March 2023 Newsletter

Chris McNutt
Nick Covington
March 1, 2023
The latest from Human Restoration Project! Let's restore humanity, together. An overview of our upcoming conferences, recently released videos, and summary of content releases.

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Event: HTT Summit 2023: Interdisciplinary Learning

Pictured: An image of Pasi Sahlberg next to an advertisement for HTT's upcoming conference (full text linked below).

We are currently planning Holistic Think Tank's first (of many) interdisciplinary learning summits. Join us this Saturday, March 4th on The Ohio State University's campus in Columbus from 10AM to 5PM in an interactive learning event featuring Finnish education innovator Pasi Sahlberg. Free interdisciplinary learning resources will be released after this event for our community.

This entirely free event is fostering a community of interdisciplinary educators and learners and is open to all educators, administrators, and organizational partnerships. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided.

Register for free!


Podcast: The Segrenomics of American Education w/ Dr. Noliwe Rooks: Nick sits down with Dr. Noliwe Rooks to tell the story of privatization, segregation, & the end of public education through the historical lens of Segrenomics.

MINDFOOD IV: Top 3 Interdisciplinary Lessons: How can we create new interdisciplinary lessons and projects that engage learners and excite teachers? Check out our latest podcast to learn more!

Learning Series

Two Edufuturism events have dropped this month, with one more on game design on the way!

Let's Rethink Everything (with games!): Join Seth Coster, co-founder and developer at Butterscotch Shenanigans who has created the popular series Levelhead and Crashlands to talk about game design philosophy. How do game designers incorporate design principles? How do designers ensure that players not only learn how to play their games, but engage with them? What works and doesn’t work? Explore these concepts and more as we brainstorm new classrooms through the lens of game design principles! An exciting opportunity for educators to branch out to new fields and connect to their own practice.

Elegant Design: In this session, we will explore how video game designers think about mechanics: what to elaborate on, what to cut, and what's going right and wrong. These elegant mechanics are the formation for beautifully designed games: often only doing a couple things well rather than adding the entire kitchen sink. Well-crafted classroom protocols such as portfolio check-ins, certification processes, design thinking, conversation norming, can be simple and elegant. However, it can be difficult to think about elegant mechanics in school because so many school policies are just not simple. Instead, we have to think about what to get rid of to simplify learning. We will collaborating brainstorm elegant systems for use in human-centered classrooms.

Gamifying the Classroom: Q&A w/ Adrian Hon (March 18th @ 11AM ET): Join Adrian Hon, author of You’ve Been Played: How Corporations, Governments, and Schools Use Games to Control Us All. Adrian is an award-winning video game designer and is the CEO and founder of Six to Start, co-creator of the world’s most successful smartphone fitness game, Zombies, Run! He previously was the director of play, creating alternative reality games, at Mind Candy Gamification is a long-standing practice across lesson planning and educational technology, but it doesn’t always work out the way we expect. At the end of the day, if the nature of the task is not interesting, then what we’re creating is more about compliance than engagement. In this session, we will host a conversation on what it means to gamify content, learning, and pedagogy: recognizing potential success while advising for potential pitfalls.

Conference to Restore Humanity! 2023

Pictured: An advertisement for Conference to Restore Humanity! 2023: Breaking the Doom Loop (full text linked below).

Our conference line-up will be announced on March 6th. Stay tuned for more information.

Human-Centered Schools PD

Pictured: An image of Nick and Chris talking to young people in a recent focus group session.

Human Restoration Project continues to travel around the United States to connect with young people and educators on human-centered schools. Through our professional development network of schools (plus our recent presentation at NAIS 2023), we are continually inspired by calls to action by young people to take charge and reimagine education.

What if we started by listening to students? That’s the question that lives at the heart of our professional development. At the core of every school are the students. So we’re building a platform for educators, administrators, and families to connect with young people, breaking barriers toward learning and building engaging practices.

If you'd like to partner with us with our innovative school PD model, please reach out!

...and more:

Writing: Not Hired for teaching Politics in 2021: One Teacher's Story: Sam Shain writes, "We must tell our youth the truth, educate them about the world, and prepare them to inherit society with a more humane and sensible vision for the future - for any future worth living depends upon it."

Writing: A New Era of Learning: Reimagining Conferences for Inspired Teaching: It isn't that education conferences aren't needed, but “I’ve heard this already” workshops and marketing ploys are a waste of time. Instead, our resources could be better spent expanding our professional understanding of related concepts to what we’ve already mastered.

Let's restore humanity to education, together.

This work is brought to you by our supporters, three of whom are Molly Swanhorst, Monique Schramme, and Kelly Nelson!

Your support means the world to us. HRP is a 501(c)3 organization and your support is tax deductible. We greatly appreciate your support. If possible, please help us out and share our work far and wide!

An image of a white man with a brown goatee and glasses.
Chris McNutt
Chris McNutt is the co-founder and executive director of Human Restoration Project, a nonprofit organization focused on student engagement, well-being, and motivation. His work centers on realizing systems-based change, examining how progressive pedagogical shifts (e.g. PBL, ungrading) reimagine school to best suit the needs of students and teachers alike. He was a public high school digital media & design educator who focused on experiential learning, portfolio-driven assessment, and community involvement.
An image of a white man with a brown goatee and glasses.
Nick Covington
Nick taught social studies for 10 years in Iowa and has worked as a labor organizer. He is currently the Creative Director at the Human Restoration Project.
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