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Courageous Edventures

Courageous Edventures
Navigating Obstacles to Discover Classroom Innovation

Additional resources:

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)


"This book is written for any educator looking to sail into an innovative classroom. Ms. Magiera uses humor and stories to identify with educators and help guide the reader through the transition of a traditional classroom to an innovative classroom. This book takes you on a journey and is packed with ideas, examples, and resources that would be invaluable to any educator."

Kelly Fitzgerald, Online Learning Integration Specialist
Leander ISD

"A practical and resource-filled guide to using technology to true advantage in the classroom."

Betsy Ruffin, Retired Educator, Technology Consultant
B Ruffin Enterprises, Cleburne, TX

"In Courageous Edventures, our innovative educaptain, Jennie Magiera, charts our course for the perfect blend of inspiration and practical and actionable ideas that can help to reinvigorate the classroom. A must read for new and veteran teachers alike that can remind us all why we teach."

Adam Bellow, Founder of EduTecher & EduClipper

"Courageous Edventures shares both inspiring tidbits and practical strategies for changing a school, a classroom, or a lesson. Magiera provides a valuable blend of personal stories and applicable examples for educators in any setting.  I encourage educators to read the book and think about how they can be more courageous in their own practice."

Zachary Walker, Author of Teaching the Last Backpack Generation
National Institute of Education, Singapore

"Jennie Magiera 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

"Courageous Edventures is full of insightful and actionable ideas for transforming your classroom. Magiera paints a picture of innovative teaching and learning that is accessible for educators at all stages of their career. I love Magiera’s student-centered approach to using technology to reach authentic audiences and the colorful stories from the classroom. This is a must-read for teachers searching for a road map for deeper learning!"

Monica Burns, Author & Speaker, Apple Distinguished Educator, Founder of

"Principals, superintendents, and other leaders in education, share this book with your teachers now. Magiera’s thoughtful and delightful insight into the best of what’s happening in our schools will inspire new teachers and reinvigorate veterans to provide the classroom experiences our students need to thrive in and shape their world."

Kevin Brookhouser, Author of The 20Time Project How Educators can Launch Google's Formula for Future-Ready Innovation

"Jennie Magiera leads people on a great journey through this book 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. A great book for those wanting to bring innovation to life in their classrooms."

George Couros, Author of "The Innovator's Mindset" and Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant

"This book is certainly courageous. Instead of offering a step-by-step guide for your next technology purchases, Jennie Magiera masterfully designed an ecology of learning that is rich not only in assorted learning technologies, but in learner experimentation, autonomy, collaboration, problem solving, reflection, and so much more. Her expansive approach to technology integration and the principles underlying it will be relevant for many years. Suffice to say, the ideas found on every page of this book will be just a as relevant a decade from now as they are today."

Curt Bonk, Professor, President
Indiana University, CourseShare, LLC

"Jennie Mageira guides teachers as they navigate obstacles to discover classroom innovation in her new book, Courageous Edventures. She starts off asking teachers to be courageous and bold because true progress and innovation only happens when they disrupt the status quo and take big risks. Jennie knows how daunting this is for teachers so she thoughtfully created strategies so any teacher can feel safe and comfortable embarking on this journey. The book is organized in four sections based on a sailing metaphor that helps teachers prepare for their Edventure, navigate problems, empower students to set their own course, and then reflect on the journey. I highly recommend teachers and administrators to read Courageous Edventures to guide them and encourage discussions around changing teaching practice."

Barbara Bray, Creative Learning Strategist and Co-author of Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning
Oakland, CA

Sample Materials & Chapters


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