Why “holes in wood” beat “drills” in education

Having the right focus in education can help students see the relevance and importance of content. Here's why, in education, we should focus on holes in wood more than drills. (Public domain photo via photoXpress)

For a long time, I’ve believed that everyone is a salesperson. Teachers are definitely not an exception to that. (In fact, they need to “sell” more than most!) One of my favorite quotes to back this up is by Robert Louis Stevenson: “Everyone lives by selling something.” A recent podcast I listened to put a […]

4 hospitality principles that can transform our classrooms

The hospitality industry understands their guests and creates an atmosphere to put them at ease. There's so much we can learn as educators from hotels, spas and events. (Flickr / Unique Hotels)

Some hotels really fail to deliver when it comes to serving their guests, but some of them really get it right. I don’t stay in hotels a ton, but I have seen really bad hotels and really good ones. Often, being considered “bad” or “good” has little to do with how much I paid for the room! For […]

20 ways to create classroom pizzazz with Piktochart

Piktochart makes creating infographics and visuals easy -- and it's free! There are so many ways to add it to class, too. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

We live in an increasingly visual world. I first really noticed it in USA Today. I always loved those infographics in the bottom corner of the front page. I might not read any articles or open any other sections, but I always read the infographics. Billboards. Magazine ads. Banner ads on websites. They’re all laden […]

6 things I learned in 3 hours at Google Teacher Academy

Part of my excitement from Google Teacher Academy was collecting ideas to share with you! Here are some useful ones as I reflect. (Graphic via Kasey Bell)

The Google Teacher Academy in Austin, Texas, was the best two-day professional development experience I’ve had in my teaching career. But it wasn’t that way because of what we heard while seated in learning sessions. That’s not to discredit our lead learners (a very appropriate title for our presenters, I thought!). They were massively talented and […]

A peek behind the curtain: Google Teacher Academy

The Google Teacher Academy in Austin, Texas, is nearly here! Here's what I think I'll be seeing there. I can't wait to share it with you!

The day has finally arrived. At 3:12 p.m. EST, I’ll be flying out of Indianapolis International Airport en route to Austin, Texas, home of this round of the Google Teacher Academy. I’m so excited about what I’ll be able to learn there, and I’m excited to turn around and share like crazy with you afterward. […]

Confessions of an introvert teacher

Confessions of an introvert teacher

Teaching scares me to death. I know, that’s not something that teachers are supposed to say. We should be excited for every opportunity we have to help shape the future of the kids we teach. And I am. Those opportunities make me excited. Just pretty nervous, too. Sunday nights are generally the worst — a […]

10 lessons from my readers on badges, motivation

Extrinsic motivators and badges can motivate student learning, but intrinsic motivation is powerful, too. My readers offer great insight on motivating students.

My readers constantly amaze me. A great conversation ensued on my recent post: “Badges vs. curiosity: What should motivate students?” They engaged in a great sharing of viewpoints from both sides of the intrinsic/extrinsic motivation spectrum. The best way to sum up everyone’s input was that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation have their place in […]