SSTESOL16 – Engaging Generation C with the Adjacent Possible

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Thanks for coming to my session today at the Sunshine State TESOL 2016. I hope I was able to help you open some doors to a few adjacent possibilities for engaging your Generation C students. I also hope you will be interested in joining me tomorrow for my break out session on Bricks, Clicks & Teacher Tricks. Please remember, this page was designed to function as your outsourced memory for today’s content. Feel free to use it and share it as you see fit. And, if you think of some ideas that I missed, feel free to share those with me.  I am always happy to help guest authors share their favorite Teacher Tricks.

 Have You Met Tega?

14th Century Classroom

Today’s Classroom

Mark Prensky on Digital Immigrants & YouTube is the Literacy of the 21st Century

Although it is a very difficult thing for many educators and other people to hear and face, and strange as it sounds, the truth is that for most people in the twenty-first century reading and writing are not the best ways to communicate.


Learning in a Giffy!

Generation C

According to Allan J. Kimmel, we can thank professors Jan Kietzmann and Ian Angell for the term.

“Generation C refers to Constantly Connected Citizens who are Creative, Capable, Content-Centric Curators, Copiers and Combiners who are Community-oriented, Collectively Communicative, Collaborative, and Co-developing Consumers of Common Content.”

Click here to go to on your smart devices 

Why Gaming?  No really?

Road signs,  FlowFiero and Naches

Let’s Play Another Game…

Work with a partner and see how many words you can come up with by combining the following letters.


Question Framing/Functional Fixedness

Duncker, K. (1945). On problem solving. Psychological Monographs. 58(5, Whole No. 270).

Glucksberg, S. (1962). “The influence of strength of drive on functional fixedness and perceptual recognition”. Journal of Experimental Psychology63: 36–41. doi:10.1037/h0044683.PMID 13899303.

Wolchover, B. N. (2011). How Accurate Is Wikipedia? Retrieved January 24, 2016, from

The Candle Problem


We Cant See What We Cant See!

Only 71 companies remain today from the original 1955 Fortune 500 list


The Adjacent Possible

This term was originally coined by the biologist Stuart Kauffman, but it was recently popularized in Steven Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From. You will find an RSA Animate video summary of his book at this link. Basically, it refers to the fact “that at any given time – in science and technology, but perhaps also in culture and politics – only certain kinds of next steps are feasible.” For example, growing in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, many of today’s teachers learned or were made aware of adjacently-possible techniques for learning and sharing ideas (The book, the pencil, the notebook, the phone, Microsoft Word) Today’s kids live in a world with 1.6 million apps available from Google Play and 1.5 million apps available in iTunes (Statista, 2015). How many Adjacent Possibilities do these apps allow for? Are we sharing these possibilities with our students?

Teacher Tricks to Engage Gen C

According to Sir Arthur Clarke

Clarke’s first law

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke’s second law

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

Clarke’s third law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Reverse Image Searching  and the Many Faces of Google

GoogleGoogle News – Google ImagesGoogle Scholar – Google MOOC Skills