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Courageous Edventures

Courageous Edventures
Navigating Obstacles to Discover Classroom Innovation

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September 2016 | 200 pages | Corwin

Chart a course to innovation using educational technology 

Let’s go on an edventure! Do you want to innovate and take risks in your teaching? Looking for ways to troubleshoot common classroom challenges? Whatever obstacles you and your students face can turn into edventures, and this book will show you how to navigate them with grace, humor, and grit. Jennie Magiera charts a course for you to discover your own version of innovation, using the limitless possibilities of educational technology. You will learn:

  • How to create your own Teacher-IEP (Innovation Exploration Plan)
  • Keys to problem-based innovation (PBI)
  • Strategies and solutions for tackling common classroom problems
  • Methods for putting learning into the hands of students
  • How to find innovation in everyday places

Packed with real-world, immediately applicable solutions to the problems teachers face in their classrooms every day,Courageous Edventures shows how technology can be a fun and easy tool to improve classroom management and student learning!

"Magiera leads people on a journey with some great ideas to get started in the classroom right now, or the inspiration to find your own way, leading to innovative ideas for learning and teaching."
George Couros, Author of The Innovator's Mindset and Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant

"This book does a superb job of providing practical ideas and strategies on how to actually implement innovative practices in today's classroom. Her knowledge and experience as a change agent further strengthen the techniques presented and will help educators truly envision what's possible in classrooms today."

Eric Sheninger, Corwin Author and Senior Fellow
International Center for Leadership in Education

About the Author
1. Come on in, the Future’s Fine
Me and the Three Little Pigs

From Houses to Ships

What Is Innovation?

Two Compass Options: The SAMR and TIM Frameworks

Deciding When to Use SAMR and When to Use TIM

Setting a Course for Innovation

2. Problem-Based Learning: It’s Not Just for Kids
Teacher Innovation Exploration Plan: An Individualized Education Program for Teachers

Identifying the Problem of Practice

Defining the Problem of Practice

Stepping Up to a Solution

Critical Friends

3. Getting Your Students Ready
Learning to SAIL: Student Innovation Teams

Don’t Touch

Go Slow

Be Kind

Staying Safe on the Open Sea: Digital Citizenship

What Is Digital Citizenship?

Respect for Ourselves

Respect for Others

4. Getting Your Materials Ready
Let the Students Lead the Way

Build a Management System

Rewrite Your Supply List

Tech Is Not a Treat

Less Is More

5. Falling in Love With Failure
Calling Forth Your Courage

Failing Forward

Student Failure

Teacher Failure

System Failure

6. Digging Into Differentiation
Problem: So Many Ability Groups, So Little Time

Suggestion: Clone the Teacher

Problem: Keeping Students Engaged During Small-Group Time

Suggestion 1: Choose Your Own Adventure Time

Suggestion 2: Self-Differentiating Challenges

Suggestion 3: Critical Friends

Problem: Finding Developmentally Appropriate Differentiated Content

Suggestion 1: Create Your Own Content

Suggestion 2: Digital Resources

Problem: How Do I Disseminate Materials to Students and Collect Their Work? (aka Digital Workflow)

Suggestion 1: Learning Management System

Suggestion 2: Google Classroom

Suggestion 3: Class Websites, QR Codes, and Google Forms

7. Rethinking Assessment
Problem: I Hate Grading!

Suggestion 1: Digital Student Response Software

Suggestion 2: Learning Management Systems Assessments

Suggestion 3: Online Forms

Problem: I Need to Differentiate Assessments Based on Individualized Education Program Accommodations and/or Modifications

Suggestion: Screencast Assessments

Problem: My Students Have a Hard Time Self-Assessing

Suggestion 1: Metacognitive Screencasting

Suggestion 2: Digital Portfolios

The Draw of Google Drawings

Problem: Teaching Students How to Give Peer Feedback

Suggestion 1: Google Drive

Suggestion 2: Google Drive and Google Forms

Suggestion 3: Blogging and Quadblogging

Accountability Without Assessment: Gamification and Achievement Badges

8. Creating a Positive Classroom Environment
Problem: Creating a Culture of Respect and Collaboration

Suggestion 1: Mood Check-Ins

Suggestion 2: Class Dojo for Encouraging Positive Action

Suggestion 3: Using Music to Set the Mood

Problem: Supporting Struggling Students

Suggestion 1: Blogging

Suggestion 2: Positivity Timelines

Problem: Communicating With Families

Suggestion 1: Class Dojo for Communication

Suggestion 2: Google Forms

Suggestion 3: Digital Newsletters/Class Blog

9. Planning for Powerful Learning
Problem: Finding Curricular Resources

Suggestion 1: Pinterest and EduClipper

Suggestion 2: Twitter and Google+

Suggestion 3: Blogs!

Problem: Scheduling Time for Collaborative Team Planning

Suggestion 1: Google Calendar

Suggestion 2:

Suggestion 3: Google Hangouts

Problem: Vertical Alignment—What’s the Rest of the School Teaching?

Suggestion 1: Google Drive

Suggestion 2: Shared Calendars

10. Power to the Pupil
Cultivate Curiosity: How Do I Build Curiosity?

Sorting Your Questions: Questdones and Questruns

Outwit Obstacles: How Do I Teach Perseverance?

Purposeful Playtime: How Do I Find the Time for Purposeful Play?

Reimagined Centers

20% Time

Open Scheduling

Bringing the Purpose to the Playtime: Entering Creation Station

Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

11. Discovering the Power of Voice
Amplifying Our Students

Step 1: Finding Their Inner Voice—Blogs Versus Diaries

Step 2: Sharing Their Voice With Others—Building Classroom Discussions and Backchanneling

Step 3: Teacher-Moderated Sharing—Dipping a Toe Into Social Media

Step 4: Opening the Garden Walls—Diving Into Social Media

12. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Revisiting Problem-Based Learning

Digging in to Problem-Based Learning

Step 1: Finding the Problem-Based Essential Question

Step 2: Developing the Challenge

Step 3: Rising to the Challenge

Step 4: Showcasing the Learning

The Role of the Teacher

Problem-Based Learning Spotlight—KidTREK: A Safe Journey App for Students

The Student Becomes the Master

13. Evaluating Your Practice
Looping in Your Critical Friend

Revisiting the SAMR and TIM Frameworks

Leveling Up With the SAMR Model

Approaching the Three Dimensions of the TIM

Sharing Your Adventure

Taking It a Step Further: Presenting Your Story

14. Staying Inspired and Finding Support
Creating a Professional Learning Network That Works

Professional Learning Communities and Professional Learning Networks

Cultivating Constructive Conflict

A Shared Space

Teacher-Led Learning Events



Formal Learning Events

Step 1: Go With a Goal in Mind

Step 2: Keep a Three-Dance Card

Step 3: Recruit Allies and Use Collaborative Tools

Step 4: Schedule Time With Yourself to Debrief Individually

Step 5: Pay It Forward

15. Planning Your Next Edventure
Be Your Own Hero

Don’t Get Comfortable

Channel Your Inner Student

Share Your Crazy Pills

Appendix A- Challenge Card Template
Appendix B- Teacher Innovation Exploration Plan (TIEP)


“Magiera takes us on a Courageous Edventure by outlining a blueprint for charting a new course while navigating rough waters in order to sail into the Great Beyond. Her words of wisdom, stemming from her career as a practitioner, are encouraging yet simultaneously challenging—challenging educators to create new, authentic learning experiences for all kids. Whether your setting is urban, suburban, or rural, Magiera will push your thinking, challenge the status quo, and support your work in developing Future Ready classrooms and schools. Courageous Edventures is a great read and a needed tool for your toolbox!”

Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation
Future Ready Schools

"With Courageous Edventures, Jennie Magiera has created a book that is both powerful and accessible to teachers who want to transform their classrooms into more modern, active, empowering spaces. Magiera’s powerful voice and passion for the work shine through on every page, making this a fun read as well as a deeply helpful read as well."

Chris Lehmann, Founding Principal of Science Leadership Academy and Author of Building School 2.0

"Courageous Edventures is as fun as it is wildly useful for teachers wanting to move from hope for more effective teaching and more satisfying professional experiences to realizing both. Magiera helpfully explores the general (building professional networks, reflecting collaboratively, etc.) and the specific (her brilliant "Gripe Jam," fascinating ways to use OK Go videos, and much more) in ways that will hold the attention of both veterans and newbies. This is a perfect book for those in teacher education programs and professional study teams at all kinds of schools."

Rushton Hurley, Educator and Executive Director
Next Vista for Learning

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

For instructors

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