Our challenges and opportunities are shared and it’s never been easier, or more important to make a difference. From hundreds of school visits and thousands of conversations with students, parents, preachers, policy-makers and the like — difference making has emerged as the most important way for us to transform learning experiences for young people and build a better future for all. We look forward to continuing to share these experiences with you through our blog and our new book, available now for pre-order!

Difference Making at the Heart of Learning

Difference Making at the heart of learning

Your students will change the world!

Today’s learners face a complex future, where multilayered technological and societal issues will require new ways of problem-solving. This inspirational yet practical guide helps educators, counselors, and youth-development leaders build on students’ talents and interests to develop their desire for a better world, entrepreneurial mindset and personal leadership skills―so they can make a difference to their families, their communities, and society. Features include:

  • New learning priorities centered around difference making
  • A framework based on the 25 most important issues of our time
  • Examples and case studies from a diverse range of projects, people, and places

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difference making and project-based learning

Portrait of a School Wide Project Launch

Charter Elementary school launches universal school wide project as a means to engage all students and staff in a relevant, personalized, and public purpose.
Difference Making

Difference Making: What Needs to Be At the Heart of Learning

Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, the new book by Tom Vander Ark and Emily Liebtag is out now!
Living In Beta

Living in Beta: New Advisory Program Helps Teens Learn With Purpose

What if high school helped you pursue your passions and live and learn with purpose and intention? A new program, Living in Beta, is working to make this a reality.

Getting Smart Endorses Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Getting Smart has never endorsed a presidential candidate. This year is different. For our team, this election is about so much more than politics, it's about humanity.
It Just Got Really Complicated: It’s Time to Turbocharge Difference Making

It Just Got Really Complicated: It’s Time to Turbocharge Difference Making

These complex times require a new sense of mutuality and, for our youth, serve as an invitation to difference making.
student protests

Rebellion As An Act of Community and Self-Love

Albert Camus’ prescient 1950 essay on how the act of rebellion serves as a good for your community and yourself rings true today.

Nichole Berg & Kimberly Howard on Educating on Climate Change

The Getting Smart team is bringing you an interesting podcast episode on educating on climate change with Nichole Berg and Kimberly Howard.
Earth Day

We Can Never Repay The Earth, But We Can Try

This Earth Day, we're reflecting on our duty to the planet: to experience it to its fullest and to face the largest issue of our time head-on.

Why Difference Making is the New Superpower

Difference making can be the new superpower when we empower kids to make their own impact on the world.

Can Peer Mentoring Solve the STEM Gender Gap?

Global technology education nonprofit Technovation demonstrates the power of a community-based approach to teaching computer science to young females that centers around real-world problem-solving and mentorship.

Making All Things New: The Work of Reconciliation

We enter this season of reconciliation with new humility, a sense of individual and communal fragility and turn to the wisdom that came before.
student podcast

Oaklore: A Student Podcast About Difference Making in Oakland

Students in Oakland have launched Oaklore, a student podcast focused on highlighting Oakland's changemakers and cross-generational storytelling.

Why Your Community Needs an Environmental Sustainability Coordinator

This Seed To Table program offered in a southern California school demonstrates the potential of compelling community-connected learning.
Greta Thunberg

Difference Making: New Tech Makes it Easier than Ever

Introducing some of this new tech into high school entrepreneurship courses could teach students the importance of making a difference.

24 Goals to Save the Planet (+1 in Case We Don’t)

Studying the Global Goals students can develop leadership and problem-solving skills, and identify how they can become difference makers.