The following are some of the books that I have written. I also have a link to study guides for each book. If you’d like to buy the books in bulk, please fill out the form at the bottom.

Empowered at a Distance: How to Build Student Self-Direction into Remote and Hybrid Learning

Student engagement can be a real challenge in virtual and hybrid learning. This is especially true when the transition is unexpected. Often, students struggle to show up to class meetings and they turn work in late. However, the real issue isn’t simply a lack of engagement. It’s often a lack of self-direction. In other words, students aren’t taking the initiative with their own learning. In Empowered at a Distance, Dr. John Spencer provides teachers, coaches, and administrators with a roadmap that will inspire anytime / anywhere innovation at the K-12 and university levels. He provides practical strategies for building student ownership into the assessment process, creative process, collaborative process, and inquiry process. He includes practical insights for improving virtual meetings and overall course design. There’s no single right way to do distance learning. There are no magical formulas. However, although there is no instruction manual, we can all use tools, blueprints, and ideas to craft meaningful learning experiences that happen anytime and anywhere.


Vintage Innovation: Leveraging Retro Tools and Classic Ideas to Design Deeper Learning Experiences

Vintage Innovation redefines innovation not as “new and flashy” but as “better and different.” It isn’t a rejection of new approaches or cutting-edge technology so much as an embrace of the old and the new.It’s the overlap of the “tried and true” and the “never tried.” It’s a mash-up of lo-fi tech and new tech. It’s the idea of finding relevance by looking back and looking forward. It’s a focus on timeless skills in new contexts. It’s the idea that innovation happens when teachers take a both/and approach as they empower their students in the present to prepare them for an uncertain future.If you are a teacher, you are an innovator. You are the experimenter trying new strategies. You are the architect designing new learning opportunities. Apps change. Gadgets break. Technology grows obsolete. But one thing remains: teachers change the world. And one way to do this is through a vintage innovation approach. With vintage innovation, teachers ask: How do I innovate when I don’t have the best technology? How can I use vintage tools, ideas, and approaches in new ways? How can I use constraints to spark creativity? How do I blend together the “tried and true” with the “never tried?”


Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning

Kids begin their learning journey as curious problem solvers who ask questions and create solutions. As they go through school, something happens to many of our students, and they begin to play the game of school, eager to be compliant and follow a path instead of making their own. As teachers, leaders, and parents, we have the opportunity to be the guide in our kids’ education and unleash the creative potential of each and every student. In a world that is ever changing, our job is not to prepare students for something; instead, our role is to help students prepare themselves for anything. In Empower, A.J. Juliani and John Spencer provide teachers, coaches, and administrators with a roadmap that will inspire innovation, authentic learning experiences, and practical ways to empower students to pursue their passions while in school. Compliance is expecting students to pay attention. Engagement is getting students excited about our topics, interests, and curriculum. But when we empower students, they crave learning that is both meaningful and relevant to their life, now and in the future. Empower is for you if …You are a teacher eager to get students making, designing, and creating their own learning path in (and out of) the classroomYou are a superintendent, district administrator, or principal who is leading change and working to help your staff thrive in a twenty-first-century learning environmentYou are a coach, staff developer, or teacher leader who is crafting professional learning experiences and wants to encourage colleagues to be the guide on the ride. Empower is focused not only on what happens when students own their learning but also on how to reach a place where that is possible in the midst of standards, set curriculum paths, and realities of school that we all have to deal with. Written by real educators who are still working in schools and with teachers, Empower will provide ways to overcome these challenges and turn them into opportunities for our learners to be unabashedly different and remarkable.


Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student

Something happens in students when they define themselves as makers and inventors and creators. They discover powerful skills—problem-solving, critical thinking, and imagination—that will help them shape the world’s future … our future. If that’s true, why isn’t creativity a priority in more schools today? Educators John Spencer and A.J. Juliani know firsthand the challenges teachers face every day: School can be busy. Materials can be scarce. The creative process can seem confusing. Curriculum requirements can feel limiting. Those challenges too often bully creativity, pushing it to the side as an “enrichment activity” that gets put off or squeezed into the tiniest time block. We can do better. We must do better if we’re going to prepare students for their future. LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student provides a process that can be incorporated into every class at every grade level … even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative teacher.” And if you dare to innovate and view creativity as an essential skill, you will empower your students to change the world—starting right now. Look, Listen, and Learn Ask Lots of Questions Understand the Problem or Process Navigate Ideas Create Highlight What’s Working and Failing Are you ready to LAUNCH?


Study Guides

The following are the study guides for my three most popular books. This is ideal for anyone who is hoping to launch a small group book study or book club.