Welcome to the Summer Flipgrid

Hello Everyone, I’m here today to talk about Flipgrid. Yes, that wonderful interactive student/teacher voice platform that is becoming very popular right now. I started using flipgrid a few months ago with my Middle School STEAM students and they have … Continue reading Welcome to the Summer Flipgrid

Super Sons EDU

I’ve been asked for years now: “Ryan, when are you going to make a super hero fan page again?” For those who don’t know the story, it was 1996, I was a freshman at Northern Illinois University and I had just been given constant access to the internet. To a kid of 18, this was a wide new world to me, but I did something that was very new at the time, I made a comic book fan page. In 1996, there were maybe just over 80 pages of comic book fans creating their own webpages, early wikis and message boards on their favorite characters. I didn’t have any classes to go to or was signed up at the time (I was a theatre and business major). So, I had to learn everything about HTML and basic coding myself. Flash forward to late 1997, and I had one of the most visited Thunderbolts fan sites around. I continued focusing on Spider-Girl (MC2) and Thunderbolts up until 2006 and then I shifted over to podcasting and my new blog, The Green Lantern Spotlight. Then in 2010 something happened. I lost my job. I decided to stop “wasting” my time as I was told constantly told and try and get a job and finish my master’s degree.  Something I regretted to this day.

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LEGO Brick Headz as a Biography

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As many of you know, since 2014 I have been Teaching like a Pirate and in just three years I have expanded my collection with all the various books from the Burgess Consulting Company. However, the two I have been using a a lot over the last year have been: eXPlore like a Pirate and Play like a Pirate. The last few months I have been incorporating both into my STEAM Enrichment classes and my students can’t get enough. A couple of weeks ago I was in the LEGO Store and I came across their Brick Headz sets.

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How Teach like a Pirate changed my practice as an Educator

 

It was April of 2014, I was just a month and a half from completing my second year at Christian Life Schools and something happened. I felt burnt out. I had barely been in education for almost four years and I remember sitting in my office. I was fixing a few forgotten gmail passwords and was told on twitter: “You have to do something else with your App Dice, they are getting boring.” I had no other major planned classroom lessons happening until close to May 1st and I had just sent off my clean up for iPads for classrooms and final eRate quotes to be reviewed and I looked at my blog and went: “What can I do?” “What is the point, if I’m not in the classroom.” “I’m just another tech guy with no classroom and nothing better to do.” “I’m not good enough to do anything innovative or new.” Then I had Barbara Gruener point me towards a guy named, Dave Burgess and his book, Teach like a Pirate.

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STEAM with Fidget Spinners

 

IMG_7750 A few weeks ago, I was on my Perler Bead Facebook Groups and our latest challenge was creating Fidget Spinners. The Fidget Spinner has been around for a while, the spinner works on a simple premise where you have to put it on one finger then use your other hand to keep it going. It also works perfectly for killing time when you’re bored waiting for someone, or chilling out for something to happen. They have become the norm in schools to the point they can also create a unique oppurtunity for STEM and STEAM lessons and projects.  Continue reading “STEAM with Fidget Spinners”

When you are a Hashtag of One

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A few days ago, I was exploring some new hashtags I had been seeing on Twitter and Google+ and I had noticed that they had really caught on in the social media community. However, there were two that had several postings, but weren’t being used by others much. I actually reached out to one of them saying it was a cool new community reach. They said; “You are the first one to respond to it.” “I’ve been doing it for close to eight months now, but I’m keeping it alive.” I also responded that I have started a few myself and only two have really caught on in the last few years. They then asked me, why we still do it. Which was a really good question.

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The Pinterest Adventure

Are you a Pinterest user? Do you Pin for the Win!? I have been a fair user of Pinterest since 2011. Many of my ideas, resources and hobby loves are on Pinterest (and Educlipper). Most recently, Pinterest introduced Lens BETA on the mobile app. Well, this came at the perfect time for me. I finally got new carpeting in our family room (The previous one was awful), thanks to my in-laws. The Pinterest Lens went live in the App store about an hour before our carpet layer came in. I started flashing the lens at various spots in my clutter house and I couldn’t believe the searches and finds that Lens could do and I knew I had to find a way to integrate this into the classroom. So how does it work?

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Booksnaps and Funko Pop!

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For those who don’t know, Tara Martin a few months ago started Booksnaps. The idea of #BookSnaps was by documenting key takeaways between face-to-face meetings and adding them to our “Snap Story” for daily viewing using Snapchat or related apps. This allows the reader to connect an idea or thought by creating a digital visual representation. The visual representation solidifies the text content within the mind and signals the brain to retrieve the idea from memory. Something I have been doing since Booksnaps was publically revealed and I have been trying to do various Booksnaps with my students using Seesaw. Going back about another month before that, Quinn Rollins, Mr. Play like a Pirate himself, talked about using Funko Pop! for biographies. The idea behind Funko Pop! figures are creating  simple biographies of characters they’re learning about in class. Historic figures, great inventors, characters in novels — anything in your curriculum that has a human in it.  Continue reading “Booksnaps and Funko Pop!”