Browsing Tag ed tech

Problem Investigators: Tackling Authentic Community Issues Using a Design Thinking Model

Make a copy of this presentation here.


Participants will understand the design cycle we implemented with first graders: needs-finding, ideation, prototyping, testing, presenting. Participants will be able to integrate this model into their own classrooms. Resources, tools, and examples will be available during the session and as online resources to assist participants in creating their own service-learning problem investigation unit.


Books About Making a Difference

The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
The Giving Book by Ellen Sabin
It’s Your World by Chelsea Clinton
The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects by Barbara A. Lewis
77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve by Sondra Clark
How to be an Everyday Philanthropist by Nicole Bouchard Boles
Real Kids Real Stories Real Change by Garth Sundem
Be a Changemaker by Laurie Ann Thompson
What Do You Do With an Idea by Kobi Yamada
Maybe Something Beautiful – How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
Drum Dream Girl – How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Random Acts of Kindness by The Editors of Conari Press
Being a Good Citizen: A Book About Citizenship by Mary Small
Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara
A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara
The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein
Good People Everywhere by Lynea Gillen


Breaking the Habit

Breaking the Habit

Gibson Les Paul Studio
We can learn a lot about becoming a better teachers by listening to Linkin Park. If you haven’t listen to the song Breaking the Habit recently, go listen to it now.

What strikes me about this hit from the once-rap/metal band is that it has an intensity to it without any distorted guitars. There’s a clean guitar and some strings, but not this wall of sound from guitars. There’s actually a crazy story behind this recording: when they were mixing the album, they happened to mute all the electric distorted guitars on the mixer. It started off as a mistake, but one guy in the band suggested they keep it like that. If you know anything about electric guitars, you know that this is a major decision that has a huge, huge impact on the sound of a song. To make things crazier, only half the band was in the studio, and they had to make the decision immediately. They decided to mix it without the distorted guitars, and that’s the way that we know the song.

In the clasroom, sometimes less tech is better. As teachers who care about technology, we often feel the need to integrate tech into every little bit of our classroom. There are times, though, where a pencil and paper are the best solution. One are my favorite math lessons from when I talk kindergarten was using an overhead projector to teach students about two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. When you put a three-dimensional shape on an overhead projector, it instantly becomes two-dimensional on the screen. I’ve heard teachers joke about antiquated things in a classroom like an overhead projector, or even a pencil (ah-hem, #pencilchat), but sometimes low-tech or no tech is the best solution. Don’t be afraid to get rid of those iPads, or get rid of those electric guitars, or whatever might be getting in your way. An eduawesome lesson might be right under your nose, and you’ll never know it if you force tech into every lesson.