Monday, December 21, 2015

My Teacher Role Model: David Wallace of MIT

This video gives tribute to David Wallace, the professor who teaches the iconic  2.009: Product Engineering Processes class at MIT. This class teaches students about the process of designing and engineering innovative, market-ready products. Some of the teams who create these products start their own company based on what they create in this class. The following is a list of how David's students and colleagues described him in the video:
  • Energy is infectious; enthusiastic
  • Artist and scientist
  • Empowering
  • Sensitive to human values
  • Intrinsically humble
  • Strives for perfection; attention to detail
  • Unrelenting drive
  • Leads by example
  • Spirit of having fun
  • Spends hours and hours in the shop with students working on their projects
In our Applied Learning Program, we also provide students with challenges where they create market-ready products. We have two spaces in our elementary school that we call the KoLAB spaces; where students work to design and create solutions to problems. I believe I possess the same role in the KoLAB spaces as David Wallace does in his 2.009 class. He is my role model because I want to help empower students, be a source of enthusiastic energy, model unrelenting drive, and facilitate in helping students create attention-to-detail, market-ready products.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Growing Crops During Winter: STEM Education Challenge

Watch the video in Youtube here:


Growing Crops During Winter: STEM Education Challenge

This video is the entry event to our kindergarten unit on weather and climate. 

Music by Kevin MacLeod (
Intro: "Pamgaea"
Outro: "Exit the Premises"
Background: "Daily Beetle"

Images in Thumbnail from:
"A wintery, February day in St. Paul" by William Wesen (
"Agriculture in Vietnam with farmers" by Dennis Jarvis (


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

L2Talk by David Lee "Always in Beta"

Watch the video in Youtube here:


3D Printing with Tinkercad & da Vinci 2.0 Duo

Tinkercad website (
Tinkercad Tutorial (
da Vinci 2.0 Duo Software (
da Vinci 2.0 Duo tutorial (

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Creativity Quotes from “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

"Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative" is a book by Austin Kleon that shows how creativity is for everyone through the use of some principles and strategies. The book also explains how all ideas are not original, but that “every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.” The idea that ALL people have a huge potential for creativity is one of the core ideas we would like to include in our new STEM program we are planning to start this coming school year (2015-2016). Here are some of the valuable quotes I found from the book:

❶ Steal Like an Artist

  • “If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.” pg. 8
  • “Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.” pg. 9
  • “The artist is a collector… Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.” pg. 13
  • “The great thing about dead or remote masters is that they can’t refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.” pg. 17

❷ Don't wait until you know who you are to get started.

  • “You’re ready. Start making stuff.” pb. 27
  • Imposter Syndrome: “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” pg. 28
  • “You have to dress up for the job you want, not the job you have, and you have to start doing the work you want to be doing.” pg. 30
  • “Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your own work.” pg. 41

❸ Write the book you want to read.

  • “Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your own work.” pg. 41
  • “All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.” pg. 47
  • Write the kind of story you like best - write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career.” pg. 47
  • “If all your favorite makers got together and collaborated, what would they make with you leading the crew?” pg. 48

❹ Use your hands.

  • “The computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it’s really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it’s not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key.” pg. 58

❺ Side projects and hobbies are important.

  • “It’s the side projects that really take off. By side projects I mean the stuff that you thought was just messing around. Stuff that’s just play. That’s actually the good stuff. That’s when the magic happens.” pg. 65
  • “When you get sick of one project, move over to another, and when you’re sick of that one, move back to the project you left. Practice productive procrastination.” - pg. 65
  • “Don’t worry about unity - what unifies your work is the fact that you made it.” - pg. 72

❻ The Secret: Do good work and share it with people.

  • “The latest post is the first post that visitors see, so you’re only as good as your last post. This keeps you on your toes, keeps you thinking about what you can post next.” -pg. 82
  • “Whenever I’ve become lost over the year, I just look at my website and ask myself, “What can I fill this with?” - pg. 82

❼ Geography is no longer our master.

  • “If you’re not into the world you live in, you can build your own world around you. Surround yourself with books and objects that you love. Tape things up on the wall. Create your own world.” - pg. 90
  • “The only mofos in my circle are people that I can learn from.” - Questlove

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Empathy Map for Design Thinking

Creative Confidence, a book by David and Tom Kelley, explains how EVERYONE can tap into their creative potential. It identifies numerous strategies and principles for creativity and innovation that can help people solve problems in their lives. One strategy the brothers, David and Tom, talked about throughout the book is empathy. The human-centered approach of the design thinking process requires deep empathy (needs, motivations, and desires) and understanding of people. The design thinking approach is used to find solutions for specific users. The book mentions a tool called the Empathy Map that helps organize what users saythinkdo, and feel so that the Needs and Insights of the users can be identified. After the Needs and Insights are identified, a solution can be developed, prototyped, and tested for the user. The following is an Empathy Map that I created using Google Drawing
Empathy Maps for Education (1)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

David Lee EdTech YouTube Channel Trailer

Intro and outro music by GANZ, "Hermitude x Flume - Hyperparadise":
Additional music by Kevin MacLeod, "Odyssey":

Watch the video in Youtube here:


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Myebookmaker Tutorial

Myebookmaker Tutorial
This video shows you how to use the tools in myebookmaker
via YouTube

Creating an e-Book in Youblisher

Creating an e-Book in Youblisher
Students will be taking the Google Doc version of their short story final draft, downloading it as a PDF file and then uploading it to Youblisher to create an e-Book. Created with TechSmith Snagit for Google Chrome™
via YouTube

How-To Tutorial: IFTTT (If This, Then That)

Watch the video in Youtube here:


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Introduction to Project-Based Learning (PBL) Process

Click the image to see the video.

OK GO’s music video:
Buck Institute for Education website:
Flowchart of a PBL Project:
Essential Elements of PBL:
Essential Elements of PBL Checklist:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ideas and Thoughts from Larry Rosenstock, CEO of High Tech High

Recently Danielle Rich, our ES principal, shared with me a video about High Tech High (HTH) and its CEO Larry Rosenstock. HTH and Larry Rosenstock has created a network of charter schools that uses its four designing principles (personalization, adult world connection, and common intellectual mission, teacher as designer) to create learning environments that are radically different than traditional ones. This led me to create a YouTube playlist of videos of Larry Rosenstock interviews. Here are some of the things I learned from him:
  • "Most Memorable Learning Experience" exercise where teachers share two learning experiences that they felt were memorable; common answers (project, community, fear of failure, recognition of success, mentorship, public display of work)
  • Project Phases: observation, reflection, documentation, presentation
  • STEAM instead of STEM because art and design are central to all aspects of STEM
  • Rosenstock's Integrations: integration between the mind, heart and hand; integration of social class (accepted by lottery and never segregated in any way); integration of head and hand (need to use both well, not just one); integration of secondary and post-secondary (geared towards college acceptance) integration of school and community
  • Huge focus on production and not consumption; students can only play games that they created
  • Have students behave like or be like a professional since a huge part of adolescence is trying on new roles and identities
  • Judge teachers by quality of their students' work through public exhibitions
  • Use and bring in teachers' interests; teachers' excitement is a huge part of engagement
  • "Walls permeable" with the outside world through internship and community service
  • Take methodology of tech like group perform, team-taught, experiential, applied, expeditionary, and producing; connecting pedagogy of tech (not content) with academic content
  • Design of the school: Lots of glass (incubator or startup), so that student work can be showcased (curation), and allow students to see what is going on in other classes
  • Peer effect (social pressure is "you are going to college");
  • Treat students with respect
  • Teachers have to collaborate: meet 1st block because that is when conversations are more productive; every morning of the year meets with different groups (different configuration of common planning time)
  • "Catch yourself every time systematically mis-predicting who can or can't do what among children."
  • "Principals and public education that best gives you the opportunity to rise against disadvantage"
  • The goal is the change the world!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Interview with Director of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap

Here is a clip of Leo Laporte interviewing Robin Hauser Reynolds, the director of the documentary, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. This documentary explores why there is a huge gender gap among software engineers. 

Here is the full interview: 

Monday, April 6, 2015

KIS's KoLAB Program: Transdisciplinary STEM Learning

The KoLAB program provides students with transdisciplinary STEM learning opportunities through culminating challenges that integrate multiple academic subject areas.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more EdTech/STEM videos!

Music by Kevin MacLeod ("Son of a Rocket")

Monday, March 30, 2015

The STEMedu "Startup": Developing & Implementing a Unified STEM Program (#Learning2 Conference)

This is the video trailer for my extended session, "The STEMedu Startup," for Learning2 2015.
In my workshop attendees will:
  • Experience hands-on STEM activities that involve prototyping, experimentation, and tinkering through an innovative design approach.
  • Attendees will also learn effective implementation strategies and develop a framework in designing a successful STEM program for their school.
  • Finally attendees will learn about the transdisciplinary component of STEM and how multiple disciplines can be integrated through culminating challenges.
For more information on the extended session, please visit this page:
To register for the Learning2 conference in Asia please visit their website:
I would like to thank Katie Fleetwood, Jon Barry, Sarah Donaldson, Katie Thomas, Helen Nam, Alice Ahn, and Amy Cabaluna for being in the video. Also a special thanks to Megan Godek for some of the footage!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Storage in the Cloud for Teachers

Cloud storage is an awesome option for students and teachers who don't have enough storage space on their laptops or mobile devices. Cloud storage services will allow you to access all your files anywhere (desktop, phones, laptops, or tablet), share files with your colleagues, and organize them in folders or albums. Additionally, if your computer ever crashes or gets destroyed, you will still have access to your files on your different cloud storage services. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Minecraft in Education: 5th Grade Volume Project (PBL)

In this project students took on the role of architects from an architecture firm. Their objective was to design a home for Mr. Python and his family. Mr. Python provided a few specifications for the design:
  • Home must have a footprint of 150 to 250 square meters (The footprint is the area of the home site, defined by the perimeter of the building plan.)
  • At least 3 bedrooms (One master bedroom, one for the daughter and one for the son)
  • Wants lot of natural sunlight coming into the home
  • Multi-story home (home that has multiple of floors)
  • Home must be a composite rectangular prism, made up of at least three or more of these rectangular prisms that are all different sizes (Composite rectangular prism: composed of two or more non-overlapping right rectangular prisms)
  • Would like to know the volume of each of the non-overlapping rectangular prisms and also the total volume of the home
Here is the video of Mr. Python asking students to design a home for his family. 
Prior to the final project students watched the following intro video to volume that contains a quick review on perimeter and area, as well as a short activity where students find the volume of a rectangular prism using layers.

Ultimately students designed a home for Mr. Python with his specifications in mind. The images below are from Andrew in Ms. Godek's class. He created a beautiful modern home that had a volume of 5254 blocks cubed. Please visit his blog post to see more images and how he found the volume of his home.