There are a few education blogs I read on a consistent basis, and two of them belong to A.J. Juliani, who generally blogs about innovation, and John Spencer, who mostly blogs about creativity. Currently, A.J. is the Director of Technology and Innovation for a public school district in Pennsylvania, and John is a full-time professor of educational technology for a college in Oregon.
In May 2016, the due released their first book together – LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student. In short, LAUNCH (which I highly recommend), takes the increasingly popular design thinking process and makes it accessible and fun through A.J. and John’s LAUNCH Cycle. In fact, not too long ago I wrote a post – “Reimagining Learning Spaces with Design Thinking #HackingPBL” – which outlines how the LAUNCH Cycle can be leveraged by teachers to have students design their classroom at the beginning of the school year.
Then, last February, A.J. informed me that he and John would soon be releasing their second book together – Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning. Empower was published towards the end of June, and in early July I was able to get my hands on a copy when I rant into A.J. at the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia.
I finished the book not too long ago, and here are some of my initial thoughts.