Sign in

Tech Guy. Dad. Educator. I write about the intersection of technology, education, and life. http://PikeMallTech.com
Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

Chop wood, carry water.

Of all the things that this new journey in life has given me, the most important is explained in that simple Zen proverb.

Chop wood, carry water.

Yes, I have more energy. Yes, I can go up a flight of steps and not feel a raging inferno in my chest as I gasp for breath at the top of the stairwell.


When we make decisions about the technology we use in our classrooms we very often ask the wrong questions

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question. — Jonas Salk

When we make decisions about the technology we use in our classrooms we very often ask the wrong questions.

We think about how we can use the latest, greatest, coolest tools and gadgets available to get students in a desperate attempt to engage them in learning while ignoring what we should be focused on in education.

I was the world’s worst offender of chasing the cool factor. Whatever came down the edtech release line, I was there for it. I would…


designing for the digital age
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

I’ve long been a fan of Hyperdocs; a lesson-building format that focused on providing students with the resources they need to work at their own pace throughout a lesson or unit.

Hyperdocs also gives teachers the chance to provide supports for students in a lesson exactly when they need it most. The format works well in either virtual or blended learning environments, giving students control over the pace of the lesson.

With a bit of a different twist, there’s now the HyperRubric.

Think of it as a traditional rubric super-powered with examples and supports that will give students the resources…


Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

Education technology is a field for those who consider themselves patient optimists.

Justin Reich

I’m willing to bet that you have a favorite recipe, specifically, a favorite dessert. And any time you get to have it, you’re excited.

So excited that you can’t wait until you get to put every scrumptious morsel in your mouth.

Go ahead, take a second and think about that cake you get for your birthday every year. You can picture it in your head, can’t you?

You know the outcome you want but you’re not there yet.

You can see every detail, every crumb, every…


Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

13 years ago, on an overcast Saturday morning in central Kentucky, my wife and I said our “I dos” in front of a small group of family and friends. It was a simple event with little fanfare and quite possibly the world’s best breakfast casserole and country ham biscuits (we still have people talk about the food and how relaxed the atmosphere was that day).

Yes, our wedding was pretty cool.

For both of us, this was wedding number two. She, a domestic violence survivor, and I, a survivor of my own mentally and verbally abusive relationship, began our journey…


Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.

Esther Dyson

There’s an idea from Austin Kleon about books that suck you in and books that spin you out. As I read his thoughts, I had the same about technology. Specifically, about all those wonderful tools categorized as “educational technology” that we use almost every day.

Put simply, there are technologies we used in schools that suck us in (centripetal) and…


In the fall of 2014, I entered the classroom as a student teacher, ready to complete my final semester before becoming an actual teacher.

To say that I was nervous would be the understatement of the century. How was this going to go? How would I do? Would I “pass” this final course on my path to becoming a teacher?

Being the self-centered jerk that I can very often be, I was only concerned with myself. I had forgotten something important.

I had forgotten that I wasn’t the only one entering the room for a new experience that day.

There…


I’ve watched this video of 1,000 musicians performing “Learn to Fly” countless times. I’ve even used it to open presentations and professional learning sessions to convey the power of being connected to a group.

While that video is almost six years old, the lessons are still relevant to our time (also, it’s just a great video that will have you rocking along with the group and yes, the Foo Fighters totally responded).

The Rockin’ 100 has gone on to create several other videos that are well worth the watch. Again, these videos are important not because of the musicianship…


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Let me begin with this: my journaling has little rhyme or reason to it, so please don’t expect to come away from this post with an epic plan for writing the Journal of all Journals.

My journal is a mess because I’m still trying to figure out how to journal (if there is such a thing) as well as what I should put in my journal.

And, for those of you seeking my ultimate secret to journaling success, here it is:

I’ve seen (and tried) many of the different journaling methods out there (five-minute, bullet, gratitude, reading, etc.) …


Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

I get it. Star Wars isn’t for everyone. At least, that’s what some would have you believe.

Some will say that it’s science fiction mumbo jumbo and doesn’t add anything to our society and is pure drivel.

And, from a certain point of view, they’re right.

But…

What if they’re not?

As I’ve said many times before, Star Wars isn’t science fiction.

Not even close. Nor does it try to be.

It isn’t Star Trek.

It isn’t Asimov. Or Clarke. Or Heinlein.

It’s Tolkien. It’s Jordan. Brooks and Goodkind.

Le Guin. Sanderson. Salvatore.

It’s Beowulf. The Iliad. The Odyssey.

It’s…

Mike Paul

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store