This book is for educators, parents, and community partners!

Resources, ideas, examples, for both beginners and experts.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What does it Take to Engage a Student Today?

 Consider this: The National Academy of Sciences and Texas Instruments have collaborated on a program, STEM Behind Hollywood, which uses zombies to spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math. There is software, and it will cost eventually, but is available to teachers for free during a trial period. It includes exercises to reverse engineer zombie brains and use math to calculate the spread of contagions. "This is the kind of experiential learning that gives students a deep understanding of the concept," said Melendy Lovett, president of Texas Instruments' Education Technology. 

Whatever it takes? Right? Kids in classrooms are hit with so much media in every aspect of their lives--perverse and quirky soundbites and plot twists--classroom teachers must now provide an environment and challenges as exciting as a Hollywood set. As a young child locked behind a wooden desk, I used to dream of sailing on a boat in a river. I drowned out the sound of the teacher's voice by the sound of the water lapping against the shore on the Yangtze River. I could be yanked back to the classroom by the clash of a yardstick crashing on my desk by an irate teacher. I have no idea what those kids were learning. Kids have not changed. Give them a reason to care. Connect learning with a world they know and care about.

Many of the Millennial's Hollywood heroes have embraced STEM, have become STEM professionals themselves. They're not all twerks. Good for them, and good for anyone who's creative enough to engage kids in learning and in the process help them understand they, too, can be heroes in a world they may have not known existed before watching the Zombie Apocalypse Webinar.... Way to go, Mayim!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creativity in the Classroom

Since I wrote this book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers, I've had to do some soul searching. With students and teachers tethered to Common Core standardes, tests and policies, I wonder: Have we lost the ability for teachers and students to be creative? Are you encouraging your children/students/yourself to use the fabulous digital tools to have fun and to be creative?

Here are some basic resources:
  • Build you own website with Joomla:
  • Host an educational blog with Edublogs:
  • Or use the popular WordPress to start a classroom blog:
  • Create podcasts with your students and post them on your blog through the Education Podcast Network:
  • Of course, you will need some tunes:
  • For the literary bent, visit Goodreads where users share book lists and faves lists:
  • Bookmark your favorite digital site using Delicious:, this is a social bookmarking site where you can organize and share web pages; discover what others are using around topics of interest....all of these tools allow students and teachers to collaborate between classrooms and across the world.
  • For all the latest in what's happening in the world of digital media, be sure to follow Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators:
Forget about those tests for a while, keep an open mind and an open heart for the individual student--allow them to explore the possibilities and apply these to their own dreams and desires and interests. The results might be new relationships between teachers and students who are learning and adapting across generations and across cultures.

Find more of these resources in the book: Connecting Students to STEM Careers

Order information can be obtained by clicking on the cover of the book in the upper right hand corner of the page.