Design Thinking

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Sandbox: Welcome to a Free-Range Future of Learning!

In the last two days, I have had the honor and joy to deeply engage with more than 60 colleagues from across the US and New Zealand, all from my home desk, for free.  That's nothing new for me; I am not tied down at a school. But here is what is new: so did they.  How [...]

Are We Eager For Change?

Most of the schools I get to work closely with have already started along an arc of transformation from the old, rigid, teacher-centric model to something that approaches deeper learning.  Most have crossed the mental Rubicon, at least at the leadership level, that standing still is not an option.  The task of these communities is to broaden [...]

A Brilliant Start on How To Teach Real/Fake News Literacy

Many of us have been struggling over how to teach our students, and ourselves, about a new world of widespread fake news. I have argued that the skills of filtering real and fake news must become a large element of what we call "literacy", every bit as important, and perhaps more so, than our traditional [...]

Another Great Tool for Bringing Your School’s Future to Life

I apologize for largely ignoring by blogging duties for the last month or more.  I have been nose-down in a semi-final draft of my new book, which is on schedule to be published by Jossey-Bass in September.  Now that is turned in, I will try to be a more regular writer in this space! Next [...]

Permission To Push Boundaries

In the earliest phase of work with each school with which I engage, I ask the site leader (principal, head of school, superintendent) to come up with a set of "boundary conditions" that will guide and govern a process of expansive strategic design.  Boundary conditions set out both the limits and expectations of a project.  They [...]

Models Don’t Work Without Plastic and Glue

We model success for others.  Great teachers model success for their students; principals for teachers; coaches for their athletes.  Consultants are known for the models they bring, models that can be clear, helpful solutions, but also overly-simplified cookbook recipes that sound great but often just don't fit all of us. I was thinking about models yesterday [...]

Digging Deeply Into “Portrait of a Teacher”

A thoughtful colleague at one of my client schools (anonymous now but not for long) wants to create a "portrait of a teacher" for and with her faculty.  It is a great challenge: we need to know what we are aiming for if we want to hit it.  She sent me some proposed questions for [...]

“We Are Not a Class; We Are a Start-up!”

The way Bo Adams tells it, a couple of weeks ago they had a large group of visitors touring the iDiploma Hive at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School, meeting with one of the student cohorts who are working in teams on various self-selected, long-term design and development projects.  A cell phone range and one of the [...]