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About Brian Aspinall
Brian Aspinall is an educator, three-time TEDx speaker, coder, and consultant. Having worked with ministries, unions, universities, district and school teams, and corporations, he is an internationally recognized thought leader in digital skills education. As a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in coding and computational thinking, Brian empowers educators to achieve more in the classroom using modern teaching tools and technology.
His enthusiasm, leadership, and approach to building capacity within STEM education has made him a sought after speaker throughout North America and has earned him the honor of being selected as one of Canada's first Minecraft, Micro:BiT, and Makey Makey ambassadors!
Brian has been developing apps since the early 1990s, when his high school principal paid him to develop the school’s first website. Unfortunately, neither the website nor the high school still exists.
To find out more about Brian Aspinall and his body of work, visit:
Or, just Tweet him: @mraspinall
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Future-ready students need to be creative. They need to know how to communicate their ideas and how to collaborate as problem solvers. And to master these and other twenty-first-century requirements, they will need to be critical thinkers.
In Code Breaker, educator Brian Aspinall shares his insights on how to turn curriculum expectations into skills. Students identify problems, develop solutions, and use coding and computational thinking to apply and demonstrate their learning. From Aspinall’s collection of real-life examples and practical lesson ideas, you’ll discover how to...
* Use computational thinking and coding across all subjects and grade levels
* Encourage students to let their skills and passions shine
* Teach learners to take risks so they can grow from failure and feedback
* Make assessment meaningful—and fun—for you and your students
You don’t have to be a “computer geek” to empower your students with these essential skills. Code Breaker equips you to use computational thinking and coding in your classroom—regardless of your computer skill level—to increase creativity, remix assessment, and develop a class of coder ninjas!
“Brian Aspinall puts a very human face on coding and helps the reader understand it can be implemented for all grade levels in meaningful ways.”
—George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset
“This book is for everyone who has ever asked, ‘Why should I care about coding?’ By the end of the story of the pooping baby, you will know why!”
—Matthew Oldridge, speaker, writer, and mathematics educator
“Brian Aspinall makes the case for how all educators can use the concepts of computational thinking to shape their pedagogy and instructional practices to increase student learning.”
—Laura Fleming, library media specialist and author of Worlds of Making
For all the kids who grow up in a small town and think they don’t stand a chance.
I was once that kid.
What is the one thing you have always wanted to try? Why haven't you done it? Surround yourself with people who make you better and use them as your safety net. Brian cleverly articulates the importance of taking risks in order to achieve success. With the ever growing demand for problem solvers in industry, he makes incredibly valid points about our current school system and discusses potential criteria for change. In a world that changes overnight, the only strategy guaranteed to fail is not trying something new.
Follow Brian's twenty year adventure as an educator and entrepreneur. From flipping computers in high school, to flipping apps in his twenties, to flipping real estate in his thirties, you won't want to miss this roller coaster of a ride. Brian is transparent in his own learning and shares many secrets to financial freedom through his natural storytelling, humour, and passion. There is no such thing as failure when you hustle. The secret to growth is watching the landscape and learning to pivot.
How do you engage learners in the Digital Age?
Engaged students are more likely to internalize learning and apply it to situations beyond the classroom. So how can you get your learners to engage? In Block Breaker, educator Brian Aspinall explains that the wildly popular game Minecraft may be just the right tool for the job.
Sharing his own and other educators’ success with Minecraft (and other programming applications) in the classroom, Brian reveals how these adaptable tools can be leveraged to engage learners and empower them to find success. Why Minecraft?
- It offers immediate feedback on a personalized learning platform.
- Inquiry tasks encourage students to collaborate, problem solve, and explore multiple approaches to finding a solution.
- And it’s a fun way to practice critical thinking and spatial reasoning!
Complete with lesson ideas and learning strategies, Block Breaker will help you tear down barriers and build powerful connections for learning.
“Brian has yet again challenged us to rethink best practices with regards to pedagogy and twenty-first-century learning. This is a great read for all educators!”
—Alice Keeler, educator, author, and edtech blogger
“If you read Block Breaker, there’s a good chance that you’ll be stirred to rethink how you see STEM’s role in schools. There’s a great chance you’ll be motivated to strive to be the best teacher possible through Brian Aspinall’s deft storytelling skills. But there’s a superb chance both will happen.”
—Matt Miller, blogger, speaker, author of Ditch That Textbook
“This book is sure to bring joyful learning and teaching experiences to many students and educators across all subject areas.”
—Cynthia Gozzard, educator, Minecraft global mentor, edtech enthusiast
Take The Risk!
Future-ready students need to be creative. They need to know how to communicate their ideas and how to collaborate as problem solvers. To master these and other twenty-first-century requirements, they will need to be critical thinkers. Engaged students are more likely to internalize learning and apply it to situations beyond the classroom. So how can you get your learners to engage? Follow Brian's journey from his early days as a substitute teacher, to more recently, as a University Instructor, three time TEDx speaker, best selling author and Canadian Prime Minister's Award Recipient For Teaching Excellence.
Packed with contributions from educators all over North America, Risk Taker leaves you feeling energized, inspired and ready to take the next step!
Risk Taker is a fantastic piece of work. Not only does Brian take a risk with this, but he gave others the ability to showcase ways they have taken risks throughout their lives and careers. If you haven't read Brian's work, start with this book, then go to his "Code" series. You'll love this book as a way to improve yourself, not because you are an educator, lawyer, engineer, or student. This, is a book that won't ever become dated!
Jeff Kubiak, Educator, Author of One Drop of Kindness
Brian is always sharing his stories of taking risks to disrupt the status quo in education, not just to make it different, but to make it better. Who better to write a great book to challenge us all to be risk takers and disrupters! Thank you Brian.
Chris Woods of dailySTEM, Educator, Presenter, Podcaster, Author
This isn’t a book about why technology is important for our students. This is a book about changing the education game, about being better, about self- reflection, about learning and growth. Brian reminds us that it is in our mistakes where learning happens and it is in our self-reflection where change and growth begin. Risk Taker is authentic, genuine and honest. Risk Taker is the book about education we’ve been waiting for.
Daphne McMenemy, Educator, Author of Gracie
About Brian Aspinall
Brian Aspinall is an educator and best-selling author who is considered one of the brightest STEAM innovators in Canadian education. His books, Code Breaker and Block Breaker continue to top the charts in STEM education with a focus on rethinking assessment and evaluation. Recently he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence for his work with coding and computational thinking. His enthusiasm, thought leadership, and approach to building capacity within STEAM education has made him a sought-after speaker throughout North America and has earned him the honour of being selected as Canada’s first Minecraft, Micro:Bit, and Makey Makey Ambassador!