June 11, 2020

As several schools re-open across Asia, Australia and Europe with new social distancing rules, it might seem odd that we are discussing ‘collaborative’ learning as a post Co-Vid 19 student-centered learning shift.

And while collaboration may look different than it has in the past, we can’t create a community of problem solvers without it.

With smaller class sizes in a blended model, as faciliators of learning, we will have the unprecedented opportunity to help students collaborate across subjects, grade levels, content area, and in a blended remote/ physical space to solve major problems.

Imagine your students re-imagining s...

May 30, 2020

Last week we discussed beautiful work, and how to ensure our students create it.

And while it’s easy for us to strive for beautiful work, it’s just as easy to forget that this work is oftentimes the result of hours upon hours of continual feedback and reflection.

Albert Einstein once famously said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem, and 5 minutes thinking about a solution.”

How do we help students take the same methodical approach in their project work?

I spoke with Alfie Cheung (alfie.chung@polyu.edu.hk), an incredible educator and design based thinking expert about strategi...

May 13, 2020

What is beautiful work?

This was the question on the minds of two extraordinary elementary and secondary innovators during this period of remote learning. More specifically:

How do we shift students from completing work for a worksheet or exam to producing professional, beautiful work for a real-world audience?

They both created something truly unprecedented.

Imagine your students creating and curating a virtual museum of artifacts that included their performances, artwork, presentations and musical compositions.

Or compiling a digital cookbook with professionally recorded videos, interviews, and recipes from their family’s most f...

May 1, 2020

Marc Shulman (website) of High Tech High had one of those students who seemed impossible to reach.

He never turned in any homework. Tuned out during class. And didn’t seem to care whether his grade was an ‘F’ or an ‘A.’

Marc tried everything to motivate this student; from lowered grades, to parent phone calls, to personal one on one chats. Nothing worked.

And then Marc tried something different. This simple, yet incredibly powerful thing he did got not only this troubled student working late hours into the night; but the rest of his class as well. And it had nothing to do with grades.

In this short interview, you will learn...

April 14, 2020

When we return to our classrooms post CoVid 19, whether it’s a blended classroom, or the one we left when this whole tragedy began, it will be tempting to try and make up for lost time.

Pound the books.

Over-schedule, over-structure, and immediately immerse students in academic content.

But as student- centered innovators, we know this isn’t the way to rebuild.

How do we start instead with student inquiry? 

Rosie Westall (rosiejanew@gmail.com), a kindergarten teacher and ‘democratic classrooms’ expert, teaches us how to make this shift. In this short interview, you will learn as a fellow student- centered educator how to:

  • Use si...

April 11, 2020

When our students return post CoVid 19, they are going to require learning that moves beyond the four walls of our classrooms.

As global problem solvers, they will need skills that run across multiple subjects, disciplines and areas of expertise.

How as innovative, student-centered educators do we create these kinds of experiences for our students? 

I sat down with student-centered guru Loni Berqvist, a former High Tech High Educator and Founder of ‘Imagine If,’ to answer this question. In this short interview Loni teaches us:

The starting point for interdisciplinary planning (spoiler alert: it’s usually not subject specific stand...

April 2, 2020

Imagine your students, in firmly pressed suits and colourful dresses, standing next to their re- constructed models of ancient civilisations, articulating in detail to a room full of adults reasons why they fell.

Imagine their work being so impressive that a local museum curator asked to feature it in an upcoming exhibition.

This is the kind of work Linda Amici (@LindaAmici), a fifth grade teacher gets 10 year old gets students to produce in her co-created and co-designed classroom. 

In her classroom, students choose how they work, who they work with, and what they work on.

I sat down with Linda to learn how she creates this...

January 4, 2018

 "Speak in such a way that people want to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you." 

I'm a problem solver. It's both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it allows me to think outside of the box, pulling from a plethora of divergent ideas to think up new solutions. It's a curse, because sometimes people don't want you to solve their problems. Sometimes they just want someone to listen.

Einstein said he spent 95% of the time studying a problem, and only 5% trying to find a solution.

I want to be more like Einstein.

As leaders, we have thousands of decisions to make every day. How to r...

January 1, 2018

Start Goal Setting with a Vision Board


How do you typically start the new year after a long winter break? 

Do you jump straight into learning? Have students reflect on their winter breaks? Set goals? 

As a teacher, I always had mixed feelings after break. I was excited to see the kids but also overwhelmed to go back to work. It's like my brain was stuck in a permanent comatose that took at least two weeks to warm up again. 

I was stuck in vacation mode.

My kids, on the other hand were the complete opposite. They were energized, overly excited, and eager. (Keep in mind this was middle school).

For ten years of my teaching...

January 1, 2018

Start Goal Setting with a Vision Board


How do you typically start the new year after a long winter break? 

Do you jump straight into learning? Have students reflect on their winter breaks? Set goals? 

As a teacher, I always had mixed feelings after break. I was excited to see the kids but also overwhelmed to go back to work. It's like my brain was stuck in a permanent comatose that took at least two weeks to warm up again. 

I was stuck in vacation mode.

My kids, on the other hand were the complete opposite. They were energized, overly excited, and eager. (Keep in mind this was middle school).

For ten years of my teaching...

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Kyle Wagner
School Transformation and Project- Based Learning Coach

I help forward thinking educators and schools create socially, emotionally, and globally aware citizens through project based learning.

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