May 14, 2020
Mark is joined by two national distinguished principals, Tony Sinanis, an administrator in New York and co-author of Hacking Leadership, and Jessica Cabeen, a principal in Minnesota and author of Lead With Grace and Hacking Early Learning. In this excerpt of a Times 10 Roundtable webinar, the three educators discuss the problems teachers and leaders are facing during the global pandemic and how to prepare for the huge changes we're facing in education, in what is sure to be some kind of blended learning environment now and in the future.Learn more at to more episodes at
April 27, 2020
In this brief excerpt from the Times 10 Roundtable, Mark Barnes talks with anxiety experts Christine Ravesi-Weinstein and Connie Hamilton about anxious students' triggers, while providing powerful tips and tools for helping our kids cope with anxiety, in a pandemic society and beyond.To view the entire hour-long, free webinar, visit more from the pod, visit
April 17, 2020
Mark Barnes shares an excerpt of the Times 10 Roundtable Webinar--Hacking Distance Learning: How to Deliver Impactful Instruction When Teaching from Home.Times 10 teachers, school leaders, and authors unpack the problems educators face with distance learning, in a climate of uncertainty, and they provide sound, practical strategies and tools that will make you successful at any level and in any subject.To see the entire hour-long discussion or other Roundtables, visit more podcast episodes, visit
February 24, 2020
A school district in Texas is bringing back the paddle, because some parents okayed teachers hitting their children. Mark Barnes compares this to 1950s style discipline and shares the thoughts of Nathan Maynard, co-author of Hacking School Discipline, on the subject. There are better ways to handle behavior issues in class and hitting is never okay, Maynard says. In the end, Barnes says, "Spare the rod, save the child!" What do you say. For more from Times 10 and the Hack Learning Podcast, visit us at
February 10, 2020
The focus and goal of mentoring is not to point out weak performance, but rather to shape a career and develop potential. Before you can be a mentor, you have to LEARN what it means to be a Modern Mentor. Mark Barnes shares the LEARN model from Modern Mentor and how you can apply it in your space, no matter what role you play.Find additional notes for this episode at
October 14, 2019
James had what appeared to be some major problems. How did his teacher connect with this introverted student? You'll be amazed at how simple it was.For more on connecting with introverted students, look inside Quiet Kids Count: Unleashing the True Potential of Introverts, on AmazonVisit the Hack Learning Podcast archive at
October 7, 2019
Teacher, author, keynote speaker Chrissy Romano Arrabito was the student who always raised her hand first, always had the answer, was eager to share, was well-behaved, and made good grades. She was, from any teacher's perspective, a well-adjusted child. Little did most, if any, of her teachers realize, Chrissy was a quiet kid--an introvert. She struggled with her emotions constantly. How did her teachers miss this? Are you misunderstanding your own quiet kids? Learn more about introverts and one easy strategy for helping them cope, in this episode of the Hack Learning Podcast. Read the introduction to Quiet Kids Count at about Chrissy's new book, Quiet Kids Count, at http://weleadforward.comListen to more Hack Learning episodes at
July 8, 2019
Encourage, evolve, empower. Mentor, move, motivate. Create, innovate, elevate. Always be listening. Always be learning. These are the qualities of someone who leads forward. They’re not just my words or those of the educators who write leadership books. The words belong to teachers, principals, parents, superintendents, and other education shareholders. Perhaps they are your words, too. Listen to the rest of this Foreword from the new Lead Forward Series, by Hack Learning Pod host Mark Barnes. Read the the rest at Browse our shelves at
June 10, 2019
Why is impactful leadership like riding a backwards bicycle? It's actually quite simple, says award-winning school principal, presenter, and author of Be Excellent on Purpose, Sanée Bell. EduHacker Mark Barnes shares an excerpt from a conversation with Sanée about ownership over buy-in, empowering shareholders to reflect and create plans for success and other strategies for re-learning how to ride your bike and how to Be Excellent on Purpose. For details about the Lead Forward Series and how to Be Excellent on Purpose, visit Read all of the Hack Learning Series and other books from Times 10 Publications at
May 20, 2019
Want amazing, even mind-blowing, conversation in your classroom? Throw out your ping pong questions, and become a pinball wizard. Mark shares--and SINGS--this powerful strategy from Hacking Questions, by Connie Hamilton. Listen now and learn the wizardry that can turn your students into discussion gurus. For more from Hacking Qs, visit For more from the Pod, visit
May 8, 2019
Disruptive students are criminals who must be put out of your classroom. So says one educator, who Mark Barnes is taking to task, in this uncut episode that comes with this disclaimer: Beware, Mark is angry, and one misguided teacher is going to hear about it. Of course, if you listen past the rant, you'll learn how to keep your "criminals" in class and teach them empathy and the kind of behavior choices that will make them successful in school and in life. Learn more about the hacks in this episode in Hacking School Discipline, at Subscribe and listen to more at
April 22, 2019
In this excerpt from Hacking Questions, we learn how to set ourselves up to kick the IDK bucket by identifying the root cause for the “I don’t know” response. You see, we cannot assume that IDK means the student really does not know something. Read this Hack from Hack Learning Book 23 at Browse books at Listen to more at
April 18, 2019
People said they don't have time to teach empathy, compassion, and self-awareness. Mark Barnes responds, and you may be surprised at what he says. At first, you might say, "That's not Hack Learning." But if you listen till the end, you might agree that this attitude is what Hack Learning is founded on.
April 15, 2019
Hack Learning host Mark Barnes lost his temper recently. If only he had taken his own advice, which he shares in this episode, things might have been different. What's this earth-shattering advice? Three words: Take a breath! Sounds easy, right? It's not so simple, and in order to make it work, you have to be intentional about that purposeful pause. Take a few minutes, listen, and learn how to PLAN your breaths, change your own behavior, be a better professional and person, and model empathy for colleagues and for kids. This might be the hackiest Hack ever, and it might change your life. Learn more in Hacking School Discipline and other books that include mindfulness strategies at Subscribe to the pod at
April 8, 2019
Are you teaching Generation Alpha with Baby Boomer content? Educators are faced with new challenges from the generation that may live into the 22nd century. How can teachers cope? Mark shares what Michael Fisher and Elizabeth Fisher, authors of Hacking Instructional Design, say about planning for the future, so we can better meet the needs of Gen Alpha. Read this excerpt from the book at Browse all books at Visit the podcast archive at
April 1, 2019
Mark shares a story from Hacking School Discipline, about Amarra, a troublemaker that many teachers might have given up on. Instead of quitting on her, though, her teachers instilled a growth mindset in Amarra, and a once troubled young lady became a school leader and student mentor. Learn more about Amarra and creating a growth mindset in Hack Learning book number 22, Hacking School Discipline. It's on Amazon now. Subscribe to the podcast at Browse the library at
March 26, 2019
Handing out office referrals like candy to students who misbehave is like sending kids away from learning for a brief holiday, and Mark Barnes says, "It's time to throw out your office referral." Mark shares a powerful, simple hack from Hacking School Discipline, that will help teachers and school leaders change behavior, while keeping kids in class as valuable members of the learning community. Read an excerpt and learn one of 9 ways to create a culture of empathy and responsibility using restorative justice: For more episodes, visit
February 27, 2019
Running a marathon seems crazy to Mark Barnes. Teaching is often crazier. But being both marathon runner and teacher is unfathomable. Still, these unique individuals are littered across race courses and classrooms worldwide. And, what Mark has learned, from teacher and marathon runner Mike Roberts, is that these seemingly crazy people will never stop Chasing Greatness. Listen to an excerpt from Roberts' new book, Chasing Greatness: 26.2 Ways Teaching Is Like Running a Marathon. Look inside the book here: Visit us at Show notes for this episode are at
February 12, 2019
Florida is considering bonus pay for the "best and brightest teachers," but who are they? According to one plan, they are the teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests. This is a flawed system, for many reasons. Is there a better way to identify the "best and brightest?" Mark Barnes went to the Hack Learning audience for answers. If you think bonus pay for educators is a good idea, forget test scores, and consider this hacky plan instead. Subscribe and rate the show at Visit our library at
February 5, 2019
Mark Barnes is Uncut again, and he's wondering if teachers and parents hurt kids by NOT teaching them about perception, when it comes to social media. He recalls a Washington DC protest video going viral, and the perceptions people had about the kids in the video. Mark shares excerpts from Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, by Shelly Terrell, that explain how to help kids identify and understand fake news and the perceptions it creates. He shares some simple hacks adults can use to teach kids about perception and help them avoid damaging their futures. Look inside Hacking Digital Learning Strategies at Subscribe to the show at
January 15, 2019
When someone asks how your day was, do you say, “It was very satisfying?” Do you exit a roller coaster and exclaim, “That was a very satisfying ride?” When you last dined at a 5-star restaurant, did you tell the server that you just couldn’t wait for a satisfactory meal? Hopefully, you answered no to all of these questions. Hopefully, your day, your roller coaster ride, and your fine dining where much more. Mark explains the danger of "satisfying" experiences, especially when they dominate school. He says, you need the F Word. For show notes, visit Browse our library at
January 8, 2019
Mark Barnes shares a story about a school district that makes students wear color-coded badges that label them as potential failures. We need better leadership in 2019, Barnes says, and we need to hack these policies that harm our students. Mark shares a hack from Hacking Leadership that supplies some what-you-can-do-tomorrow strategies for creating a school culture that embraces the opinions of all shareholders, helping leaders avoid mistakes like this badge fiasco. All episodes can be found at Find Hacking Leadership at
December 4, 2018
Mark Barnes shares some tough questions that, he says, all teachers should ask themselves. Are you ready to answer them? Browse the Hack Learning library at Subscribe to the show at
November 29, 2018
Mark Barnes shares Hack 7 from the new Hacking Instructional Design, in which the authors explain how to use mental velcro--must one of 33 extraordinary ways to create a contemporary curriculum. Grab the authors' 61-page free resource at Listen to more Hack Learning episodes at
November 13, 2018
Teachers and school leaders want compassion in their classrooms and schools. Mark Barnes explains how Experiential Learning inspires compassion in students, with plenty of help from Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms, by Angela Stockman and Ellen Feig Gray. Find Hacking School Culture and the entire Hack Learning Series at For more podcast episodes, visit
October 26, 2018
A concerned educator and parent writes: "My kids tell me that [their classes are] basically -- take notes, do worksheets, take tests. They don't really DO anything with the stuff they're learning. No discussions or projects or anything really hands-on. Just information in, information out." This sparked some remarkable conversation and evidence that many kids across the country are exposed to old-school practices that make them hate school. Mark Barnes shares the conversation and is asking you to help Hack this problem. Share this episode and comment on Twitter at #HackLearning and tag @markbarnes19 Join the conversation on the Hack Learning Ambassadors Facebook site: Improve your practice by browsing our library at Start your own conversation and ask for solutions.
October 16, 2018
Popular author and speaker James Clear says, "Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement." That is, the effects of your habits multiply, when repeated, much like your money multiplies, as it sits in an interest-bearing account. Clear is the author of the new Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, and he has a simple formula for making your habits Atomic, which he shares with Mark Barnes in this episode. Learn more about Clear and Atomic Habits at Browse our library at Check out the new uNseries at
October 5, 2018
Veteran teacher, author, and presenter Chuck Poole believes that one of the keys to becoming an unforgettable teacher is to find your balance. In his book, uNforgettable: Your Roadmap to Being the Teacher They Never Forget, Poole says that balance "frees us from unnecessary responsibilities." But how can busy teachers find balance? Poole explains in an excerpt from the book, shared in this episode by your host, Mark Barnes. Read more at Check out uNforgettable here:
September 11, 2018
A tennis match was interrupted by, of all things, coaching and, possibly, a little gender bias, and Mark Barnes has some simple hacks to put a stop to this insanity. In a departure from his usual education hacks, Mark discusses the women's US Open tennis championship and an outburst from star Serena Williams that may have overshadowed a young player's victory but shed light on a big problem in sports and society. Share you thoughts on Twitter at #HackLearning Visit our episode library at Brows books at phot by: y.caradec"
September 6, 2018
Instead of de-funding school libraries, it's time to transform them into the revolutionary space that can inspire all education shareholders to view the library as a learning community--not just an archive of books. Learn more at Browse all episodes at
August 7, 2018
Is it time to reconsider parents' role in teaching and learning in your space? Parent and family involvement in education can now be so much more than a phone call, open house, or parent-teacher conference. In her new book, Hacking Early Learning, Principal of the Year Jessica Cabeen shares some practical strategies for engaging parents in daily teaching and learning, using 21-century technology. Mark Barnes shares an excerpt from Jessica's book, explaining how you can bring parents along for the entire journey in every school year. Read more at Browse our shelves at
August 2, 2018
When celebrities stand by and protect bullies, without punishment, how can adults teach kids to stand up? Mark uses a high-profile example of a celebrity covering for an abuser, wondering if the person goes unpunished how it will impact our ability to teach kids to do what's right. Continue the conversation on Twitter at #HackLearning View all episodes at Browse the library at
July 18, 2018
In another uncut edition of the show, Mark Barnes challenges you to take a chance and ask students to rate your in-class presentations or lessons. Channeling Hacking Engagement author and podcaster James Sturtevant, Mark shares Hack 35 from Sturtevant's 50 Tips & Tools to Engage Teachers and Learners Daily, along with one nifty tech tool to easily empower your student focus groups. Listen now and learn how to leverage student opinion to be the best teacher you can be. Check out Hacking Engagement and the entire Hack Learning Series at Listen to more podcast episodes at
June 25, 2018
Mark shares a story from author/consultant Angela Stockman about a student who asked for feedback from her teacher, only to be given judgement and criticism. You'll be surprised at what Angela instructed the student to do next. Read the story, excerpted from Stockman's Hacking the Writing Workshop at Visit our episode archive at
June 14, 2018
What if educators knew their students so well, they could predict exactly when kids would quit? Imagine how easily you could propel learners forward, if you had this incredible power. Longtime classroom teachers Adam Chamberlin and Sveti Matejic say that understanding Quit Point is the key to unlocking the full potential of teaching and learning. Learn more at Browse our shelves at
May 31, 2018
And educator commented on a tweet, which ignited what someone called a "mob mentality." This Twitter conversation inspired Mark Barnes to share a scenario he envisioned, during what he says looked like teachers bashing teachers on social media. For more detail, read the show notes at For more episodes, visit
May 8, 2018
Shame permeates our schools and classrooms. Kids shame their peers and, sometimes, unwittingly, teachers shame their students. Compassionate classrooms, detailed in Hacking Classroom Culture by Angela Stockman and Ellen Feig Gray, extinguish shame. Mark shares an excerpt from Hack 5 of this new book, helping you find out how to eliminate shame in your space and design your own compassionate classroom. Check out the resources from this episode and an excerpt from Hacking School Culture at Learn more about designing compassionate classrooms here:
April 24, 2018
Mark Barnes says he used to penalize kids for insignificant things like using a pencil or putting their names in the wrong spot (a bad practice he now admits). But failing a kid for not printing a Google Doc? Mark argues that this is the stupidest school policy ever. He explains why and how this needs to be hacked ... immediately, while providing a few hacks from numerous Hack Learning experts. Check out the books referenced in this episode at Browse the podcast archive at
April 16, 2018
Mark shares the worst thing he did to his students and how you may be doing the same thing right now. Then, he provides one simple hack to avoid doing it again. View the archive at Browse books at
April 3, 2018
EduHacker Mark Barnes admits that math has always eluded him, until he stumbled upon the Unanswerable Questions hack in Hacking Mathematics, by Denis Sheeran. Mark shares Sheeran's reasoning behind Unanswerable Questions and the power they hold over not just math students, but all teachers and learners. Read the excerpt at Browse the library at
February 25, 2018
Mark Barnes is angry and Uncut, as he unabashedly says No to the president's plan to arm teachers, in an attempt to stop school shootings. Not only does Mark say educators must say no to guns, he provides a few more ways to stop school shootings. Listen and comment on Twitter at #HackLearning. More from Mark Barnes and Hack Learning at
February 7, 2018
Mark shared this on social channels, and something amazing happened: "A model student his whole life, my son, a freshman, suddenly hates school. He says the teachers are boring and most of the subject matter he will never use in real life. This is heartbreaking. He has three and a half years left, and I don't know what to do." Listen to how people reacted and how Mark disseminates their reactions into some powerful, What-You-Can-Do-Tomorrow strategies to make school an engaging, fun place for all kids. Learn more at Browse the library at More episodes at
January 28, 2018
The Mississippi State legislature wants to mandate nightly homework, including spelling, across the state. Mark Barnes explains why any homework mandate undermines teachers, learners, and parents. He also declares that politicians must stay out of education policymaking, unless they enlist the help of progressive-minded educators. Learn more at Listen to more episodes at
January 18, 2018
A reader pushed back hard against Mark Barnes' article about going gradeless in Education Week's 10 Big Ideas Special Report. As you may have expected, Mark pushes back against the pushback in this episode, sharing excerpts from the EdWeek article and the comments. Along the way, Mark explains why grading and evaluating are not the same as effectively assessing learning in the no-grades classroom. Check out an excerpt from the article, No, Students Don't Need Grades, on our show notes page here: Learn about going gradeless and other progressive education ideas at Tell the world what you think of the podcast with an iTunes rating and review.
January 8, 2018
Mark discusses changing the narrative about school leaders. With a little help from principals Dan McCabe and Tracy R. Taylor, Mark says, it’s time to stop making the principal the bad guy. Visit the Show’s archive at Browse the library at Check out for fast and hacky podcasting
December 14, 2017
Mark interviews Utah English Teacher of the Year Mike Roberts, author of Hacking Classroom Management: 10 Ideas To Help You Become the Type of Teacher They Make Movies About. Learn more about Roberts and the Movie Teacher approach at Check out all Hack Learning Series books at
December 8, 2017
Mark cites a Psychology Today Blog post, in which the author references an interview with a Google executive who says the search engine giant does not use GPAs and SAT scores to assess potential new hires. Mark Barnes despises grades and tests, and he wonders why schools continue to use them when one of the most successful companies on the planet disdains them. Read the article at Listen to more episodes at Browse the library at
November 30, 2017
Mark posted this on social channels: "No, I won’t lecture, assign homework, punish, or grade my students, just because that’s the way we’ve always done it." And people reacted. He talks about it in classic Hack Learning Uncut style. Want more episodes? Need a solution to a big problem?
November 17, 2017
For parents and teachers, the old, "Back-in-my-day" mentality no longer works, because, as Kimberley Moran writes in Hacking Parenthood, The World Really Is Different. In this special Friday edition of Hack Learning Uncut, Mark shares Mantra 9 from the new book, Hacking Parenthood: 10 Mantras You Can Use Daily to Reduce the Stress of Parenting, along with some what-you-can-do-tomorrow strategies for reducing screentime at home in and the classroom. Mark explains how Moran uses the Parent Resource Notebook (PRN) as a powerful tool for pausing and reflecting--critical for both parents and teachers. Look inside Hacking Parenthood at Access your free copy of the PRN at Check out the Hack Learning library at
October 26, 2017
Love him or hate him President Donald Trump isn't the best example for kids, when it comes to debating issues on social media. In this non-political episode, Mark Barnes shares an excerpt from Shelly Terrell's book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, which tackles the issue of online debate and disrespect head on. Learn how to teach kids to debate issues appropriately on social media, with some right-now strategies you can use today to engage kids in a meaningful discussion about online debate. Read the chapter on Teaching Debate at Check out all Hack Learning books at Listen to more episodes at
October 10, 2017
EduHacker Mark Barnes explains the problem with rewards, gestures, and asking kids to give you the finger, when attempting to effectively "manage" students. Of course, he's got a hack for that.
September 28, 2017
Mark talks about the power of mission-minded learning with NAPW Woman of the Year, renowned EdTech presenter, and author of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies Shelly Sanchez Terrell. Learn more about EdTEch Missions at For more episodes, visit
September 18, 2017
A recent #HackLearning chat sparked some hot debate about appropriate teacher dress and engaging with students outside of class. Mark has opinions, and he's sharing in another Uncut episode. See the Twitter chat archive at Check out all episodes at Visit the library at
September 14, 2017
In Episode 100, Mark reflects on century's worth of podcasts, asking Why he produces the show. Find out the "Why" and ask yourself why you do what you do. Share your thoughts at #HackLearning on Twitter and on the Hack Learning Facebook page. Check out all episodes at Look inside a book at
September 7, 2017
Hacking Parenthood author Kimberley Moran explains how mantras were created thousands of years ago by people in ancient India who understood that sound is a pathway to reaching enlightenment and they became sound formulas to calm the self. With this in mind, Moran shares several Parent Mantras and explains how you can apply these mantras to your own parenting strategies and reduce the daily stress of parenting. Moran also explains how teachers can share mantras with parents to help them inspire independent learning at home. Learn more about Parent Mantras at, where you can get a free downloadable PDF of Moran's 10 Parent Mantras. Listen to all episodes at
August 31, 2017
With so much tragedy in the world, we need inspirational stories to ease the stress. Mark shares his favorite inspirational teaching story and puts a Hack Learning spin on it, providing some right-now solutions for teachers and parents of reluctant readers. Learn more at For more solutions for teachers and learners, visit
August 22, 2017
A blog post suggesting that teachers should work less draws Mark's ire, and he sounds off in another Uncut version of the podcast. Mark says teachers can't be effective in less than 40 hours a week, but the whole 40-hour thing might just be semantics. Find more episodes at Look inside any or all books at Tell us what you think on Twitter at #HackLearning
August 17, 2017
What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia should not be politicized, says Hack Learning creator Mark Barnes. Many people have made this despicable event about the president and what he said in the aftermath of violent protests of the removal of a statue. Teachers, parents, and school leaders are better served with a discussion about how the events in Charlottesville can lead to lessons about tolerance. But is teaching tolerance really a teacher's job? Mark says, Yes, and shares some What-You-Can-Do-Tomorrow strategies for teaching tolerance without politics. Learn more at Look inside every Hack Learning Book at
August 1, 2017
@markbarnes19 is Uncut again, and swearing, literally, that students need to like their teachers in order to learn from them. Mark references a blog post at that covers students liking their teachers. Most students, Mark says, won't learn from you, if they don't like and trust you and believe you like them back. Find out why students must like you as a teacher and learn Mark's keys to making this happen this school year. Subscribe to the show at Learn to engage all learners with the new Hacking Engagement Again. Find it at
July 26, 2017
Engagement guru James Alan Sturtevant joins Mark to discuss better presenting for teachers and students and his latest book, Hacking Engagement Again: 50 Teacher Tools That Will Make Students Love Your Class. Sturtevant, host of the Hacking Engagement Podcast, shares some of his best engagement tools and strategies for being the Sage on the Stage (yes, it's okay when done right), but not boring students, and for eliminating those awful student-presentation days that most teachers (and students) hate. Sturtevant shares EdPuzzle and other cool EdTech tools and a couple of tricks for engagement that don't require any technology. You'll love Sturtevant's style. As he says, Buckle up ... you're going to love this episode. Bonus: For a free preview of Hacking Engagement Again, visit and click the Episode 94 link. Or buy the book now at
July 10, 2017
Mark Barnes is unedited and Uncut again, discussing how he used to be the most thin-skinned SOB you'd ever meet. Mark provides 3 simple hacks that he learned help thicken even the thinnest skin. Mark shares several personal stories about the dangers of having thin skin, from an epic blog post you can find on the blog at Listen to more episodes at Grab some free hacks for innovative teaching and leading at
July 6, 2017
We teach behind walls, and it's time to leverage todays technology to create transparency in education. In episode 92, Mark shares some right-now solutions for building a Glass Classroom -- an environment that empowers teachers and learners to show off what they're doing in class to all shareholders. Mark also wishes Happy Birthday to Book 1 in the Hack Learning Series -- Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School -- which turns 2 this month. Learn how to build a Glass Classroom tomorrow, while celebrating Hacking Education. Read all of Hack 8 -- The Glass Classroom -- on the show notes page: Episode 92 at Find Hacking Education at
June 29, 2017
In this edition of Uncut, Mark riffs on teachers using technology, just to say that they are integrating technology in their classrooms. Telling kids to type an essay in a Google Doc just so they can say they're teaching with tech, only to have the students print the essay, is not creative technology integration. It's time to eliminate old-school EdTech, Mark says, in addition to sharing a cool new intro and outro of Hack Learning Uncut. To join the conversation, visit Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode (only subscribers automatically receive Uncut episodes). Visit to subscribe and listen to archived episodes. Download the app at
June 14, 2017
In Episode 90 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Mark shares Toni's Template for engaging reluctant learners, taken from the forthcoming Hacking Engagement Again: 50 Teacher Tools That Will Make Students Love Your Class (Times 10 Publications August 2017) by James Alan Sturtevant. Toni taught some of Cleveland's most reluctant learners and developed a simple, hacky template for engaging even the most reluctant, and sometimes beligerant, students. Mark shares this amazing template, while providing a sneak peek into another Hack Learning Series book. See Toni's Template at Help us Hack Learning by joining thousands of educators in this growing movement. Commit today at
June 7, 2017
As summer break begins, Mark gives a homework assignment to all teachers: Break up with nightly homework this coming school year. Learn how to change your homework mindset and eliminate the useless traditional homework assignments that often make students and parents hate school. Mark shares a story about lying constantly as a middle school student, in order to avoid punishment for not completing homework. He also provides an anecdote from school principal Bethany Hill, who has changed the homework mindset of faculty, students, and parents at her school. Learn how to break up with nightly homework this summer and reimagine teaching and learning next school year. For more education innovation, visit To see a list of all episodes, visit
May 17, 2017
Are you tired of alerts? Fed up with one bell or buzz after another on your Smartphone or tablet? Now, you can sift through all the Internet noise with a much quieter, much more effective kind of alert -- Google alerts in your email inbox. In this episode, Mark shares three of 99 Ways to Leverage Google Tools in Classrooms, Schools, and Districts, from Hack Learning Book 11 -- Hacking Google for Education. All three strategies center on Google Alerts and how to use them to teach kids new ways to research, digital citizenship, and effective monitoring of distric news. Learn how to use Google Alerts at the classroom, school, and District levels. For more information about leveraging the power of Google Alerts and other tools, check out Hacking Google For Education. Look inside Hack Learning Book 11 at For more Hack Learning episodes, subscribe on iTunes or in the Play store or check out
April 26, 2017
With sports fans abuzz over the NFL draft, Mark Barnes got to thinking, What if educators held their own draft? What positions would they fill. Mark selects his Top 3 in three key education categories. See how they stack up to your picks and share your favorites on Twitter at #DraftEDU Learn more at Download Hack Learning Anthology for free at
April 5, 2017
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 42 percent of students who are bullied report that it happens in school hallways and stairwells. Thirty-four percent say they're bullied in the classroom, right under their teachers' noses, yet the bullying problem continues in both public and private schools. In this episode, Mark shares three easy hacks to stop bullying at your school. Check out the show notes at Download a free Hack Learning book at
March 22, 2017
After an intense debate on Facebook, which led to some heated comments, Mark explains how to both model and teach kids best practices on social media. Read his 5 tips for teaching kids to police themselves on social media at Grab the free Hack Learning Anthology and other Innovation Tips at
March 3, 2017
Asked by a book translator if people would consider the word "Hacking" negative, Hack Learning creator and your host Mark Barnes explained that "hackers" can actually be heroic. Mark shares the story of how a fictional character from the famous movie Jurassic Park taught him why hackers and hacking are perfect for education. Download the free Hack Learning Anthology at Check out all podcast episodes at
February 15, 2017
Worksheets and workbooks do not provide real-world learning opportunities. The best real-world teaching and learning comes from, where else, the real world. Mark Barnes explains how buying and selling a house gives his kids better real-world learning than they get at school and how teachers can carry their own real-word experiences back to their classrooms. For more episodes visit Download the free Hack Learning Anthology: Innovative Solutions for Teachers and Leaders today at
February 3, 2017
Hacking Literacy author Gerard Dawson wonders, Why are required texts often so inaccessible? These texts are often not modern. They may take place in a different historical, geographical or cultural setting than the setting of your classroom. They are often written at a reading level that may far exceed that of your students, and the experiences of the characters may not immediately appear to be relevant to your students’ lives. With all that working against us, we still can make required texts work for our students. But, it takes a hack -- the 80/20 analysis. Learn how to employ this cool strategy to engage even your most reluctant readers. Also, learn 5 Ways to Turn Any Classroom Into a Culture of Readers at Check out all our episodes at
January 26, 2017
In Episode 81 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Mark Barnes shares a heartfelt story from author James Sturtevant about being the best teacher you can be, taken from the conclusion of the new book, Hack Learning Anthology: Innovative Solutions for Teachers and Leaders. Read Sturtevant's story and learn more about being your best on the show notes page at For all the Hack Learning episodes, visit us at Look for the new Hack Learning Anthology on Amazon.
January 11, 2017
Meryl Streep, the three-time Oscar-winning actress, condemned the actions of a man she chose not to name and who shall remain nameless here on the Hack Learning Podcast. During her acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award at the Golden Globes, Streep stood as tall as ever, as she set her sights on the most powerful man in the world and fired back like no on has since the 2016 presidential election. Hack Learning Podcast host Mark Barnes discusses Streep's viral speech and supports her plea for people to speak up and fight back against leaders who abuse their power by bullying people who are powerless to fight back. Mark shares a 3-pronged approach to standing up and speaking out, while teaching kids that bullying is wrong, no matter how powerful the bully may be -- even a bully who resides at the White House. See Streep's entire speech at Check out all 80 Hack Learning Podcast episodes at
January 4, 2017
Connie Hamilton wrote a book. What's the big deal? Like most would-be writers, Connie wondered if she could do it. In Episode 79 of the Hack Learning Podcast, educator/presenter and popular Twitter influencer Connie Hamilton explains how she went from self-doubting, wannabe writer to a published author whose book hit Number 1 on Amazon in its first week. Best of all, she gives you a success plan with some hacks you probably didn't know. Learn more about Connie's journey at Listen to all episodes and subscribe to the Hack Learning Podcast at
December 27, 2016
Starr Sackstein believes in change, and sometimes change in education means cutting out archaic practices like traditional homework and grades. Author of Hacking Assessment and Hacking Homework, Starr explains how to change out-of-class work so that the onus of learning and how that learning is assessed falls squarely on our most important stakeholder — the student. Read an excerpt of Starr's latest book, Hacking Homework, at Check out all Hack Learning podcast episodes and show notes links at
December 21, 2016
PBL paralysis. That's a scary phrase that makes many teachers run as far as possible away from project-based learning. Hacking Project Based Learning authors and PBL and inquiry learning experts Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy explain how to overcome the paralysis and dive into project-based learning today. In this episode, the authors identify several problems with project-based learning and share several simple ways teachers can begin creating an efficient PBL environment immediately. Learn more and read an excerpt from Hacking Project Based Learning on the show notes page at Look inside the book at
December 7, 2016
It's your turn. Let's hack your professional growth. You tell us what you need, and we'll give it to you. Visit Answer three questions (it takes about 30 seconds). Ask and you shall receive. More episodes at Read us at
November 22, 2016
Justin Birckbichler is 25 years old. He teaches fourth graders in Virginia, and he recently learned that he has cancer. What is he doing about this horrendous news? He's not screaming, "Why me?" and "Life's not fair!" He's not crying. He's not feeling sorry for himself or blaming anyone. And he is definitely not hiding his illness from anyone. Justin Birckbichler is taking action. He's talking about his cancer. He's telling his family, friends, and thousands of people who follow him on Twitter. And, get this, he's even telling his students. In Episode 75, Justin explains how he told his students and other education stakeholders about his cancer and how he's chronicling his journey to being cancer free for the world. Learn more at Follow the journey at
November 16, 2016
It's time to bring a little passion into school and into professional growth, according to school leaders and Hack Learning authors Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis. Based on the strategies in Hacking Leadership, Mark Barnes explains how school leaders can implement Passion Projects with teachers, so they'll be more enthusiastic about their own professional development. Passion Projects were inspired by Genius Hour for students. Learn more about Genius Hour in the free webinar at Subscribe to the show at Download the app at
November 9, 2016
Whole child education is often missing from our classrooms. Schools and teachers work in isolation, sometimes overlooking the impact other stakeholders can have on improving learning environments and pedagogy. Educator/innovator Valerie Lewis explains how to nurture your whole child movement with a School Advocacy & Advisory Council (SAAC) -- partnerships with multiple stakeholders outside the school, so we can better meet the needs of all learners. Learn how to begin your own SAAC today. Check out more episodes at
November 4, 2016
Well-known connected educator Connie Hamilton says the most critical component of kids becoming independent learners is to be clear about what they should be learning and how it’s connected to a broader purpose. In another edgy, unabridged, unedited edition of Hack Learning Uncut, Hamilton, co-author of Hacking Homework: 10 Strategies That Inspire Learning Outside the Classroom, discusses a much-needed shift in education away from kids learning at home “because my teacher said I need to.” to students choosing to work outside of school because the activities “help me solidify my learning.” In this brief Uncut interview, Hamilton makes clear connections between in-class lessons and real-world learning at home that students will always choose to do—not because they’re told to but because they want to learn more. Look inside Connie Hamilton’s new book at Search for Hacking Homework on Facebook and join he conversation there. Share the love: tell friends to check us out at
November 1, 2016
Many districts/schools are implementing technology programs that offer opportunities for 24/7 learning, but teachers need more support and ideas when it comes to implementing the technology in a way that redefines and transforms teaching and learning. Mark discusses using the SAMR model and the 4 Cs with Stephanie Smith Budhai and Laura McLaughlin Taddei, authors of Teaching the 4Cs with Technology: How do I use 21st century tools to teach 21st century skills? Learn more on the show notes page at Don't miss Hacking Homework: 10 Strategies That Inspire Learning Outside the Classroom at
October 28, 2016
Hack Learning Podcast host Mark Barnes is uncut, as he vilifies traditional homework and the idea that it has any real value to learners. Hack Learning Uncut is a special weekly episode, dedicated to subscribers. There are no formal show notes, although you can locate all episodes at To learn more about throwing out traditional homework and inspiring independent learning outside the classroom, look inside the book Hacking Homework at Join the discussion on our Facebook Page and on Twitter at #HackingHomework.
October 25, 2016
A Teacher Disposition Assessment (TDA) measures bias. Student experts, who consume your presentations daily, generate critical information. The TDA is a set of teacher-created prompts based on potentially controversial subjects that may surface in the course content. Hacking Engagement author James Sturtevant created the TDA, so he could learn more about his own biases and how they impact teaching and learning in his class. In Episode 69, Mark Barnes explains Sturtevant's TDA and shares some What You Can Do Tomorrow steps to uncover your own biases. Learn more at Visit our sponsor Kiddom and grab the free Kiddom app at Check out more at
October 21, 2016
In this episode of Hack Learning "Uncut"--the unedited, unbridled, under-eight-minute edition of the Hack Learning Podcast--Mark Barnes explains how to do projects right. Using a model of an uninspiring old-school project, Mark shares some right-now solutions for bad projects and emphasizes how to do projects and project-based learning (PBL) right. Want to build a fascinating, engaging project-based learning event? This brief, Uncut podcast episode is the perfect starting point. Then, read the book at Learn more at and share your thoughts on the Hack Learning Facebook page and on Twitter at #HackLearning. Subscribe to the Hack Learning Podcast now and never miss an episode of Uncut.
October 18, 2016
When Kansas middle school teacher Casey Ewy realized that kids will become independent, enthusiastic learners if they are part of a non-threatening community, she threw out everything that most teachers consider to be classroom management and replaced those strategies with an emphasis on Classroom Core Values. Ewy and Mark discuss how to engage all students in a conversation about values and how to inspire students to create their own core values. Check out Ewy's 5 simple ways to integrate core values in Hack Learning Episode 67 and at Check out our sponsor Kiddom and learn to give your students a voice with the free app at
October 14, 2016
In this episode of Hack Learning "Uncut"--the unedited, occasionally-interrupted, under-eight-minute edition of the Hack Learning Podcast, Mark Barnes riffs on the word "rigor" and its use in education. Referencing a discussion on the Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook group page, Mark shares a few members' thoughts on the pros and cons of rigorous instruction. One member asks: Does anyone else shudder when they hear an admin use the word "rigor"? Some say the word is misunderstood, while others contend it's something all kids need. Learn more in this edition of Hack Learning Uncut. Learn more at and
October 11, 2016
During a presidential debate, a citizen asked Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if they are appropriate for kids. In this episode, Mark Barnes expands on the question while explaining how to discuss politics and other sensitive issues in school and in your classroom. Mark suggests that teachers stop telling kids that their views on politics are personal. Rather, he says to tell students what you really think, which helps educators hack the problem of seeming too distant and unreal to kids. Learn two simple things you can do tomorrow, in order to discuss politics and other sensitive issues in school, without igniting an argument or even chaos. It's time to open up with students. Learn more at Visit our sponsor Kiddom at Please rate and review Hack Learning on iTunes.
October 4, 2016
James Alan Sturtevant calls student engagement the "whole ballgame", and who would know this better than the 32-year veteran teacher, rapidly becoming known around the education world as the student engagement guru. While most teachers are racing for the door when they've been in education for 30 years, Sturtevant, whom Hack Learning nicknamed Jamstur (learn why in the podcast episode above), calls teaching a privilege and continues to raise the bar for all education stakeholders when it comes to engaging students and making teaching and learning fun. Sturtevant explains the 3 keys to student engagement, which underpin all 50 of his tips and tools in his new book, Hacking Engagement. Learn more on Episode 64 at
September 27, 2016
Mark Barnes explains how one Baltimore school repurposed and rebranded its detention room, turning it into a Mindful Moment Room, dramatically impacting schoolwide student behavior and almost magically making suspensions disappear. In Episode 63 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Mark explains how meditation, specifically mindfulness, calms students and helps them focus less on chaos and more on learning. In the What You Can Do Tomorrow segment, Mark explains how to learn practical meditation techniques, recommends powerful resources, and shares his own experience with meditation, which reduced anxiety and helped this veteran educator better cope with his own student behavior issues. For more about mindfulness and meditation resources, visit Episode 63 at This is Hacking School Discipline. Check out our sponsor, Kiddom, and learn how to empower your students for free. Visit
September 20, 2016
Renowned author, presenter, and memory expert Brad Zupp rarely forgets things. Since 2009, Zupp has been dedicated to testing the limits of his own memory while helping others learn the benefits that come from memory improvement. Zupp shows both adults and children how to supercharge their memories to improve grades, relationships, productivity, and peace of mind while remembering more of what they see, hear and read. You might even call Brad Zupp a memory athlete; he's a two-time American record-setter at the World Memory Championships. In this episode of the Hack Learning Podcast, Zupp, author of Unlock Your Amazing Memory, shares 3 surprisingly easy ways to remember things and provides right-now solutions for improving memory at home and in school. Learn more at, Episode 62.
September 13, 2016
Jon Harper admits that in more than a decade in education, he's made plenty of mistakes. Some might call Harper a mistakes guru. He interviews experienced education stakeholders about their mistakes on his popular Bam Radio podcast, My Bad. In Episode 61 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Harper shares his journey to becoming a mistakes expert and provides steps for leveraging the power of mistakes, so we can become better teachers and learners. Learn more about Harper, the My Bad podcast, and how to turn mistakes into life lessons on Episode 61 at
September 7, 2016
When Hack Learning creator Mark Barnes realized his daughter's school backpack weighed in at a portly 20.2 pounds, he decided to tell the world that it's time to reimagine traditional homework. In this episode, Mark tells the story of weighing his daughter's backpack and finding tons--okay, pounds--of workbooks, textbooks, notebooks, and many other unnecessary items that make up her nightly homework. Mark asks the questions that many educators and parents won't ask, and supplies easy right-now solutions for reimaginging homework, improving teaching and learning, and lightening the load for kids.
August 31, 2016
New York Times bestselling author Jessica Lahey explains the struggles that parents and teachers have with allowing kids to fail. Author of The Gift of Failure, Lahey had an amazing epiphany a few years ago: She had to allow her son to fail, so he could ultimately succeed. Lahey also shares 3 right now strategies to help you embrace failure and learn how to help kids channel it into success. Learn more about Jessica Lahey and her runaway hit, The Gift of Failure, by clicking into Episode 59 at
August 24, 2016
Why do students love some classes and hate others? What makes a certain teacher every kid's favorite? How do master teachers become so great? The answer is simple: Master teachers have daily habits that make them great teachers and learners. In Hack Learning Podcast Episode 58, Mark Barnes shares 3 powerful and simple things great teachers do. These 3 habits are part of the 10 Habits of Master Teachers presentation. Learn more at
August 17, 2016
When learning is relevant, students become enthusiastic and engaged. Denis Sheeran, math teacher and author of Instant Relevance, explains how he uses real life experiences to bring relevance to not only math but to any subject or grade. Want to use a snow day, a slice of pizza, or a drive to the store to make learning relevant? Sheeran tells you how in Hack Learning Podcast Episode 57 -- Hacking Relevance. Learn more about Sheeran and his book on the show notes page at
August 10, 2016
Missouri school principal Naomi Austin shares her journey as a school leader, just completing her first year. Austin explains a new leader mistake she made and how she turned that apparent loss into a victory with her staff. Plus, she provides excellent advice for new and veteran leaders in classic Hack Learning style--with What You Can Do Tomorrow tips to build rapport with your stakeholders and to maintain momentum throughout the school year. Austin even explains what to do when leaders need a "kick in the pants". This is the Journey of a First-Year Leader. Learn more on our show notes page at
August 3, 2016
These three quick teaching and learning hacks, based on the runaway bestselling book, Hacking Leadership, are awesome for improving education at any school. Better still, they make people smile, and that’s a beautiful thing. Learn three simple leadership hacks you can implement tomorrow at school, home or in the workplace that will make your stakeholders smile and improve overall attitude and production. This is Hacking Positivity. Learn more at
July 29, 2016
Author James Sturtevant and I talk Hack Learning and student engagement.
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