Venspired

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Learning Unleashed

It’s easy to schedule a page to read about inventors.  It’s easy to know what kids have read about inventors. It’s not easy to toss a pile of materials onto the table and predict what kids will design, create, and invent. It’s not easy to circulate the room, with kids brainstorming, struggling, and you must resist the urge to rescue them in the midst. They don’t need to be rescued. That’s hard.  We are trained to be rescuers. It’s easy to give kids a pattern, the exact materials, cut to the exact specifications, and help them make that.  It’s easy...

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And I Keep Going

That’s me. Laying in a field. At NASA. I know, it’s a dramatic photo. Well, it was a dramatic moment. I had flown from Missouri to Florida to see the final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. But, it was a scrub. That shuttle never lifted off that day. I remember one of the NASA employees said it best, “Space is hard.” It was. It is. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they don’t. It took me 3 tries to get into Google Teacher Academy. It took me two tries to get on the NASA Zero G plane.  I applied twice to get into Honeywell’s...

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Going All In

It’s cool to talk about overcoming failure. It’s trendy to share about failing forward. It’s even the “in’ thing to proclaim that we are mistake makers. But, we hide our fears. That time we failed to tell someone what we really thought? I won’t mention that. The moment we played it safe and did what we know would work, because we weren’t quite sure we could pull off what might not work. The safe route worked. Right now there are footprints on the moon. Footprints that are there because people believed in something so much they had the courage to...

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So You ARE Ready to Code After All

Confession: I used to think coding was boring. And confusing. And something I didn’t have time to learn about.  I thought it was all about memorizing numbers, letters, characters.  I remembered my early days of building a classroom website and playing with HTML, tinkering in Flash, and it all left a bad taste in my mouth about coding. Like spoiled milk. But then I woke up. About a year and a half ago, that all started to change.  I took a group of students to a BotBall class, and I realized, some kids are visual learners, some kids are auditory...