Giving Students Learning Opportunities with Donors Choose

A few days ago, I was thrilled to see that one of my Donors Choose Projects, The Flipgrid Studio part 2 was fully funded. Allowing me to get the needed materials to start giving students more of a voice in my classroom through Flipgrid. The plan for the recording studio was to be the start of what I’m hoping will lead to students to be more creative in the classroom. In Sparks in the Dark by Travis Crowder and Todd Nesloney, the two talk about giving students new learning opportunities that are not available to them. Using resources such as Donors Choose and other school funding when there are limitations. Most of the time those limitations are placed on ourselves when we don’t think outside the box. I started using Donors Choose almost three years ago when a fellow teacher and I wanted to start bringing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & mathematics) to our art curriculum. Something that was unheard of and we didn’t have the budget to get the needed items to start using drones and spheros in the classroom. We went with Donors Choose and while we had a high goal we had to accomplish. We were able to do it with a few weeks left in our project and our student and school were better for not giving up. It lead to many of our fellow teachers working their own Donors Choose Projects and through a lot of networking and hard work. We usually got them funded. However, there were still nay sayers going: “What do you have to prove, sometimes kids just can’t get the resources they want or need.” That was a challenge I took to heart.

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Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice

Last night I was having a problem falling asleep, so I was doing some work on a new lesson I want to introduce to my students after Spring Break. Just then, I saw a notification go off on one of my Donors Choose Facebook Groups that I belong to. I had seen on my Donors Choose Page earlier in the evening that it was down and that there was some large announcement happening on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I figured it was similar to what had happened before when Colbert was partnering with Donors Choose to help so many teachers and their students get needed supplies, equipment, ect. I was in complete shock when I saw that Ripple  announced to Founder and CEO, Charles Best that Ripple had funded every SINGLE Donors Choose project, which over 35,000 projects and 29 million dollars. I couldn’t believe it!  Continue reading “Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice”

Coming to an Art Room Near you!

    Happy Monday Everyone! I am pleased to announce that this past Saturday afternoon, while on a quest to find some Star Wars The Force Awakens action figures at a Super Target, my iPhone went off. I looked at the notification and it told me that our Donors Choose had been funded. Extremely ironic since I walked down an aisle that had both Sphero SPRK and Ollies on the shelf as I read the notification. As I smiled like I had found a BB-8 marked down to $2, I immediately sent a Snapchat to my fellow teachers and they … Continue reading Coming to an Art Room Near you!

10 great Apps for Hour of Code


The Hour of Code is set for December 7th this year and my school is doing a Star Wars theme using java and Spheros. Many people ask me what are some great Apps or units that go great with teaching students and teachers how to code and then build it from there. Here is my list:

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I wanted to give a quick shout out to a great Kickstarter project going on by Derek Muller on his project, Snatoms! A molecular modeling kit with magnetic atoms that snap together. Make molecular models with attraction you can feel! Its a great project that I have recently contributed to. Derek has surpassed his main funding and first stretch goal, but his campaign runs for another twenty-eight days. I am hoping he hits at least his 840K goal to create the interactive Snatoms! App for mobile devices. This is a great learning tool and manipulatible that will work for any classroom from … Continue reading Snatoms!

Crowdfunding and Education

Happy Friday Everyone, Do I have an interesting topic for you today, Crowdfunding. Yes, as we know we have big ideas and ways to teach them but sadly things come down to the B word. Budget. In the last five years, websites such as: Kickstarter, GoFund Me, Donor’s Choose and Patreon have become a major factor in seeing projects from the Makey Makey to Reading Rainbow become a reality. My two books, My Life as a Comic Book Reader and Small Hope would not have been possible without the generosity of those who believe in crowdfunding. Crowdfunding isn’t really that … Continue reading Crowdfunding and Education

Moving at the Speed of Creativity Podcast Episode 425 by Wesley Fryer This podcast is a recorded reflection by Shelly and Wesley Fryer (@sfryer and @wfryer) on the June 2015 Mobile Learning Experience. Mobile Learning (@mobile2015) is a fantastic, annual conference in Tucson, Arizona, organized by the Arizona K-12 Center and Tony Vincent. This podcast also includes an interview with Ryan Read (@Ryan7Read) about his successful Kickstarter campaign to fund illustrations for his first graphic novel, working with a high school age illustrator he found via Check the podcast shownotes for referenced links and resources. Continue reading Moving at the Speed of Creativity Podcast Episode 425 by Wesley Fryer

A Long Journey for Small Hope

Greetings Everyone, This is my last entry until after The Mobile Learning Experience 2015, which I will be presenting at in Arizona this week. Many of you saw on my social networks, especially if you were a backer that Small Hope, my second book made funding on Saturday. In doing so, the book will now be able to be published and will mark the conclusion of a seven year journey. Small Hope was written in one night seven years ago this coming Thursday after my guinea pig, S’more passed away from an inner infection. I was so heart broken by … Continue reading A Long Journey for Small Hope

Why Small Hope needs to be published


Thirty Days can go by quick and twenty three days can go by faster. I’m in the final week of Small Hope, my second book on Kickstarter that I am trying to get published. Since relaunching the project last month, I have created over twenty-five classroom lessons, over twelve promotional shorts and over three hundred shares on all of my networks from Twitter to Frontback. To say it has been exhausting is an understatement but to see that I am only $160 from full funding proves it has been worth it. However, I’m still $160 from being fully funded. Many ask me why I do it outside the usual: “Follow your dreams.” Many who do kickstarter, GoFund Me or other crowd funding websites either have major success or major let down. Trust me, I’ve seen some book projects get almost half a million dollars and many backers are still waiting on their product. Then I’ve seen some who only need to raise less than $500 and have amazing projects. Just like any investment, you spin the dice. I will admit, over the last five years I have yet to have ONE disappointment in backing a project I have believed in. I have backed: Makey Makey, Molly Danger, Hello Ruby, Passion Planners, both the Reliques albums and more and never once have I said: “I wasted my money.” Sadly, I can’t really back any right now outside the second volume of Molly Danger due to finances. Something I am getting tired of talking about and I know many of you want me to talk more about education lessons with tech. Especially since that’s what I love doing, its my niche but writing is something that I also found a niche in. I was the kid up until I was 14 who hated to write. Was constantly told I couldn’t structure a story by many teachers or “had no original ideas.”
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Only 8 Days left to get Small Hope funded

With only eight days left and the book 85% funded, I am pushing to get Small Hope funded more than ever. Waking up this morning on the official first day of summer break and seeing how close the book is to being a reality just made me feel great. Even better the last few backers are wanting commission work by Destiny and as you can see above, she is really rolling out her A game. It’s now or never, if we believe we can achieve. Please support Small Hope and see it become a published book. Continue reading Only 8 Days left to get Small Hope funded