Teach Like A Pirate Poster + Aurasma = Awesome Classroom Poster

This morning I set out to finalize and test a dazzling idea for my classroom this fall. After reading Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess and talking with @Jepsen on Twitter about making a poster for our classrooms I decided to put my words into action.

I started off creating a poster using www.postermywall.com because it is free to use and if I want to make it a poster it is not that expensive.

This was my first creation

It is quite busy and has a lot of information. This reflects my life and actually something I am working on which is decluttering and simplifying my life.

I threw this out on Twitter and asked for feedback and luckily I connected with the amazing @swise_bc who not only took time to give feedback, but helped to simplify my poster and making it even better.

With her guidance and advice I was able to tweak this poster to this

I did add a new phrase so maybe she will tell me it is too much. I like it. Talking with her she gave me the idea of using AR which is something I have always wanted to add to my classroom.
I downloaded Aurasma which is a free app that allows for AR(augmented reality). I went ahead and created a little test. If you have Aurasma on your phone go ahead and focus on the blue oval. You will see my test image.
My plan for this poster is to have this sit outside my classroom. I will change and add different things as needed throughout the year so I can keep one poster, but constantly change the content. I will add another layer to the Lego image, but need to work on getting that to show my Bio page on my blog or perhaps I was thinking of making a short video bio of myself using Lego.
I just wanted to share how exciting my day has started. I cannot wait to get this poster ready for the upcoming school year. Here are some things that I would love to hear back from you on.
1. Do you think I should modify the poster in anyway? What would you change?
2. What would be some good ideas of adding the AR element of this poster?
3. What are other great ideas to entice students to be excited about entering the classroom?

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#coffeechugPLN Twitter Chat Archive on Mindset Part 2

A few days behind due to a crazy schedule this week, but here is a link to the archive of our #coffeechugPLN Twitter Chat from Tuesday. The chat was another success where we continued our conversation on Mindset.

It is intriguing to hear how we view mindset between fixed vs. growth. I would love to keep this conversation going, but it is good to keep things fresh so next we will move to another topic. Perhaps we will jump back into mindset in the future.

Thank you to everyone who joined the chat. There were some dynamic people sharing ideas and thoughts.

To see all prior chats, archives, questions as well as future events check out the wiki page

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#coffeechugPLN Twitter Chat 4.30.13 Mindset Part 1 Archive

Wow! Last night we had a great chat. As I continue to explore Twitter and run chats(this was my second one) I am loving my PLN more and more. Much thanks to everyone who showed up last night. The design of the chat last night was to start off with questions to get the members reflecting on themselves and ideas and then moving forward to think more whole school and whole child application with mindset. I think it went very well and that was because the participants were very open and honest. Without them, the chat suffers.

I really look forward to continuing this talk about mindset. We will be running a mini series of Twitter chats on Mindset over the next few weeks.

Here is a link to the archive of the chat – Remember to start at the bottom and read up.

Check it out and be sure to follow these people if you are not already doing so. Some are experts and others are teachers new to Twitter who have been following the self paced Twitter for Educator course I put together.

I will be sending out details on the next #coffeechugPLN Mindset Part 2 chat later this week along with questions in case you want prepare ahead of time.

Until next time, work on creating that growth mindset in yourself, students, and kids.

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Why are you not using Google Voice Comments App?

I recently have fallen in love with Google Voice. This new tool(or at least new to me) allows you to record your voice to Google Documents. I love this to give feedback and insight to student work. It allows me to share my thoughts while grading instead of having to type everything up. It allows me to connect with many kids at once when we are collaboratively working on a document. On days I am absent I can leave my voice to give them direction and tips.

It is a great tool and must have to use if using Google Drive.

Here is a little tutorial explaining how it works and how to get started. Let me know what you think.

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Coffeechug Twitter Task 11: Making Use of Twitter Lists #coffeechugPLN

Another popular question asked from our first #coffeechugPLN chat was

How do I make and use lists?

Let us start with defining and explaining what a Twitter List is and is not.

A Twitter list is a group of Twitter users that you can create and curate based on your needs. You are able to create one by yourself or if you want to subscribe to a list that is already created you can do that also. Basically, this list will give you a log of all Tweets from the users included on that list.

A thing to remember is that a Twitter list is for reading ONLY! You are not able to DM or tweet to the members of the list if you wanted only those people to see it.

Lists will allow you to read tweets by people that you do not follow. If you don’t want to follow a lot of people and feel overwhelmed, then creating lists for certain topics are your golden ticket.

You cannot add yourself to a list, but you can check to see what lists you are added to.

I will talk about this and more in the video below. I figured it would be easiest to make a tutorial.

Please let me know if I forgot anything about Twitter Lists.

To view the previous tasks and other information for educators please check out my wiki

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Endless Thoughts and Ideas

I presented a few weeks back and as I declutter and organize my thoughts and ideas I want to take time to reflect on some ideas I wrote down as I was preparing for my presentation. They are bit random, but I think they lead to some interesting ideas and possible discussion topics.

1. Model Learner

I have been so fascinated by this idea. If you follow me on Twitter I think I have mentioned that the teacher’s role today is to be a model learner in the classroom. I know I have mentioned this in at least three chats this past week. I have been working on this concept in my mind for weeks. I love it and find it to be so true. We are no longer needed to be the guru of knowledge and facts when they can use Mr. Google anytime they please. Instead we must be model learners showing them how to learn, how to think, and how to make things happen.

2. Cursive handwriting is not in the Common Core BUT by the end of 4th grade students need to be able to have command of the keyboard to complete a one page assignment.

This is a sign that times are changing. I think of my own kids and how I ready to make them do some keyboarding drills to learn how to type. I think it is essential. It holds more importance than writing cursive. Besides your signature, when else do you write cursive?

Even scarier is when is it no longer needed to even learn keyboarding? That may happen in our lifetime as fast as technology is advancing. Sounds crazy, but could be a reality.

3. Technology is an extension of our brain, not about “stuff”. This statement rings true. A few days back I shared a video my kids made for their mom for her birthday using Minecraft. Through this platform they showed more emotion and love for their mom than any card or present we could have bought at a store. It was amazing how they incorporated their ideas into their Minecraft present.

4. Teachers/adults see technology as tools where students see technology as a foundation. I think we need to remember the perspective we bring to the world is important. It is the way of life. When we were kids were confusing the generation before with our technology love and now we are shifting to that phase. Crazy how we all use technology in our daily lives except when in school.

Alright, just some ideas floating in my head and my notepad. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

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Coffeechug PLN – Twitter for Educators Task 10: Twitter Abbreviations and Twittonary Tool

What do all the abbreviations mean? This was one of the many great questions from our first Twitter chat on Tuesday night. I am going to do my best to address them all or at least give you the tools needed to solve the issues yourself. This post will focus on abbreviations and what they all mean.

To read past tasks 1 – 9 you can go to the wiki and check it out. 

 I covered some abbreviations in the prior tasks, but only a handful. This is going to focus strictly on abbreviations and how to make sense of it all.

Step 1: Most common abbreviations
I have created another Google Document that is open and editable for anyone to crowdsource and contribute. I have tried to gather as much as I could, but I know I am missing some key ideas and abbreviations. Check it out and please add anything. Now keep in mind not all of these use the most professional language. I have included them in here because you need to know these. Whether someone uses them in your stream, a student is using them, or possibly your own child. It is important to be aware, but not necessarily use! I would read through before sharing at a school function or with students. Not all are safe for student eyes or school areas. I have not typed in the actual words, but you will get a sense without a problem.

Step 2: Using symbols
 Something that I don’t use very often, but sometimes is needed when tweeting and is one way to enhance tweets if used properly is the use of symbols. Twitter symbols all you have to do is copy them using Ctrl+C or a right click and copy and then paste into your tweet using Ctrl+V or right click and paste.
Check out the following website to get started: Twitter Symbols visit: Twsym.com

1. @

‘@’ or ‘at’ is used to tag other people into your comment, post, or message. When you add @, Twitter will notify the person you tagged. For example, you can type @Joshua and Joshua will be notified about the message you wrote.

2. RT (Re-tweet)

This is typed at the end of a post. RT encourages other people to re-tweet your post.

3. PRT (Please Re-Tweet or Partial Re-Tweet)

PRT sends a message to readers that the tweet has already been edited to accommodate the addition of username.

4. OH (Overheard)

OH is used during conference. OH signals readers that the source of the post is overheard from other source.

5. BTW (By The Way)

BTW is used to signal a change of topic. It has the same meaning with the word ‘segue’.

6. FTW (For The Win)

For the win is a positive remark done in Twitter.

7. FTL (For The Loss)

FTL is opposite of FTW. It signifies being frustrated, disappointed, dismay, and disapproval.

8. IRL (In Real Life)

IRL obviously tells you that not all things in Twitter or in the online world are necessarily true in the real world.

9. (FTF or F2F) Face to Face

This is a desire that a Twitter user wants to meet another user in real life (IRL).

10. IMHO (In My Honest Opinion or In My Humble Opinion)

This is to tell other twitter users that the remark made is based on personal opinion and not on facts. IMHO is also a way to assert one’s self without being too offensive.

11. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)

Simply means that your experience with regards to a product or service may differ from other people’s experiences.

12. BR (Best Regards)

This is a courteous way to ask for something. BR is also used when there is a dispute or to nicely introduce yourself.

13. B/C (Because)

B/C is used to cite a reason. This should not be confused with BCC which means blind carbon copy and is used in email.

14. JV (Joint Venture)

JV means collaboration between one or two Twitter users.

15. LMK (Let Me Know)

Simply means you like to be informed.

16. TMB (Tweet Me Back)

This is a request for another user to reply to a post.

17. DM (Direct Message)

DM means to talk to a twitter user in private.

18. LOL (Laughing Out Loud)

LOL expresses being humored.

19. IOW (In Other Words)

IOW lets you cite other words or perspective to express a thought.

20. IMX (In My Experience)

IMX expresses one’s experience.

21. # (Hashtag)

# sign is used to mark a particular trending topic. If you put a ‘#’ next to a word, you let your post to be indexed in Twitter’s search engine. For example, you typed #government. People who will search for the word ‘government’ will be able to find your post.

22. This.

It is a message that tells twitter users that the tweet is something of great interest.

23. TBH (To Be Honest)

This is a remark used to show people’s honesty and/confession.

24. MT (Modified Tweet)

It means that the tweet’s content has already been modified to about 1/3 of the original content.

25. ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

This is commonly used by internet marketers who utilize Twitter as part of their social media advertisements. ICYMI is very useful if you want to re-post something that you want readers to be reminded of.

26. +1

It is a demarcation that a post or tweet is being endorsed by other Twitter users. +1 has almost equivalent meaning with ‘like’ on Facebook.

27. H/T (Hat Tip)

H/T is another way of liking a post.

28. TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

This is a very convenient way to summarize a somewhat long article.

29. |

This symbol is used to separate statements. Rather than writing the statement from one line to another, | is used to make the post look cleaner and streamlined.

30. SMH (Shaking my Head)

This abbreviation has different uses. It can be used to describe a wide range of emotion such as confusion, amusement, amazement, disappointment, and others. It can also be used as a stand-alone comment to a particular link or tweet.

31. BRB (Be Right Back)

It means that the user will be out for a short period of time.

32. EM or EML (Email)

EM is used to refer to an email server or the act of sending an email itself.

33. Fab (Fabulous)

FAB is an expression of amusement or amazement.

34. FYI (For your Information)

FYI is an opening or introduction leading to the presentation of information.

35. GTG (Got to Go)

GTG signifies the person needs to go immediately.

36. IDC (I Don’t Care)

IDC signifies being indifferent.

37. ORLY (Oh Really)

– See more at: http://www.twelveskip.com/tutorials/twitter/230/twitter-dictionary-top-37-twitter-abbreviations-and-acronyms#sthash.s0Kk1ya9.dpuf

Just double click the symbol to get it highlighted, copy, and then paste into your tweet. You can use other symbols, but this is a good start.

Step 3: Tools

Here are some other tools that fit into this category of symbols and abbreviations
http://www.twittonary.com/ – is an online dictionary for Twitter. It allows you to search for what things mean on Twitter. If you don’t see something on the Google Document above for abbreviations, then you might find it here. Nice to have when in need of explanation and don’t want to feel stupid asking the person that used it.
 http://tweetshrink.com/ –  is a tool designed to shorten your Tweets. Sometimes you just cannot get your point across in under 140 characters. This online tool will makeshift your message to make it fit. It is not always perfect, but does come in handy at times when you just cannot figure out what to do.
http://www.andrewt.net/abbreviate/index.php – is another option if you don’t like Tweet Shrink. I have not used this one except to test a few things for this post. The key here is just to play around with them and find the one you like.
Of you can be yourself and just rework your tweet to make it fit. Sometimes I use (1/2) at the beginning of tweet that I know will take two tweets to get across. I will type the first part up with this at the beginning. My second tweet will start with (2/2).

Closing Thoughts
I hope this answers this particular question. I will be addressing the other questions soon. I know we want to learn about creating and using lists and some other key features. All in good time everyone! I need more coffee to keep up! Just kidding, I love being able to help. Please let me know if this has been helpful by tweeting to #coffeechugPLN

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#coffeechugPLN Twitter Chat Archive and Reflection

Thank you to everyone who attended our first ever #coffeechugPLN chat last night. The goal was to help teachers new to Twitter get a sense of a chat and learn to make new connections and put into practice all the things they have been learning.

I did archive the chat and you can read all tweets from the chat. The first chat entry is at the bottom and you will have to work your way up to the top to follow the chat.

We had a nice group of people pop in throughout the night. Be sure to check them out on Twitter give them a follow. I believe we had 22 people(not including myself) add to the chat last night. I am quite happy with that turnout for my first ever chat.

Here is the list of participants last night. Some are veteran Twitter experts and some are brand new. Do your part to connect and meet each of these people.


I thought the chat went good for the first time. I know that I can moderate a bit better and will on some things to improve the next time I host a chat. I know to have some resources available. I thought I had things planned out well enough, but I think I can do better. I am also going to try out Twitterchat next time. A few of my tweets did not have the hashtag and I was told Twitterchat automatically adds the hashtag.

This is what I love. As I try to help others learn and improve I find myself constantly learning as well.

This conversation has lead me to add some more to the Twitter for Educator self paced course I have been working on. It was great to actually talk with the educators and find out what they need. I will be adding Tasks 10 and 11 later this week based on the conversation.

Thank you everyone for a great hour of discussion last night. Check the chat archive linked above and all resources and upcoming events will be shared on the #coffeechugPLN Twitter chat page.

If you have questions, additional resources based on the chat please leave a comment or tweet to #coffeechugPLN. I am working to do another chat in two weeks so if you have a good topic, please send my way.

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Coffeechug PLN – Twitter for Educators Task 9: Task 9: Final Thoughts and Reflections

Here is the link to all previous tasks(or just check the sidebar)

This last task is really a reflective process. It is designed to help you think back to where you started with the course and to also help me make the course better.

If you could please take a moment to reflect on what I have tried to put together to help teachers learn Twitter I would greatly appreciate it.

I am leaving things wide open for you to share what you will, but here are few things to think about to get you started.

1. What was helpful to you?
2. What else do I need to add or did I forget to address?
3. How was the flow and layout?
4. Did you see your Twitter presence expand during the tasks?
5. What was not so good?
6. What would you like to learn next?

I am going to try and create this into something more visually appealing and in a better structure like a book or document of some sort. I know it has some things to be worked out. If you do indeed make in through please share it out on your networks and include #coffeechugPLN.

I just want to help. That is my only goal with this project. It stemmed from a presentation I gave to my staff and talking with teachers in my office. I hope I accomplished this goal.

Thanks for taking time to go through the course. I hope the database was helpful. I hope you are all connecting and helping each other. We are always on Twitter ready to connect and help so don’t hesitate to tweet, retweet, or direct message.

If you could email me your reflection I would greatly appreciate it. My email is aarmau@gmail.com

Don’t forget to join the Twitter chat tonight at 8:30 pm using hash tag #coffeechugpln

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Coffeechug PLN – Twitter for Educators Task 8: Build a Following

The last of the major tasks(there is one left after this!) is focused on leaving you independent and free to create connections and expand your network. I hope that this final step leaves you with some general ideas to grow your following and enhance your PLN(Personal Learning Network). Remember this whole course is part of a crowdsourcing wiki so if you have other ideas and further suggestions please edit the wiki and enhance the course content.

Without further ado, here are my final ideas to leave you ready to tackle the world of Twitter on your own.

1. Show your face – We have talked about this earlier in previous tasks, but I think this is so important. Now this does not always have to be serious. BUT, it does need to reflect who you are. You could create an 8 bit pixelated image of yourself or a cartoon style. Let the image reflect you. Change it up from time to time. I know I don’t like things to be the same so I am constantly creating new to keep myself current with where I am in my life.

2. Interesting Bio – don’t forget to go back and revisit this. Maybe you are ready to edit your bio from where you started. I think it is important to revisit this every few months to see how you want to change. Maybe you won’t want to, but at least taking a look at it will allow you to reflect on yourself which is always important.

3. Share worthwhile content – I am on Twitter way too much. I am a junkie. Through it all it is important to share quality content. This is a learning process. I have made my fair share of non important tweets, but by sharing quality content it will make other people follow you because they won’t want to miss out on what you are sharing. On the flipside, if you share a bunch of junk, then you will lose followers because we don’t have time for that. People check Twitter quickly so make it count!

4. Stay active – Be sure to not leave your Twitter account idle. Check in and see what is going on. There is no need to play catch up as you will just stress yourself out, but don’t sit and do nothing either. People will drop you like a bad habit. Be in the now!

5. Join chats – Probably the best thing about Twitter. These hour sessions can leave you loaded with new ideas, connections, and resources. Chats will connect you with new people and expand your network. It is always a win win situation.

6. Help others by retweeting – Help others. Don’t be selfish. Don’t always self promote. If people are seeking guidance or help, RT. If they share something good, RT. Spread the wealth!

7. Golden Rule – Do I really need to explain? This rule applies here in Twitter also! We sometimes forget that there is a human on the other end of the tweet.

8. Give more than ask – This is key. Be a helper. Just like we teach our students. Lead by example. Be a model learner and teacher. Give help. Share ideas. The more you do of this, then the more people will help you.

Keep these eight tips in mind when working on Twitter and working to connect and build your network. Before long it will just happen automatically.

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