Tag: Design Thinking

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What Does It Sound Like When You Change Your Mind

Here at Never Summer, we have been working hard on a wide range of projects since edOS in June. We have been absent from the blog 😦

edos-06-04-61Truly… we were stunned by the huge quantity of amazing work resulting from the energy all educators brought to the table that day. We should have shared it all with you before now. Sorry. We just weren’t sure what to do with everything we learned. We didn’t truly understand what we held in our hands. But we get it now. And we’re ready to move forward with a few insights and hope you will chime in and add to the deep conversation.

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How Change Begins

I have enjoyed many fine meals at The Broker Restaurants over the years. I will never eat there again.

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The Broker Restaurant in downtown Denver.

The owners are not motivated to find a way to get people with disabilities into their dining room. Located in the basement vault of the Colorado National Bank Building in downtown Denver, restaurant managers cited being on the historical register as the reason for not being required to comply with accessibility codes set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Day at the White House

20160504_095532This is Roberto Rodriguez, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Education. That title means he has President Obama’s ear on all things education. He is often called the most influential person in American education.

I was honored and humbled to share key ideas from Every Student STEM during our Innovation and STEM Education spark discussion at the White House last week.

Every P-12 student in our schools today is a digital native. From the first moment they interact with any digital device, children begin developing STEM skills. It is the inherent nature of a digital world. 

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Principal Shadows Student, Gets Schooled

A Day in the Life of an 8th Grader

I had just finished my morning coffee. Looking out of my office window, I saw AC entering the building with his sister. I popped up from my desk, met him at the door and asked, “Are you ready?”

“Yep,” he eagerly replied.

From there, we proceeded to breakfast in the cafeteria. I could tell he didn’t know quite what to think about the fact that his principal had dressed in ‘regular’ clothes and was planning to follow him around school the entire day. I wondered how students and teachers would react when they saw me in class.

To Reach the Child Who Hungers for Purpose

Digital vs. Analog

Many of my colleagues in the field believe Every Student Stem. By upbringing and by trade, I am not a programmer. A gamer-at-heart perhaps, but not a programmer. Yet I believe in that mantra as well.

It is silly for us to view today’s student as anything but a ‘STEM’ student. As a parent I often times find myself comparing my 4-year-old’s vocabulary to mine at his age. His frequent use of the terms profile and wi-fi astound me. When he fires up our XBOX 360, I must ask him to make sure he signed out of his brother’s profile and signed in with his own in order to avoid deleting anything.

Craziness!484

My parents never said those kinds of things to me. We didn’t connect around Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo or King’s Quest on our Tandy 1000. I spent my childhood on a bridge between analog world and digital world – a bridge that my parents saw no use in crossing. A bridge that many saw no use in crossing.

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Every Student STEM

For Your Consideration

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Colorado Senate Education Committee

I was asked to submit a letter to the Colorado House Education Committee in support of two upcoming bills regarding technology education in public schools and career development courses for high school students. These two bills HB-1289 and HB-1291 would provide additional funding for students and teachers to gain tech expertise and opportunity while in school. I am a 2015 Colorado Educator Voice Fellow and have been actively involved in the legislative actions in education during the past year. Here is my letter: House Ed Committee Letter.

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To Solve Real-World Problems

The Back-Story

My sister-in-law called in a panic the other day:

Come help me with math! Now!!!

Good thing we are a family of math nerds. Between my husband and myself, we got her covered all the way from long division to calculus and perhaps even differential equations if the need should arise.

No sweat, Mary! We’re on the way!

We immediately donned our superhero capes and raced across town in the Batmobile.

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The Parallel Tale of a Student and Teacher

This One Student

I have this one boy in my 7th grade math class just like that one you have in your class. He’s a ringleader. He’s an instigator. He always wants the spotlight. Bottom line: he’s just difficult.

Altogether, he is pretty bright in math.  Intellectually, this young man is head and shoulders above many of his classmates. Academically, he is a successful student. Emotionally, he is quite immature. [Par for the course as far as adolescent boys go.] We can easily go the distance on this one and surmise that he is bored in my class, so his behavior is too often less than stellar.

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A Tale of Two Students

Let me give you descriptions of two typical students and see if you can relate.

First Case

The first is an 8th grade boy in my math class. Veteran teachers know that classroom behavior is critically dependent on seating placement — where and next-to-whom a student sits is often an accurate predictor of how much learning will sink in. But with this kid, it doesn’t matter in the least. Front / back / side / middle / friends / no friends, he will not learn. Even if he brings paper and pencil, he won’t use them. [He showed up empty-handed to the last test.]

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Marshmallow Physics

You Want Us to Do What?!?!

Among students at my school, I am famous for making them build bridges out of popsicle sticks. [Or infamous… however you want to look at it.] Then we break the bridges by hanging free weights to see how strong they are.

So when I recently told my students that we would be building more bridges, I got eye rolls so big that eyeballs nearly rolled right out of their sockets. I heard Do we hafta? way more than once or twice.

When I pulled out the supplies, a magical glow quickly filled the room and immediately, seventh graders become eerily quiet. But let’s get real… that only lasted for about one breath. Then… raucous joy.

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Yes. We are going to build bridges out of marshmallows and toothpicks.