The Adaptable Mind


This past autumn the Moxie institute released this amazing and inspiring clip about the qualities students need to develop for future success.

You will see some overlap with aspects of what we’ve been thinking of as 21st Century Skills.

However, the Adaptable Mind includes traits such as empathy and initiative — traits that have risen in importance for students to be developing and mastering.


How Turning Math Into a Maker Workshop Can Bring Calculations to Life

Sometimes something unexpected — such as a banana keyboard — can provide a hook for students who may need it the most.  In this Mindshift piece a teacher finds ways to inspire her students and turn them into learners who love math.

By Author :

“It might have been the banana piano. Or perhaps the bongos, made from lemons that students had plucked from the citrus tree at school. Elizabeth Little, who teaches middle school math and science, doesn’t know exactly which of the hands-on projects she introduced to her remedial math class turned the class around. But by the end of the school year, all her math students, not just those needing extra support, were clamoring for more math.

How did this happen?

Little teaches at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Berkeley, California, where classes like sewing, woodshop, and metal shop — what she calls “practical ways of learning math” — are no longer offered; tight budgets and renewed emphasis on academic learning have eliminated them. But Little couldn’t bear to subject already disengaged students to yet another ho-hum class of multiplication tables and long division.

Instead, she took a gamble and brought some materials to school for her students to play with: a sewing kit, the 3-D doodler she’d just been given, her son’s marble-run set and a MaKey MaKey device she knew nothing about, donated by a friend.” 

Read the rest of the article here.

Looking through a new frame: Technology Rich & Innovation Poor

flickr photo by boegh shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Alan November has a excellent post at his site, November Learning, in which he explores the confusion between technology rich and innovative poor schools. He identifies several key questions to use as reference points to determine your own or your school’s level of true innovation.

“Test your own level of innovation.  If you answer no to all Six Questions when evaluating the design of assignments and student work, than chances are that technology is not really being applied in the most innovative ways. The questions we ask to evaluate implementation and define innovation are critical.

(Beyond SAMR: Special note to those of you applying SAMR. Many educators who believed their assignment to be at the highest level of SAMR have discovered that the answer can be NO to all six of the transformation questions.)

Transformational Six

  1. Did the assignment build capacity for critical thinking on the web?
  2. Did the assignment develop new lines of inquiry?
  3. Are there opportunities for students to make their thinking visible?”

Read the entire piece here.