Why play? Why inquiry?

I'm reading this book. It's hard, but it's fun. I'm playing around with the ideas and it's making me think a lot about teaching, learning, playing, and knowledge. Play, making, exploring, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, maker spaces, and so on... these are all justifiable reactions against the arbitrary segregation of various subject matter... Continue Reading →

Teaching as a creative act

I think children learn best within a social environment in which the group of people genuinely know and care about each other. I strongly feel that this forms the foundation for the most successful classrooms. To me, Rita Pierson in her 2013 TED talk described the need for relationships in education most clearly and passionately: “Every... Continue Reading →

Memorable learning moment (#peel21st Nov 2015 blog hop)

A grade six teacher and I had co-planned a series of sessions with her students around coding with Scratch. In one of the later sessions, I was working with a boy who was frustrated with the game he was making and told me he wanted to start over again.  In age appropriate words, I reassured... Continue Reading →

Kids and coding: What might Seymour Papert say?

(Updated August 2016, May 2017) I am very pleased that there is a growing sense in the education world of the connection between coding and cognition and learning. There is a mountain of research examining the various beneficial cognitive effects of learning computer programming. Great! But, I believe Seymour Papert would say that students learning... Continue Reading →

10 Good Things

Thanks to a challenge from Tina and Jay, two of my #peel21st colleagues, I wrote a list of ten good things about my professional practice right now. As Jay noted, it's always tempting to be critical but it always helps to consciously reflect on the good things that are happening. So, here is my list of ten... Continue Reading →

Introduction to ScratchJr

[Note: Updated, April 22, 2015] App Name - ScratchJr Cost - Free Website - http://www.scratchjr.org/  Tablets - iOS and Android Developed by - Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University iOS Download - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086 Android Download - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.scratchjr.android What is ScratchJr? ScratchJr is a tablet app that young children can use to create simple programs such as stories, games and... Continue Reading →

Coding in the service of learning

In a recent blog post by @MatthewOldridge, he questions the 'whys' of learning to code. And rightly so, I think. If you are at all following educational trends, you are probably aware that people are seriously discussing the merits of coding/programming in terms of a new literacy. For example, you have probably seen all or part of this... Continue Reading →

Flow as an antidote to disengagement

As much as the “discovery” mode of learning in schools has been bashed by various education critics, I believe that the most powerful, memorable, impactful and longest lasting experiences in our lives arise from those periods in which we are completely immersed in a self-driven deep exploration of something or an equally self-driven need to... Continue Reading →

App Suggestions for Learning Activities in BYOD Classrooms

Even with device neutral assignments or web-based creation or collaboration tools, students in #BYOD friendly schools might still be looking for app suggestions to match the particular learning task they are engaged in.  There are some incredibly detailed resources available, such as Allan Carrington's "padagogy" wheel.  But, if you are looking for something a little... Continue Reading →

Boost learning outcomes by transforming student learning tasks

As a teacher, you are probably very interested in how you can more effectively integrate technology into the learning tasks of their students. The most important words in this goal are: more effectively. Every teacher I know does use technology in a variety of different ways and they do promote and model its use for... Continue Reading →

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