2013, the annual conference for the Coalition of Lighthouse Schools. Two incredible keynote speakers kicked off each day of the conference. We had numerous breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Again I was fortunate to be asked to facilitate one of the pre-conference workshops. We had close to 30 participants in an iPad Workshop. Other workshops offered were on Technology & the Brain, Google Earth and Design Thinking. The great thing about the iSummit conference is that it really facilitates the networking of educators from primarily Independent Schools all over the United States, and even some international folks. To see supporting documents from all of the sessions offered, visit the Presenters' Wiki at iSummit 2014 is set for June 10th - 12th. Plan to join in on the fun!