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May 21, 2015

Coding Creativity: Winning #makewonder Student Coding Videos

On April 12th, my students threw down a challenge to the world: Create a video about coding and/or creativity and send it to us. They would then pick the top video and the winner would receive two new robotic friends that inspire us to code: Dash and Dot, courtesy of Wonder Workshop. The loved all the submissions so much and had a hard time narrowing it down... but ultimately they made a decision. Read on to see the winning student videos and my students' response!

April 17, 2015

Making Emma Happy: The Power of Social Media to Do Good (by Nick Provenzano)

Recently I saw a Facebook post from friend and amazing educator Nick Provenzano (aka The Nerdy Teacher). He was trying to leverage social media for good - to benefit one of his students. I joined the hordes of educators who responded enthusiastically, rallying their students to support his. The end result was so inspiring that I asked him to write a guest post for this blog. Being the generous soul that Nick is, he agreed and shared this incredible story.

March 25, 2015

Inspiring Women Series: Ronahy Alzagha, Student Leader

In this penultimate post in the Inspiring Women Series, we meet Ronahy Alzagha, a high school junior at East Leyden High School from just outside of Chicago, IL. As a student leader in a school built around student voice and leadership, she truly shines as an inspiring young woman for us to look up to. In this interview, Rohany shares wisdom beyond her years and reminds us that we can be our own heroes.

February 09, 2015

The White House Film Fest: Inspiring Student Voice Through Video

The White House asked K-12 students to "tell a story about paying it forward, about community service, or what making a difference looks like in your eyes." Once again, my students were inspired to share a message, create something meaningful and amplify their voices through social media.

February 04, 2015

Creating Upstanders for the Present While Exploring Our History

Every February classrooms across the nation observe Black History Month. While teachers have have a plethora of resources for reflecting on the past, many are wondering how to empower their students to take on issues of social justice in the present. Sara Ahmed is the co-author of the amazing book, Upstanders: How to Engage Middle School Hearts and Minds with Inquiry. In the video interview, Sara describes this idea as well as others for building student agency and inquiry. These are great ideas for supercharging your classroom not only throughout February but all year long!

December 02, 2014

Undiluted Student Agency: Going Beyond Genius Hour

On a trip to New Zealand, Jennie Magiera learned what undiluted student agency looks like, and what school can be if every hour is "Genius Hour."

November 05, 2014

My TEDxTalk: Sorry, Sir Robinson ... I Think I Killed Creativity

On September 20, 2014, I was fortunate to give a TEDxTalk. The title was "Power to the Pupil" but in retrospect, I wish I'd named it "Sorry Sir Robinson... I think I killed creativity". This talk is about what to do once you become inspired to embrace student agency, creativity and exploration in the classroom... but you realize that your students have already become rubric zombies. It's about wondering - what do I do now? Am I too late?

September 16, 2014

Getting Started With Twitter Tuesday!

Twitter Tuesday is a school-wide sharing of ideas and learning. Each week, teachers give their students a prompt and each class responds. The teachers tweet out these responses throughout the day under a shared Twitter handle. Here are a few tips to get started with this idea in your school!

November 14, 2013

The Digital Buzz: Using Twitter to Shape Your School Culture

In this week's Digital Buzz, we explore how to leverage social media, specifically Twitter, to amplify your school's voice. Today we are joined by Jason Markey, principal of East Leyden High School, and two of his amazing students, Ariana and Kristina. Together, they share the story of how their sch...

October 11, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Strategies to Empower Student Voice

This post shares five tried-and-true strategies to amplify your K-12 students' voices and empower their ideas.

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