Back to School Links


iboy_daniel, CC Attribution License

School buses will soon be on the road again as fall classes are just around the corner. To mark the occasion, here is a collection of ‘back to school’ links I’ve been gathering for the past month or so:

  1. This video project made by middle students in the Dallas/Fort Worth area serves as a vivid reminder of the disconnect between the way many schools currently teach and the way kids today best learn. Also read Virginia Heffernan’s Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade (8.7.2011) for additional support concerning the need for change in the way many classrooms operate today.

  2. Here’s a great group creative thinking activity to start the school year off with: The Marshmallow Challenge.

  3. This summer, my colleague Brian Slawson taught a one-week summer intensive course at UF for graduate art education students on the subject of design thinking. To start, the class watched the following video in which Bill Moggridge, one of the founders of IDEO and currently Director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, talks about design thinking and its value across different disciplines and grade levels.

    Bill Moggridge from Stanford d.school on Vimeo.

    Edutopia recently featured an article on teachers learning how to incorporate ‘design thinking’ into their curricula through workshops at the K12 Lab at Stanford University. While reading the comments included in that article, I discovered that IDEO has put out a Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit that you can download here. (Note to Self: Revisit design thinking this coming year.)

  4. Few people are able to do what these three guys, Rick Mereki, Tim White and Andrew did, which was to travel to 11 countries in 44 days to make three short films, Move, Eat, and Learn. This last one, Learn, reminds us that “learning” is an important part of being human. A great inspirational movie to show at the start of the school year.

    LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

  5. Speaking of learning . . .

  6. What happens when a teacher makes the sorts of changes suggested in earlier posts above and incorporates more technology, project-based learning and collaboration into his or her classroom. Tina Barseghian recently found out by asking a group of students What Does a Great School Year Look Like?

  7. I really like the Flying Coloring Wall idea that popped up on one of my searches this summer. It’s the invention of Japanese illustrator Postics, who rolls out a large sheet of paper and covers it with a horde of characters, animals, imaginary creatures and strange objects that he then invites kids to color in.

    Flying Coloring Wall, WikiMedia Commons

  8. Speaking of doodling, check out the history of Google’s Doodles in this June 2011 article in Time Magazine.

  9. Learning in the 21st Century, 2011 Trends Update highlights the Speak Up 2010 survey data collected from 379,285 K-12 students, parents and educators and illustrates how online learning is changing the classroom paradigm within our nation’s schools. Download the report here.

  10. Lastly, any teacher who wears a costume with a cape scores high points in my book: Meet Teacher Tom.