Consumers or Creators?

Last week, while participating in the #IMMOOC I ran across this graphic and I can’t get it out of my mind. Teacher and author John Spencer, conducted a survey of 160 students.  This is what he found:


John Spencer and AJ Juliani were cohosts of week 1 IMMOOC.  John Spencer provides a Design Thinking Toolkit-free for educatiors.

Getting Started with Design Thinking in the Classroom

The following is a series John Spencer created on design thinking.  I have added the links to my blog so they are easy for me to find and study as I continue on this journey.  He is a wise, wise man. John Spencer and AJ Juliani are the authors of the book “Launch.

Part One: An Overview of Design Thinking

Part Two: The LAUNCH Cycle

Part Three: Taking the Leap


Innovation Musings

I have always believed the old adage “Don’t be the sage on the stage, be the guide on the side”. I strive to have students engaged in their learning, creating their own meaning, and working on authentic projects within the curriculum.  So far this year my third graders have done a bridge building and design unit, a coding unit, designed their own video game and published their own graphic novel.  When I list out what they have done, and when I think of what I am still planning to accomplish it looks and feels like a lot.  However, I always think I could do more.

This is what I struggle with-how do I get every student engaged, excited and involved?  For as exciting as the projects are for most kids, some don’t really want to participate.  I still have to coax, cajole and convince some (3 or 4) to engage and finish their project. And it is usually the same kids.  Granted these are projects that I have designed to some extent-based on curriculum, but I give lots of freedom and leeway within the project.  They can work together or by themselves. They have time in class.  I support them.  Still…for some it’s a struggle to finish.  I realize that the creative process is very time consuming.  Sometimes I wonder if some of my third graders are not developmentally ready?

Finally, I love the graphic that John Spencer shared on his website.  I have been following John for awhile.  I think he is extremely insightful and was very happy to see that he was involved in the first IMMOOC Live episode.

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