The #EduCon 2.6 #toyhack (online & off!)

The #EduCon 2.6 #toyhack (online & off!)
In just two weeks at this year’s EduCon, I’ll be facilitating a different kind of hack jam session around the #toyhack. A #toyhack is a new toy scavenged from bits and pieces of old ones. It’s an exercise in remix that help us understand and unpack hacking, participatory learning, societal gender norms, and the relationships ...

Low-fi coding as reading comprehension with “Lift Your Right Arm” 4

Low-fi coding as reading comprehension with
After a bit of a spark-draught, we finally hit a lesson today that mixed the right amount of challenge, reading comprehension, and multiple paths to success for nearly every kid in class. Yesterday we read Peter Cherches’s “Lift Your Right Arm,” a subtle and sinister poem about control and our acclimation to it. We ran ...

Playtime at #ncte13

Playtime at #ncte13
A few playful opportunities (besides “Make. Hack. Play.”) for you at #nwpam13 and #ncte13 this fine weekend: Play-test Learning Alchemy. Antero Garcia and I have alpha, v0.2, paper-prototypes of our new fantasy-satire card game about US public education. It was best described to me last night by an onlooker who said, “Oh, so it’s No ...

Nagging thoughts 2

Nagging thoughts
The 2013 National Writing Project Annual Meeting is about to launch, and I’m sitting at a table in a room far off in a corner waiting for my game-design partner Antero Garcia (and others) speak about teaching in the connected age. Before disappearing into that work for a while, I want to make a quick ...

#mozfest: take-aways and bring-backs 5

#mozfest: take-aways and bring-backs
TL;DR version: I went to Mozfest, got inspired, and left with questions to ponder. From the official website: Our motto is “less yack, more hack.” We’re replacing darkened lecture halls with hands-on sessions and interactive workshops and there’ll be time to hack the ideas that emerge when hundreds of bright minds gather together in one ...

#teachtheweb: Code Castles, a parent-child card game 2

#teachtheweb: Code Castles, a parent-child card game
For those grognards (and coders) I am about to offend through gross historical (and technical) inaccuracy, I apologize. Why have a word like “anachronism”  if we’re not going to use it in every day blogging? Let’s call this one “Code Castles” for now. Fingers crossed that it’ll be fun. We’re going to mash up Go ...

Summarizing, makes, & social media

Summarizing, makes, & social media
I’m totally struggling to find my own pathways into “maker teaching” this year; I’m confident that my kids and I will find our ways into all kinds of projects before we’re finished, but I haven’t found a great approach yet to hook kids in making stuff in response to their learning. This week, to play ...

Something old, something new

Something old, something new
One of the most talked-about parts of our class so far this year is a simple read-aloud and mark-up activity that I borrowed years ago from my clinical instructor and a Kylene Beers book. We read the introductory paragraph of a short piece of narrative non-fiction. I read it aloud twice. The first time through, ...

Open writing prompts on the Web 12

Open writing prompts on the Web
Next year (by which I mean about four weeks from now), I return to the mainstream, traditional classroom, albeit in a new school and division. I’m determined to begin again differently than I have before; I want to be lighter – more human – and I want to foreground justice more boldly in my practice. ...

The kid

Somehow I have had the honor and humbling privilege to address our first three classes of 8th graders as they headed off to high school. This year’s class, like those before it, occupies its own unique place where my heart and mind meet amidst all my wishes about what school could be. We are nearly ...