Chad Sansing

I teach for the users. Opinions are mine; content is ours.
Chad Sansing has written 106 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

#mozfest: Open schools for open societies

#mozfest began a conversation about schooling that I hope continues over the course of the next year. I hope that in our care and commitment to raising a generation of webmakers who write the world, we increase kids’ access to writable experiences inside school, as well as outside school. While it’s mostly true that to … Continue reading

#mozfest day 1: invitations

[Author’s note: photos forthcoming as bandwidth allows.] Visualizing tomorrow’s session about how school could change to support the work we love as adults, I can see #mozfest and school as the same invitation to ask and imagine what’s possible in our classrooms. Can we imagine our classrooms as beautiful places? What would that mean for … Continue reading

The fun we have

Our quest to measure how frequently a skateboard wheel spins in a given amount of time continues. Working off of Twitter feedback (leave your feedback here) from Andrew Carle and Katie Mae, we built reed switches – circuits that use magnets to pull contacts together to complete themselves. We passed the reed switches through our … Continue reading

The failing, not the succeeding

Last time I shared out the fun we had spinning a wheel. Now we (in a small PBL group that meets twice weekly) are spinning our wheels trying to make a counter/sensor that will tally the spins of a particularly sick skateboard wheel. Here’s a short list of our failures so far: We could use … Continue reading

The pursuit, not the telling

We had already put up the computers; we stood around waiting for the tornado drill. I spun two wheels, one wheel on each of the skateboards parked on the desk by the door. The blue wheel on the first deck easily outlasted the white wheel on the other. You could hear the difference. The white … Continue reading

Standing the chance

As an early career teacher, I spent many first days of school immersed in administrative trivia and consequence. I expected many children to immerse themselves likewise in the rules, regulations, expectations, and ritual of establishing my nominally benevolent dictatorship over my classroom. I had a name for every desk configuration-my favorite was called the Roman … Continue reading

5 ways to flip school

This is a companion piece to “5 ways to flip composition” on the Democratizing Composition blog, a new project meant to build a community around the idea of broadening what’s possible in schools through specific new media methods and materials. I hope some of these suggestions strike a chord with you and that you’ll offer … Continue reading

The Evaluation

He stayed behind in the classroom for a few minutes, straightening desks, pushing in chairs, securing the wall safe, and digitally initialing the affidavits he had to sign in the presence of the school’s compliance officer that morning promising not to share any information about what or whom he taught that day. Not a post, … Continue reading

Democratizing composition: bringing together thoughts, people & resources

I’m increasingly concerned with democratizing composition, a pedagogy built on these beliefs: Writing is one form of composition or making, tantamount to the rest. All modes of composition are valid and valuable methods of expression. All modes of composition benefit from design thinking, rapid prototyping (a.k.a. repeated failure), iteration, and user feedback. The monopoly of … Continue reading

The Mars problem

We operate schools that used biased means to “identify” and separate out the scientists and astronauts we need to colonize and terraform Mars. We need schools that knit together the communities that will lift up and let go of the all the people going there. We operate schools that enable total war. We need schools … Continue reading

857 wicked design problems

Amidst the traffic resulting from President Obama’s visit to Orlando, I thought of Arne Duncan in Washington, DC, and his 857 desks. I thought also of University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas and her 3 meetings. And I thought about walking around Epcot last night while talking politics and education with my mom, a happily … Continue reading

The boundless valley

[Author’s note: much of this post is inspired by Bethany Nowviskie’s “Reality Bytes.”] Public schools and universities in the United States are increasingly governed by corporate interests that supersede, transverse, and transgress local and state code and control. There is a tremendous amount of tension between academic tradition and capitalist pursuits, and sometimes that tension … Continue reading

Franchises, farmers markets, schools

This spring, our local farmers market inadvertently awarded space to a national chain. Our schools, however, lease themselves to vendors all the time. Well, actually schools don’t lease themselves – they, in fact, pay to be occupied by vendors. Money budgeted for curriculum, interventions, and testing seldom stays inside a division, school system, or state. … Continue reading

Hospice for schools

I have a weird relationship with public schools. In many ways, they made me (or I shaped myself to conform with their expectations of me) and – of late – I have tried to unmake and remake myself in response to them. That being said, I love the idea of a place where kids and … Continue reading

For they are not doing what they can’t yet do

In mulling over the school to prison pipeline and the cosmetic differences between grouping and tracking, I’ve found myself asking the same questions over and over again: Is there a link between early-childhood placement in a reading remediation program or scripted learning environment and eventual incarceration? (Don’t click if you hate Elseiver.) Even if there … Continue reading

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