The Pokémon Go Google Sheets and to the Library

Hard to believe that Pokémon Go has been around almost a week and of course like anything new with mobile technology. We are seeing the pros and cons with the game in both daily life and in education. I usually like to focus on the pros and the many ways that the way Pokémon Go is showing us the future of mobile learning. After work today, I found myself with a half an hour to myself, so I went on a Pokémon walk to find new Pokémon and maybe even a few PokéStops along the way. I came to a regular one where I encountered several high school students that had placed a Lure on the PokéStop. For those who don’t know, a Lure can be placed on a PokéStop for a half an hour. It then has pedals and hearts fly around it and it attracts all Pokémon in the area from common to rare. During the Lure time, many groups get together to not only capture Pokémon and also do Gym Battles, but also start discussing and sharing. Something that Pokémon Go has done is create a wonderful social gathering ability and a few of the students knew me from the area. They stopped by and asked if I wanted to join and to see if I could help them and that’s when something pretty amazing happened.

Continue reading “The Pokémon Go Google Sheets and to the Library”

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My Trip to Edcamp DuPage

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This past Saturday, I attended Edcamp DuPage at Wheaton North High School. The Edcamp was a bit different than I have experienced before. While starting at the usual 8 AM kick off time. It only went to about 12:30 due to other events at the school and then finished with a wonderful lunch at the Arrowhead Golf Club. What was different was due to the condensed time of the Edcamp, sessions were proposed earlier and then we voted on them. While several sessions that were proposed did not occur due to the time, I did finally attend my second Breakout Edu. I loved the Breakout Edu session, Breakout Edu if you haven’t heard are games that teach critical thinking, teamwork, complex problem solving, and can be used in all content areas. Usually, it focuses around a locked box, this can be when of the Breakout Edu’s boxes or a toolbox that is locked and you have to figure out clues to unlock the box in a set time frame. Ours was 50 minutes and we finished with 37 minutes left on the clock.

During the session we learned to use our various digital tools, learned about Morris Code and relay on each other’s specialities to unlock the four padlocks that were keeping the box locked. As I said, this was my second one, the first was a simple 30 minute one I attended at a workshop at my local collage that was solved by scanning various QR Codes and figuring out the clues. This one was more in-depth and played at history. It was such a great time, I’m already putting together a kit for my teachers before the school year is over and I will be sharing ways to do basic to advance Breakout Edus this month.  Continue reading “My Trip to Edcamp DuPage”

March Madness Bracket Coding

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March Madness is here again and so are everyone’s favorite brackets. Now, everyone knows that brackets are set up to show what teams are playing who and the winner of each round will go to face off the team that advances. Well, being in the spirit of March Madness and of course Teach like a Pirate (you knew it was coming). I have decided to create a type of Bracket set for coding. As many know, I am trying to get our Donors Choose funded by next Wednesday and the clock is ticking. I wanted to show everyone how you could integrate brackets into your Sphero Edu or Coding classroom. Continue reading “March Madness Bracket Coding”

Happy Pi Day 2016 with some Play like a Pirate

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So you’re ghost looking for inspiration?

This past weekend, after waiting what seemed like forever, my copy of Quinn Rollins, Play like a Pirate arrived. I filled a glass of lemond with the Care Bear, Funshine on it. Sat down on my new couch by the window and started reading. Like all the other Teach Like a Pirate books, it was filled with amazing ideas, lessons and a few things I never thought of, well one I had thought of. As we know, its Pi Day once again and I was planning on some fun ideas around Pi or pie, depending on what type of educator you are and after I turned to the Trading Cards chapter in PlayLap. I was taken a step back and a light bulb went off above my head.  Continue reading “Happy Pi Day 2016 with some Play like a Pirate”

Making a Square & Triangle with Sphero & Tickle App

In these Periscope Edu videos. I show how to use the App, Tickle on IOS to have a Sphero and Ollie create a perfect square and triangle and then do a full color change and off run. We have borrowed these for our Hour of Code next week. We are currently running a Donors Choose to get our own Sphero set to transform our art room into a full STEAM Builders’ Room. Please enjoy the videos and please share or support our Donors Choose for Mr. Smetana’s students. Use the code word: “EVERYGIFTMATTERS” at check out and Donors Choose will match the donation. We still have $1,045 to go, but I believe we can do it before Winter Break.  Continue reading “Making a Square & Triangle with Sphero & Tickle App”

Leap Motion

Monday night towards the end of my class, I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Swanshy talk about using Google Cardboard and Leap Motion. The Leap Motion Controller lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Reach out and swipe, grab, pinch, or punch your way through the digital world. Leap Motion works with both Mac and PC and will be on chrome books in the future. The Periscope video below shows Dr. Swanshy along with my classmates using Leap on his Macbook Air. http://katch.me/embed/v/4a9aee57-066e-37ee-b523-f97f5c715b1e The main Leap Motion will run you $89.00 with the VR hook … Continue reading Leap Motion

Make that Lesson like a Boomerang

Hello everyone, I was receiving a request by a fellow educator online the other day about trying to get group meetings done in Google due to their students busy schedules. We all know the problem, we say we might be ready at a certain time or we get caught up in our after school activities and we forget to meet with our groups. This happens with projects and lessons all the time. However, I have a great way to enhance student productivity and help to make sure those student projects and lessons are getting done. 1. First enable the Chrome/Gmail … Continue reading Make that Lesson like a Boomerang

Top 10 Ways to Tech Like a Pirate

Starting in January, I’m kicking of “Tech Like a Pirate” where you I talk about several ways you integrate technology into your classroom while you Teach Like a Pirate. To get things kicked off, I have made a Top 10 list or in a way kind of a top 40 list to show you what Apps work the best with all the Pirate Hooks. So, let the fun begin. 1. You. Yes, you. Who knows what tech to use in their classroom the best but you the teacher. What programs do you use every day? Do you have a digital … Continue reading Top 10 Ways to Tech Like a Pirate

Taking Apps out of the Useless Folder

Greetings everyone and Happy Hump Day. If you are look at the top image and seeing Teacher Andy up there you are probably saying: “Wait what?!” or “Why are you displaying android, IOS and GAFE up there?” Well, its pretty simple, I was working with a few students of mine the other day and we were going over Evernote. For those who don’t know, Evernote is a great productivity App that can be used for note taking, journaling, presenting and voice notes and synchs across all platforms from mobile to desktop. Two of my teachers decided to have students start … Continue reading Taking Apps out of the Useless Folder