D is for Dedication

typoramaComing to a conclusion of the meaning behind Build like a Pirate is a very important word. Dedication. Dedication comes in two forms, what we commit ourselves too and how we honor another’s work.  Robert John Meehan once said: “If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you without hesitation: I was born to be a teacher.” When someone asked me when I was sixteen, I told them I was put here to be an actor. Then ten years later I told people I was put here to make a difference in the world and then a few years later after that I met my wife I told her I was right both times but that I was born to be a teacher. She then told me, to go be it then and I finally did. She taught me in that moment what I let too many people tell me I wasn’t and that I shouldn’t be but I finally understood. Throughout this month I have brought up constantly those who inspired me and many who discouraged me but something I have learned from both experiences, you don’t have to be them. Being a great teacher is not trying to be like the one you always loved or adored and its not about not being the one that made you feel unappreciated and dishearten. Its about being who you want to be to your students. Do you want to become in teaching with hand puppets? Then do it. Do you want to create a full paperless classroom through your mobile and digital devices? Go right ahead. Do you want to say that as long as your students learn and understand you and you know that you are doing your job right? Then by all means, please do. Continue reading “D is for Dedication”


Broadcasting Luminous Learning

mic-1132528_1920Periscope is a live broadcasting tool, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around. Before Periscope, many educators used Meerkat for their live broadcasts. As I explained earlier this week that being Luminous means lighting up your learners with that same passion and having fun along the way. The use of live broadcasting allows for a view into showing of passion with educators and even with students. What’s great about both is the allowing real time comments and feedbacks very similar to a Q&A. Below are a few examples:

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Build your Own Robot Master


A few weeks ago, I talked about teaching students how to create basic animation using Google Slides, Keynote or Power Point. The amazing glow that students gave when they were able to create their own BB-8 robots or other robots that could move and change color was amazing. They also learned how to transfer those moments to code in the App, Tickle and then have our Sphero BB-8 move to those same commands. While we don’t have our own Spheroes to use with our classes on a regular basis and are trying to get our Donors Choose funded (We are half way there). I wanted to something similar with our 2:1 program of iPads and chromebooks. Many know I was a big gammer back in the day and love using gamification with my students and staff. Back in the year that was 1992, there was a contest by Capcom to enter in robot masters contest for Mega Man 6. This wasn’t a new contest as it has been used in Japan since Mega Man 2 was released, but this was the first time it was open to the US and Canada. Well, my 14 year old self pulled out his pencil, pens and markers and created Fog Man. A robot that floated from a fog cloud and fired acid fog bombs at Mega Man. Well, despite my fund design, he didn’t make it. The winners were Daniel Vallée of Canada who created one of my Top 5 favorite Robot Masters, Knight Man and Michael Leader from Pennsylvania, who created Wind Man. While my video gamer ego was bruised, I loved both designs and Knight Man is remembered for being one of the toughest Robot Bosses in the Mega Man series (hopefully we’ll see him on the new animated series). Continue reading “Build your Own Robot Master”

L is for Luminous

IMG_0560You are probably asking yourself: “Ok Ryan, we talked about Beaming a few weeks ago, now we are talking about Luminous? What’s the difference?” Its pretty simple, as I said about Beaming was projecting your Unconditional Passion to others. Being Luminous means lighting up your learners with that same passion and having fun along the way. Most educators think the fun is to come during the learning and that’s very true. Some of my most memorable lessons were ones I had fun when I was learning, but the ones I can recall moment by moment like Mrs. Larson’s puppet book report years ago was because I could see the fun she injected before, during and after she taught us how we were to do our puppet show book report. Sometimes as teachers we forget that while learning should be fun we expect it to happen at the end but the real fun should should start at the very beginning when you are creating your lesson or project. During my internship when I was completing my master’s I was working with a set of teachers from 3rd-5th grade working with on their iPad one to one program, it was while I was working my mentor, Jenni she was talking to me about a history lesson we had to create and had to inject the use of the iPad into the lesson but she told me the students needed to have fun before, during and after the lesson otherwise we would lose them. I asked what the subject was and she told me it was a history lesson about currency during the 1800s. I immediately told her they should do a quick search on coins and money used at the time. They would then pick out ones that caught their eye and would then create a digital coin collection on it and then have to do a brief profile on each coin and where it was used and how much it was worth and when and why it ended circulation. She loved the idea and we went on to create the lesson. Continue reading “L is for Luminous”

How I created Appy the App Dice Green Screen

I recently completed an Appy the App Dice video about welcoming others to Build like a Pirate. However, I get asked: “Just how did I do that?” I used Doink Green Screen on my iPad mostly, but also a few other tools along the way to create an awesome App Smash.

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Innovative Tools in the Classroom

As we wrap up, I is for Innovation, I thought I would leave things with some innovative tools you can get for your classroom and some ways you can use them. Perler Beads: We know this would be my first pick. I have really gotten into using Perler Beads with my teachers and students as our way of having our own 3D Printer. We currently do not have the funds to get the emerging technology in schools. While my nieces and peers have access to one at their schools. I stumbled on using Perler Beads due to health advice from … Continue reading Innovative Tools in the Classroom

Play can be innovative

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It’s funny, every time I put together a list of subjects I plan on writing about, something happens that makes me turn around and completely rewrite them. Take yesterday for instance. It was President’s Day, I was suppose to have a day off, spend time with the family, see a few friends and then end the night off with my Reading Class that I’m taking for my new state license. Well, when a day kicks off with several things falling out of cabinets and guinea pigs becoming lost, you know your in for a day. I’m not talking about domino effect where it starts off small and then it feels like the piano is about to fall on you. I’m talking about various little things from being late or you’re son constant talking about wanting to go home that snowballs into a day you just want to end. However, in-between those moments of running late to meet people, some play happened.

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I is for Innovation


IMG_8233  As we enter the middle of February, its time to we move onto the I in Build like a Pirate. The I stands for “Innovation”. Innovation in my honest opinion is one of the biggest factors when it comes to teaching. As long as I can remember and I’m taking back to the days when I was four and had my old pre-school teacher explaining what steps were needed to build a wired flower there was innovation involved. Something that defines creativity is you are making something out of nothing. When you try to solve for X in algebra you are creating the solution to a problem no matter how basic or advance. When you are working out a strategy to score a goal for floor hockey in PE you are creating a plan of attack. No matter how you spin it, creativity is one of the main fundamentals of teaching and learning for teachers and students. However, when the word “creativity” is spoken sadly we always hear: “Its easy for you, you are very creative.” How many times have you heard this or have even muttered it under your breath. I don’t think there is one professional or paraprofessional who hasn’t heard this phrase. The biggest problem with this saying is that it is a double edge sword. The first part is the person it is said to is being hit because just because they show creativity doesn’t mean they haven’t had multiple times of things blowing up in their face, great ideas that fell completely flat or they didn’t learn from their own failures. Then the sword goes the other way and hits the person saying it because they have just hurt themselves thinking they aren’t good enough.

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