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Empathy Design. Sounds easy right? The idea is really simple. Take a project that involves engineering design and add the element of putting yourself in somebody else's shoes as the focal point of the actual design itself. Design something that is not only meaningful to you, as the designer, but that takes someone else, and their needs into consideration. To design something for somebody else due to their set of circumstances or limitations or whatever. Its all the rage at Stanford.

The problem was, I didn't know how to marry the two. Engineering design and empathy.

Last year the 2nd grade team at Beaver Acres and I came up with an engineering design project that exposed our kids to engineering design (check off NGSS targets) coding (check off ISTE student standards) and making (check off Maker Space opportunity). But I wanted to also include empathy within the design process. I just did not know how. To be fair, I sometimes over think things to the point that I believe I am r…
Recent posts

Cooperation, Collaboration and Coding

Introducing students to LEGO robotics assumes that they will be exposed to many of the typical STEM concepts. It is, by default, an engineering experience that allows for a low entry level into robotic design with a step by step how to build and code any number of predesigned options. These options span the core content curriculum which makes LEGOs attractive to teachers looking to promote a hands on and engaging activity that will match their content while letting their students (hopefully) apply what they have learned in a project based opportunity.

What LEGOs also allows for is the development and application of student character traits that we are constantly looking for them to hone and improve upon. Asking a student to build a LEGO robot requires patience, initiative and persistence. Add a partner or two and now these students need to be able to work as a team. Cooperation, collaboration and the ability to communicate become vital for a team of students to complete a LEGO build a…

Amazing Cyber Citizen Race

Amazing Cyber Citizen Race-Teaching Digital Citizenship Without Actually Teaching It-
The Amazing Cyber Citizen Race is an activity to help students learn about or review digital citizenship in a gamified setting. This lesson is 100% student driven and allows them to discover what characteristics a safe cyber citizen possesses by using the very tools we expect them to use in a responsible manner.    
A quick abstract of the game would look like this. A class of students are introduced to an introduction of the activity with a personalized video to that class. After the video students are grouped into teams of 3 or 4. Each group is given and iPad loaded with Seesaw and a QR code reader. Each team is tasked with finding a Route Marker with a challenge that focuses on 3 areas of digital citizenship. Each challenge has written instructions and a QR code that links to a Common Sense Media video that will address the main ideas of password privacy, digital footprint and strategies to employee…

So how can I redefine my learning space with a VERY limited budget?

A very big part of becoming a Future Ready school is a commitment to redefining our learning spaces. A shift is happening to make our classrooms inspiring spaces to allow students the flexibility to learn in a way that supports the way that they learn best. Not only are we redesigning our classrooms to best support student learning, we are starting to look at how we want our students to work. We want to allow them the space to collaborate, to make products, to read in solitude, to have access to the digital tools we are now providing them and to utilize every available square foot of space to its fullest potential. Gone are the days of rows of student desks, the teachers desk at the front and a document camera plugged into the projector taking up more space than it deserves.

Books like From the Campfire to the Holodeck by David Thornburg have inspired teachers to thing about the why and the what. Why would we redefine our learning spaces and what would be add to our classrooms to hel…

#CUE17 1/4 First Impressions

As I begin this post, this is a great time to remind myself that this blog is for me and it is for you. I am using Everyday FutureReady to document, record, share and brain dump everything I do, experience, learn and ponder so I have one place to go back and reread. I wish I had done this sooner. This past week I attended CUE's National Conference for the first time. This was an amazing experience as I left with a full brain and a desire to try about 20 new things all at once. I think that this is what the folks at CUE would like to hear.

I better remember to fill out the follow up survey.

As I have before, I took notes in a Google Doc, on my phone's Notes app, on my iPad that is also connected to Drive and Notes and on paper. So I'm kind of all over the place. But now I'm pulling it all into here. My outline has overall #CUE17 impressions, the sessions I attended, connections and my hopes for the future.

CUE Impressions 

#CUE17 is CUE's National conference that take…

Alternative Truths, Falsehoods and Bears

So, I think it is safe to say I am not the only one who has been surprised by recent events with our counties transition of power. With a press secretary and a special advisor who seem to specialize in alternative facts, blame shifting and making claims without sufficient evidence it has become very apparent that we need need to become a nation of educated consumers of information. This means before we read something and simply accept it as truth, we need to make sure the information is reliable. Every American needs to become his or her own Snopes.

Google isn't a fact checker but when you ask a student to research something, anything, they immediately Google it. That is not a bad thing. The information super highway is a term that has lost its appeal, but embodies just how much information is accessible by everyone. Google it, but make sure your information is reliable. That is what we as teachers must ask of our students. But how are we to start this conversation without losing …

The Foundation of Future Ready Part II. The 5 Dimension of Learning

Last week I wrote about Beaver Acres first foundation of Future Ready. This foundation can be described as generally as Future Ready, but the separate components that make up the EdTechTeam's honeycomb of Future Ready I have chosen to quantify as Innovative Practices. The reason for this is simple. The work that we are doing and the reason for this entire movement is to raise student achievement. With this being our underlining goal, it seems reasonable to tie our work to the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning.

Beaverton Schools uses the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning as our foundation for teacher evaluations. But more importantly, the work of Future Ready needs to align with our instructional outcomes. Innovative goals without instructional outcomes is not what we are looking for. Everything we do must have an instructional purpose. 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning is the our other foundation of Future Ready.


As we look to ensure we are addressing the 5 Dimensions …