Episode 73 with Terry Heick of Teach Thought

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Terry Heick is the creator of Teach Thought. He is a former English teacher turned education dreamer who is interested in how learning is changing in a digital and connected world. This includes, among other changes, the rise of self-directed learning.

He is also interested in the power of questions, the role of play in learning, clarifying digital literacy, the flexibility of project-based learning, marrying mobile learning and place-based education (especially through mentoring), the potential of video games and simulations in learning, what it really means to “understand” something, and how all of this produces wisdom and self-knowledge in students.

In addition to his work with TeachThought, he also presents at national conferences, provides professional development for schools, blogs for edutopia, and creates content for companies including learn.ist.

Teaching Tips:

  • He started a blog for himself as a teacher to see curriculum different and escape the bubble of his school
  • He went to ASCD and ISTE that exposed him to possibilities that his teaching program had not prepared him for.
  • Terry found inspiration from what he was reading personally and the music he was listening to, allowing him to bring his interests into the classroom.
  • By incorporating these emerging technologies, he found he could better teach the child than teach the text.
  • Terry believes we read to better understand ourselves and experience the classic human struggles. That understanding is enhanced and made immediate when we see what was said in the past and apply it to the present.
  • He feels scripted curriculum reduce teacher capacity.
  • There are so many opportunities for so many different types of learning to occur. It does not need to be scripted.
  • Two books he highly recommends are Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition and Teaching What Matters Most: Standards and Strategies for Raising Student Achievement.

Information About His Blog

  • Teach Thought is an organization dedicated to innovation in learning.
  • He is constantly seeing his site differently.
  • It started off as a way to share his curriculum and is now much bigger than him and serves a larger purpose.
  • He is constantly trying to examine what is happening in education.
  • He is helping educators reconsider how to teach in a modern world.
  • Teach Thought is starting a podcast, a professional development faculty, but at its marrow Teach Thought is an idea.
  • He sees blogging as a selfish act but ultimately it is selfless because you are having to see what your peers are talking and thinking about.
  • A good post from Teach Thought is The Characteristics of a Good School
  •  With blogging, everyone can have a voice. It allows for a specific focus in education as well a broad overview.