Instructional Design Video Series

I am working on a series of Instructional Design videos to help new instructors create an exciting and effective class.

Check out the playlist.

Many more to come.



School in the Cloud- I want one!

I want to open a school in the cloud. Anyone want to join.

Here’s the article…

Here’s the toolkit…




I would like to say that my 4 children inspire creativity in me more than anything else. I admit that the ocean is a close second, but my children are inspirational.
The current inspiration is my (almost) 16 year-old’s gingerbread house. It took me 15 years to perfect this. It took her minutes…. Iove you, baby girl!

20131202-211711.jpg and… My awesome hubby took this picture!

A Fun New Video

My 11 year old daughter and I were talking about what makes science exciting. She said, “the teachers, for sure!”
Then we made a video…

better viewing…

For more on what the second teacher does, look up flipping the classroom and problem based learning.

Why is My Teen So Forgetful?

David Wilcox, of Musings on the Middle Years of Education, and I have worked together to create an infographic about the teen brain. It is based on a blog post he wrote over a year ago (Click here for that post) to tackle the issue of Why Teens Forget. Through lots of research, checking facts, and rechecking facts, we have found that teens forgetfulness may be due to major changes in their brain. These changes can last into the college years.

While there is research that demonstrates the increased forgetfulness of “teens,” we also found that research suggests this time period is an awesome explosion of learning and discovery that takes them into adulthood.

Thanks, David! It was a great experience to collaborate on these and to learn how I can better help my students.


This is the infographic divided into 3, so we can share it with our families with teenagers.





Scaffold Like an Ant- A simple scaffolding example

I am teaching a class where I allow the students a set amount of time to draw out what they know about a subject. Today, the students did their pre-class work, then came to class, and we began to draw things out. At first they look at me a little funny when I ask them to draw. Then, they dig in and explain what they think the subject is all about. Usually it takes about 25% of class time to get them through this phase. Today, they wanted to remain in this drawing/ scaffolding phase. They were going deeper than any class has ever gone in their reasoning and understanding of a difficult subject. It was pretty cool.

Here is what I do in my classes… (the ant is an analogy, I don’t get to teach about ants).

Ant Scaffolding

What would you add?


New Teacher Journal- Before the First Day

Often we step into a teaching situation with an idea about how it will go. We have created a story in our mind. But, when we show up on that first day with students sitting in front of us… and the story doesn’t play out like it did in our daydreams… what do we do?

This is the first set of journal starters for new teachers. These will get some of the story out of our head and onto paper. Another infographic (coming soon) or two will delve into what happens when we need to adapt the story.

The clickable text is partially serious and partially for your amusement…

New Teacher Journal 1

RSCON4 Presentation PowerPoint (yes I am using a ppt…)

I have been busy adding lots of new infographics to go along with my RSCON4 presentation- The Power of the Educational Infographic.

Here’s the whole presentation.

The Recorded Presentation

RSCON4 Presentation PDF
Power of the Educational Infographic

See you Friday or watch the recorded video of RSCON4 later.


Bloom’s Blooming Taxonomy

How do we learn?

Bloom and friends suggest it’s in an order. I think my learning might be a bit more chaotic… but they are the experts. This order begins with the simplest behavior and then moves to the more complex. I think of it as a tree that grows. We start off at the bottom of the tree with the new shoots, and then move up to the fully formed peaks. Coupled with other research, it gives educators a starting point to help scaffold.

Blooms Taxonomy