Latest Posts

My Interview on Education Matters

Chicago public radio studio

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dwayne Olson on the WGTD 91.1 radio program “Education Matters.” It was a great opportunity to talk about virtual learning and libraries. I cannot embed the audio from the interview, but…
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Simple but Significant Invitations to Learning

A picture of a simple invitation with a wax seal in the middle.

I started teaching in 1999 at Heritage Middle School in Lansing, IL. As a 24 year old, I was the youngest fifth grade teacher in the building by 20 years, and for almost all my students, I was their first…
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The Importance of the Invitation to Learning

A picture of an Apple 3G iPhone box that creates a positive invitation to the device.

From “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired-and Secretive-Company Really Works“ by Adam Lashinsky How a customer opens a box must be one of the last things a typical product designer would consider. Yet for Apple, the inexpensive box merits as much…
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This Passes as Professional Development


Let us forget for a moment this tweet came out of professional development focused around SAMR, an extremely subjective teacher-centered self-assessment tool and not a student-centered learning construct. Let us focus on what was happening when this Apple Distinguished Educator tweeted…
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Why I Drive for Uber (and now Lyft)

In April 2015, I started driving for Uber in Rockford, Illinois. I still drive for Uber (now in Wisconsin) and also started driving for Lyft as of today. I thought it would be a nice way to make some extra…
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Want to Minimize Culture Shift? Then Don’t Bother.

Udaipur IND - Street shot

Let me jump right in and unpack the following session description from a recent EdTech conference. Putting the Pieces Together Is incorporating technology the dreaded “one more thing” teachers feel you’re adding to their already full plates? In this workshop…
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Do Not Be Afraid to Cull the edu-Twitter Herd

Need to cull the social media herd? These are awfully busy screens.

Almost a month ago, Dan Rezac posted “What Twitter’s Growth Problem Means for Educators” on Medium. One of the points Dan makes in his post is: Twitter still cares too much about celebrities. I agree. There are some edu-Twitter elite who…
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Creating the Right Environment

I took this photo in the Rockford Roasting Company in Rockford, IL

In October 2010, Instagram was officially launched to the world. In April 2012, sixteen months after launch, Instagram was sold to Facebook for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. As a Bay Area native myself, San Francisco is seen…
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Schools Will Save eSports

A photo of an Xbox controller. Will it be used for eSports in schools?

The future of sports is eSports. And schools will save eSports. Schools saving eSports sounds odd, I know. All the trends for eSports are pointing upward. eSports are growing quickly. In 2005, there were 58 million eSports enthusiasts (defined as…
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(Update) The 4Cs+1C and eSports

Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking. The 4Cs as these are known are modern skills we wish every student to master. Yet, most schools and classrooms do a very poor job of imparting these skills. Usually imparting these skills falls…
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