Infopic Vs Memes

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the month of March, the month where Spring begins, the weather starts to take an upswing and my birthday (March 1st). With all the lessons and projects I have been doing lately, especially Build like a Pirate. I thought I would turn things down a bit and look at a great debate going on in classrooms right now. What is the difference between an Infopic and a Memes? An infopic is a photo with text layered on top that is designed to communicate a message. The message might be a summary, quote, definition, notes, data, weblink, hashtag, or other information. A meme, a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users, but has an underlining message in it that you can relate to.

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Hour of Code Sphero App Dice Rolls

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As we complete the Hour of Code today, I wanted to share my students’ Sphero app ice rolls. As you know, App Dice have Apps or online resources on each end. You then roll the dice and create an App Smash with the Apps that show up on top to create a lesson or project. In this case, my students had my Double App Dice (mini die inside larger one) on the ground. They then programed the Sphero or Ollie to hit and roll the the die and see the two Apps that came up on top. Below are the App Smashes that I created for my various teachers with them.

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My 400th Stick Around Puzzle

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Today, I’m celebrating a milestone, my 400th Stick Around Puzzle. Yes, its true I have made 400 Stick Around Puzzles since December of 2013. From PK all the way to a college class on ways to use the SAMR model for pre-service teachers. I’ve done so many Stick Around Puzzle and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. Stick Around is my favorite App and every day I find new ideas to to create ways to learn and teach with it and when I bring it up with my students on the classroom Apple Tvs they immediately go: “All right!” “Stick Around!” I even had one student create several Stick Around Puzzles on baby animals and then put them in a Thinglink which is at the bottom of this post. My students love creating puzzles and when I show them another way to use Stick Around they immediately start looking to other Apps they can Smash it with and create new projects, especially during Genius Hour. Above is my 400th puzzle, I decided to create a timeline of educators who have really inspired me in the last five years since I switched from health care into education.
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Learning to lead like a pirate

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Last night I was part of another great Teach like a Pirate chat over on Twitter and you can read about it on Storify. The final question of the night was doing a blog post on how to Lead like a Pirate and I had one in my mind from a few months ago at Ed Camp 302. What happened over there? While it can’t go with the fun I had where my jedi robe during my Dice UP the Classroom at The Mobile Learning 2015 a couple weeks ago, but it is one Ed Camp I’m very proud of. Something that I talked about what makes a good lead with Teach like a Pirate is that the captain of the ship has to look on top of the crow’s nest of their ship and allow the crew to choose the journey. My session during Ed Camp 302 was about Sketchnotes which many educators and teachers had heard of but had no idea where to start. I did the basics of what sketch notes were and how to form them but what I did just after my explanation is had everyone in the room come up to the white board and put in what stuck in their minds from the first ten minutes. They all came up, drew pictures, outlined and highlighted words and I had one teacher who perfectly outlined the notes like it was on a giant piece of paper for everyone to write on. After that, I went into what you could use sketchnotes with from using Explain Everything to Minecraft Edu and teaching the basics of App Smashing.
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My Journey to The Mobile Learning Experience 2015


Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone is having a great week so far, I just recently returned from Tucson, Arizona where I was part of The Mobile Learning Experience 2015. I originally sent my proposal to talk about Dice UP the Classroom, Roll out learning earlier this year and was surprised that when I was emailed back not long after saying that my proposal had to been accepted. After working out travel plans over the last couple of months, I arrived Wednesday morning in Tucson at the beautiful Westin Resort thanks to my wonderful Aunt Gloria, who drove me from Phoenix down to the conference. After chatting with some teachers from the area I headed towards the main room and after taking in the awe of the room sat down towards the front and was soon greeted by Tony Vincent. After we chatted a bit, he headed off to get ready for the opening and I met with other great educators like Jenny Ashby, Adam Bellow, Michael Buist, Felix Jacomino, Katherine Burdick, Jon Samuelson, Sara Crawford, Rodney Turner, Dierdre Shelter and a host of others. Following the opening key note and seeing Dr. Kathy Weibke be awarded the ISTE professional development award I headed off to the many sessions that were occurring.
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The App Dice Olympics


The school year has come to an end once again and with it the end of my Genius Hours for my students. After many sad faces, I decided to do a type of classroom olympics with my students. Many years ago when I was in elementary, three of my teaches loved to do a type of academic olympics with my classes. They would do everything from sentence games to vocabulary relays. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Larson who I will be talking a lot about in my book next year, Dice UP the Classroom focused on our book report themes over the course of the school year. We had puppet shows, hanging mobiles and yes, even letters to friends. Funny how twenty-five years later her classroom lessons stuck with me the most. So, I held the first App Dice Olympics. The App Dice Olympics were centered around my various App Dice and made into games between the classrooms where the final two would compete for the Platinum Minecraft Torch. Here is how it went:

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Dice UP the Classroom Episode 4: Sketch This or Sketch That


Do you ever find yourself drawing pictures or doodling when you are taking notes to better associate what your brain connects with your words? Don’t worry, you are not alone, you are creating Sketchnotes. What are Sketchnotes you might ask? Sketchnotes are purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting. Sketchnotes don’t require a person to have drawing skills that rival famous artists like Jack Kirby, Jamal Igle or John Romita Sr, but Sketchnotes do require a skill to visually synthesize and summarize using shapes, connectors, and text. Sketchnotes are as much of a method of note taking as they are a form of creative expression by the note taker. Through the use of images, text, and diagrams, Sketchnotes take advantage of the “visual thinker” mind’s to make sense of what they are learning. In this episode of Dice UP the Classroom I will take you through how to capturing that visual creation of note taking from the classic sheet of paper to the technological ecosystem of iPads to Chromebooks. So, get your pencils, stylists and creativity ready to Sketch This or Sketch That. The transcript is below:
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Padlet, Pasta and Penguins

Its Tech Tuesday and I’m celebrating by starting Genius Hour with my 1st graders. Yep, I’ve pulled out Pure Genius by Don Wettrick, studied my Pinterest and even been in a few Genius Hour classrooms myself and we are ready to kick it off. So, how am I’m planning on getting our little geniuses started. 1. We will start will the classic pasta building exercise. This is where students have to use uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows to build towers and buildings. However, since we are starting our penguin unit, the students are going to then create their own igloos they … Continue reading Padlet, Pasta and Penguins