Dan Ryder is the co-author of Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom. Describing himself as an improviser and design thinker, Dan became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2017. After teaching high school English for about twenty years, he is currently the Education Director of the Success & Innovation Center at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, ME.
In our conversation, Dan shares about what ignites his passion for education today: seeing the philosophical focus shift from the acquisition of information to problem-solving, creativity, and design thinking. He challenges teachers to go beyond learning activities that build things just for the sake of building things (ie. “dumpster projects”), and reflects on a personal habit that creates learning and growth in every area of his life. Dan also describes the main message of his book and gives us some awesome recommendations for accounts to follow on Twitter, channels to subscribe to on YouTube, and more.
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In this episode, Dan discusses …
- 1:00 – his current education situation: Education Director at the Success & Innovation Center
- 2:22 – how he overcame the challenges of having creative ideas and initiatives quashed by bureaucracy above him
- 5:40 – what ignites his passion for education today: seeing the shift from acquiring information to problem-solving, creativity, and design thinking
- 14:16 – a personal habit that contributes to learning and growth: maintaining a constant curiosity about everything
- 17:20 – an inspirational educator to follow on Twitter: Ellen Deutscher
- 18:47 – an edtech tool recommendation: FlipGrid
- 22:19 – a fictional book recommendation: Little Fires Everywhere (by Celeste Ng)
- 23:46 – a podcast recommendation that music fans will love: Song Exploder
- 26:57 – a Youtube channel to subscribe to: Soul Pancake (with a shoutout to their video series on empathy)
- 28:06 – what he’s watching when he’s not creating: Legends of Tomorrow, Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), The Strain
- 30:42 – the best ways to contact Dan and follow his content (see above)
Song Track Credits
Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)
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