When collaborating with teachers, I like to have a toolkit of ideas as we brainstorm ways to design lessons and assessment activities. Like authors get writer’s block, I also get “stuck” thinking of new ideas to implement with classes. The following resources are helpful to generate ideas when I am “stuck.”
Scan Twitter for ideas by searching #hashtags. By doing so, I can scroll tweets from a variety of users to gather ideas. The following are common hashtags I use to gather ideas.
For specific courses, I may add a subject area hashtag like #socialstudies.
Some other social media options include:
- Instagram: You can use the search feature to search by hashtags.
- Pinterest: Once you start searching for ideas, Pinterest will continue to provide pins that match your search.
- Wakelet.: This educator Pinterest-like site allows users to search bookmarks from across the system
I have a stack of books that I like to browse for additional ideas.
- Blended Learning in Grades 4-12 by Dr. Catlin R. Tucker
- Visual Thinking: Empowering People and Organizations through Visual Collaboration by Willemiem Brand
- Educated by Design by Michael Cohen
- Empower by John Spencer and AJ Juliani
- Eduproctoal Field Guides Books 1 and 2 by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corpippo
- Hack Learning Series
The following blogs help generate ideas by providing specific lesson examples or recommended educational technology tools.
- Knowledge Quest Blog: Different librarians provide content often with lesson examples.
- Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne: Richard Byrne’s blog publishes technology tools that can easily be integrated into a lesson. He provides details about the tool and context for when it would be best to use with students.
- Daring Librarian: Gwyneth A. Jones, a middle school librarian, shares her creativity–from lessons to tech tools to random ideas. I always learn something new from her blog.
- Dr. Catlin Tucker’s Blog: I look forward to reading new posts from Dr. Tucker, a former English teacher now blended learning coach. The blog contains articles about different learning strategies including station rotation models.
- Ditch That Textbook: A great blog by Matt Miller to discover how to use tech tools differently and engage learners.
- Ideo Method Cards: A stack of cards with design ideas that are divided into four areas: Learn, Look, Ask, and Try. Ideas include prototypes, time-lapse videos, and guided tours.
- IDEO.org Design Kit Travel Pack: While used mainly in the business world, this travel pack of cards can help stimulate ideas for projects.
What tools do you use to generate ideas for research and other student lessons and projects?
Author: Becca Munson
Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 23 years of experience in education. She is currently a school librarian at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. Becca continues to find ways to positively impact student learning with literacy initiatives, technology integration, and building rapport with students and staff. Follow her on Twitter to view the library in action @bvwlibrary and @beccamunson .