Brian Crosby, an upper elementary teacher for over  30 years, now facilitates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education for teachers and administrators in six counties in northern Nevada. Coming from a background in outdoor education and educational technology, Brian fused his “at risk” students use of technology with field trips, art, hands-on activities and a problem-based approach, to build their schema of the world while at once connecting them to it.

Brian’s students are acclaimed for the “community service” projects they accomplish and he espouses, believing that if children are seen as the valuable public resource they are, while they do important work and learning, society will be more willing to invest in them. Building a wiki web site to leverage the learning at a local animal park, developing an advertising campaign for a non-profit that recycles bicycles, producing award winning public service announcements about diversity and bullying, including a classmate with leukemia utilizing video-conferencing and then producing an award winning video teaching others how to follow their lead, are just some examples.

Brian has been interviewed about innovative teaching and learning by Brian Williams of NBC News, the New York Times and many other national and local media outlets. He has co-authored a book about connected learning, “Making Connections With Blogging” and has mentored educators and presented about connected and STEM learning in person as far away as China, and virtually around the globe.

Brian believes strongly that providing exciting and motivating hands-on, minds-on experiences, although crucial, is not good enough for our students. They require the time to “Go Deep” and leverage their learning through all aspects of the curriculum including integrated, rigorous language arts, math, art and social studies work.

Contact info: learningismessy(at)gmail.com


TEDxDenver ED “Back To The Future?” 

TEDxNYED “Is It Time For Real Innovation In Education?”

Keynote Speaker K12 Online Conference

Presenter K12 Online Conference  – “Video-Conferencing, It’s Easy, Free and Powerful

Presenter National Education Computing Conference, San Antonio, Texas

Featured Presenter Learning 2.008 Conference, Shanghai, China

Presenter National Science Teachers Convention, San Diego, California

Presenter Nevada State Technology Conference, Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007

Presenter Nevada Association of School Counselors Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada


Book Cover

Co-Author, “Making Connections With Blogging” – “Authentic Learning for Today’s Classrooms” by Lisa Parisi and Brian Crosby




Video conferencing, web 2.0 apps help distance learners feel included, eSchool News, March 25, 2008, by Brian Crosby

Co-Author: ” Making across the country feel like across the classroom,” Google Docs Blog, May 2008

Articles About:

Educational Leadership, A Digital Bridge to Homebound Students, Pages 92-93, December 2009/ January 2010 / Volume 64 / Number 4 by William M. Ferriter

Reno Magazine, Cover Story, The Visionaries: Interactive Education, Pages 56, 57 September 2008, by Scott Mortimore

Show and Tell, T.H.E Journal, May 2008, by Matt Bolch

Mind The Gap, NEA Today Magazine, March 2008, by Cindy Long

Promethean Planet “Teacher Feature” Teacher of the Month.

Teachers At Work, Energize Your Classroom, Visual Thesaurus, September 2006,


The 2008 SIGTel Online Learning Award

Apple iLife Award –  Video: Don’t Laugh At Me

Lumiere Film Festival Winner

Reno Film Festival Winner

WCTA Distinguished Teacher

Contact info: learningismessy(at)gmail.com

22 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: The Spark that drives Web 2.0 - Technology in the Classroom « eldertown

  2. Pingback: knowplace.ca » Blog Archive » The Spark that drives Web 2.0 - Technology in the Classroom

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  5. Jessica McKay says:

    I am so glad I found your site!
    I am the assistive technology specialist for my district and my supervisors are interested in having our homebound students participate in their elective classes using webcams.
    I plan on searching your site more thoroughly, but if you have a quick word of advice I’d appreciate it as I am under the impression I don’t have alot of time to research before they expect some suggestions.
    Thanks again!

  6. Brian says:

    Hi Jessica – I’d be more than glad to help. Email me at learningismessy(at)gmail.com. I can give you some great suggestions!
    I assume you’ve already seen this: http://www.arisleyschool.org/Inclusion.mov

    But you might like this: http://www.arisleyschool.org/SKYPEweb.mov

    And this: http://www.arisleyschool.org/SKYPE-1.mov

    But I can share much more … email me!

  7. Hello Brian.
    I enjoyed checking out your website. I teach Special Ed. at the
    high school level in Kennard, Texas.

    I was hoping you’d give me some suggestions on a story
    I wrote. It’s a motivational cartoon for students of all ages at

    Here’s a few comments on it so far…..
    “Kids of all ages should take the time to watch your great story!!
    This might wake some of them up, before it is too late!” Mark–Texas
    “I just showed it to the junior high English teacher and she showed it
    to all her classes today! They loved it!! I sat in with them and
    they were all very interested!” Janet–Texas

    It’s only nine minutes long with unique animation and original music!
    I’m looking for ideas on improving it.
    Thanks, Randall Beaird

  8. Wendy Mumaw says:

    Hello There,
    About two months ago, one of my VP’s sent me an email, with links to blogs about teaching with technology. He believed this would be useful since this is my first year piloting an Apple 1:1 program with my freshmen. Today, I finally had the chance to read some blogs, and I came across yours. I cannot begin to convey to you how many hours I have spent today, reading through an array of your posts. You are an exceptional teacher–I can tell! You are engaging, supporting and VERY creative! I now have a new sense of direction as to what is possible in a 21st century classroom. I look forward to tuning into to future posts and gleaning as much useful information as possible. Keep up the phenomenal work and happy blogging!

  9. Brian says:

    Wow! Thanks Wendy!

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  12. Pingback: Reflection Week 6, Part 2, Learning is Messy

  13. I love your site and your ideas. This is how I would like my classroom to work. We use all of the technologies that you are using and I wish that I could be as efficient as you are in your classroom. Are you self-contained or do you teach one subject?

  14. Pingback: Learning is Messy « AJ's World

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  18. Brian,

    You asked for examples of awesome happenings in schools. Unfortunately, many teachers have a hard time finding something awesome to say about their relationship with administrators and school bureaucracy. In order for students to receive effective learning, every professional in the school must engage with colleagues and answer the following three questions that should inspire those within a learning community( Dufour, 2004), What do we want each student to learn? How will we know if each student has learned? How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning (Dufour, 2004)? The answers to these questions lies within the minds of community based educators. The only way for students to excel academically, teachers and administrators must devise a plan in building a professional community that consist of faculty, parents teachers and administrators. This community will work together to achieve a collective purpose of life long learners; embracing models such as The Whole Child Approach, which can be implemented into their curriculum, embracing effective professional learning communities providing opportunities for adults to learn and think together, positively affecting teacher practice and school climate (The Whole Child Newsletter, 2011).

  19. Annette A. Nager says:

    WOW! I commend you and wish there were more of you. I was searching for how to get help for my son who has been out of school for two years suffering from damage left by two concussions. He is now a freshman and I am struggling with the school to do more, I do not even have a tutor.
    I hope you are appreciated for all your efforts.

  20. Just signing up for updates to your site….

  21. Rikki says:

    I am with Bright Agrotech. We are hosting a free webinar to help teachers grow their STEM curriculum with hydroponics. It will be a great webinar on Sept. 4th. Attached is the link to register. If you wouldn’t mind helping us spread the word about this that would be greatly appreciated.


  22. Matt says:


    My name is Matt and I am a 5th grade teacher. I am very interested in the sciences and before I saw the weather balloon challenge I was starting to research how to send a high altitude weather balloon into the sky with my class. I want my students to understand the concepts that are covered throughout our science curriculum in an innovative way. Our students cover Variables in an experiment, land forms which can be seen with a camera from the weather balloon, environments in which different species live, and water planet which discusses weather patterns to some extent which would be a perfect culmination to end the year for my students. If you could email me to start a dialogue on where to begin I would love to hear from you. Hope to hear from you soon.

    From Brian- Hi Matt – here is a start – http://highhopesproject.net note that there are links here to our Flickr page, blog, and Twitter account. We’ll get a wiki going pretty soon as well. We will update these more and more as the project moves along – we’ll explain more ways to be involved including science and engineering as well as connecting to others. Hope that helps!

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