Five questions to ask before assigning homework

After co-authoring Ditch That Homework, I’ve participated in LOTS of meaningful discussions about the subject. And they haven’t all been about “homework is evil and we should ban it all the way across the board.” (This is a common misconception about the title of the book …) Homework is a contentious topic. Everyone seems to […]

Is creative work REALLY worth the time in the classroom?

It’s a fair question. I’ve heard similar questions to this at teaching conferences, in discussions and versions of it on social media. I’ve even thought it myself. “This creative work takes a lot of time. Does it really give a return on all of that investment? There’s plenty of evidence that points to YES … […]

Dismantling the fear of “What if students see something bad online?”

In a recent workshop I was leading with teachers, the inevitable question came up. We were looking at Google Maps Street View, discussing how it can give students a first-person view of places all over the world — and let them “walk around” independently. Then came that inevitable question: “How do you make sure that […]

5 ways to teach students to be future-ready

Today’s students face a technology-infused, innovation-filled world in their future. We’re already looking at the possibility of widespread smart houses, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence that can talk to us and work on our behalf. Our parents’ and grandparents’ curriculum won’t be sufficient. How do teachers identify the trends, predict what students will need and prepare […]

Just pause.

I was a mess as a soccer coach. I hadn’t played soccer myself since middle school. (Of course, in a small community where few people know much about soccer, you still get asked to coach!) But that wasn’t the issue. During one practice, I noticed something. My mouth was running constantly. I started paying attention […]

10 great ideas from Ditch That Conference #DitchCon2017

“An analog conference for a digital world.” Ditch That Conference 2017 was a hit, helping educators think about the face-to-face/digital balance and providing TONS of ideas on how to make it happen. This was the first conference of its kind and truly a dream for me. I got to imagine an event, organize it, recruit […]

Belief matters: How a growth mindset unlocks confidence and achievement

Recently, I had a rather enlightening conversation with my son and three of his friends. Two of his buddies absolutely hate school. They struggle and muddle their way through. Of course, they have their own special gifts; basketball is an area where they excel. But things like reading, writing, and math? Those don’t come as […]

100-year-old advice to shape our activities and lessons today

It’s amazing how wisely John Dewey could speak to educators today in an age without digital devices and the Internet. In Dewey’s day, individualization and differentiation of instruction was heresy. Rote memorization and recitation were common practices. The more I dig back through his life, his views on education and his quotes, the more I learn about […]