006: Living on Edge of Chaos – Clive Thompson

Holy Cow! Did I just type in the title that I chatted with the writer and author Clive Thompson? The writer for New York Times, my favorite article in every issue of Wired magazine, and the author of my favorite read of the year Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds For The Better (click the book icon below to buy)

Yes, I did just name drop that. Clive took time out of his busy schedule to chat with me for about 45 minutes to talk about how the new literacies and emerging technologies are shaping our world with a lens on education.

I feel quite honored to be able to present this podcast.

It was a chat that left me tweeting

Just had a great conversation with @pomeranian99 for upcoming podcast. He melted my brain and has opened my eye to new thought.
— Aaron Maurer (@coffeechugbooks) November 26, 2013

Go ahead and give it a listen, leave me some feedback on iTunes and let me know what you thought of the conversation. I did have some audio recording issues so my last question where I ask Clive to speak about predictive technologies was lost. That is a bummer as he gave such an awesome answer. I think the rest of the podcast will leave your brain full and you will finish listening excited to know more.

Show Notes
Follow and listen to this podcast on iTunes and please feedback and ratings. I would love it if you listened to it on iTunes also. Don’t just follow, but listen as that is more important than anything!

iTunes link to the show

Listen to podcast on Podomatic.com below

All Social Media for Clive Thompson

Please let me know what you thought. Any questions, feedback, suggestions, etc.

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The problem is not technology, the problem is us!

My own private Coffeechug Cafe! #coffeechugpln

Reading one of my favorite magazines, WIRED, I read a recent article titled “The End of Unplugging” by Mat Honan. In this article he talks about a hike he took where he was without Internet. Through his journey and hike he realized that no matter how hard we try, we are always connected someway.

It is impossible to not be connected in this day and age. It is easy to point the finger and complain about all the issues that this may cause, the lack of thinking, people not being self sufficient without a phone, etc.

However, it is easy to point the finger and come up with excuses and complaints. What we need to come to terms with is that the problem is not the technology.

The problem is us!

As Mat states in his article, “Rather than focusing on taking temporary breaks from technology, we need the discipline to live with it all times.”

This is a rather unique way of looking at the issue. One that I really like and forces the individual to take charge. Lately, I have been working on this discipline. Just this weekend I worked to have my phone on me at all times while working with my son on his book report, but at the same time tried to not look at my phone every 20 seconds. Rather I wanted him to know that his work was important, more important than any tweet that buzzed my phone.

Later in the article, the author states, “The phone isn’t the problem. The problem is us – our inability to step away from email and games and inessential data, our inability to look up, be at an alpine lake or at family members.”

This rings true. We have to learn to develop the discipline to work in both worlds – connected and real time. We have to understand that when we are out for dinner with friends and family that we respect those who we are with and not insult them by focusing more on people we are not directly with. There is this happy medium. We have to take time to be in the moment and not constantly checking in and out and losing out on key moments. There is a time and place for it all.

Instead of pointing fingers, take responsibility, hold yourself accountable, and realize that the problem may be you.

More importantly what strategies have you used to help keep a sense of balance and discipline when it comes to being constantly connected?

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003: Living on Edge of Chaos – Augmented Reality in Education

Awesome to have you here! Here is episode three to the Coffeechug Cafe Podcast: Living on the Edge of Chaos.

This episode I will be sharing out some amazing ideas generated from Teacher Tinker Time this week where we took a look at Augmented Reality in education.

I would love to hear from you so please leave any feedback, reviews, questions, etc.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @coffeechugbooks

Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes(I will be very happy for any help you can provide!): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/coffeechug-concepts-podcast/id438001112?mt=2
– See more at: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2013/11/coffeechugcafe-podcast-series-living-on_9.html#sthash.mj3sjKkq.dpuf

Listen to the episode

On Friday I set up several tables that looked like the following
Augmented Reality Teacher Tinker Time is ready to go! #AR #coffeechugcafe #augmentreality #Framatic

I sent out the following email to all staff to come down to my room for Tinker Time

Just a reminder that Friday during periods 6,7,8 I will be hosting Teacher Tinker time. We will be looking at Augmented Reality

If you have a smartphone or tablet it would be great if you could download the following apps so you can begin to experiment and learn so we can create something very cool in the following weeks.

AR Flashcards
Brain Scan

For Aurasma if you want to follow me (Coffeechug) and another teacher I know (pvjhscience) I can show you some classroom examples.

See you tomorrow.

Here are some past blog posts regarding Augmented Reality

Teach Like A Pirate Poster + Augment Reality = Awesome Classroom Poster FINAL VERSION – See more at: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2013/07/teach-like-pirate-poster-augment.html#sthash.AK6X5gzy.dpuf

Teach Like A Pirate Poster + Augment Reality = Awesome Classroom Poster FINAL VERSION

Speedgeeking Notes from #ITEC13 via Evernote (my presentation)

#ITEC13 Conference Presentations by Coffeechug  #coffeechugPLN

Theme Song: All credit goes to 


Books I Am Reading This Week

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (finished and book review and future podcast coming)

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (will finish this weekend)

Lexicon (will start this week)

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What is the one thing you are implementing from #ITEC13 starting today?

After a great two days of learning at #ITEC13 it is important that we don’t forget all the magic and go back to the normal.

I am challenging all of you who attended to declare your goal(s) now on this document. Make it public and help us hold you accountable.

If you are like most of us we come back to school, try like crazy to get caught up after being gone for a few days and one thing leads to another and we don’t touch any of the amazing ideas.

I want to help us collectively make positive change.


1. Head to the Google Document 
2. Add your name, information, and what are you are going to implement. Feel free to share who inspired you to act upon this and goals or anything else you want to learn.
3. Feel free to add resources or other pieces of information to others who have shared.
4. Please come back and let us know how things turned out.

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Speedgeeking Notes from #ITEC13 via Evernote

Here is the link to all notes from my first session Speedgeeking with Coffeechug.

I went through all the information and notes from our backchannel during the session.

I tried to answer all the questions that were posed. If I did not clarify things enough please let me know. I want to make sure I am as helpful as I can be.

If there are other things you would like for me to add please let me know as well. I have no problem sharing out whatever I have.

Here is my blog post from yesterday where I shared all my slides and information. Feel free to use whatever you like. I only ask that you let me know so I see how the ideas are spreading. Fair enough?


So let me know what you think and what else you would like added. If you want more clarification on anything seriously ask!

I am working on the notes from my afternoon session as well. I just need an extra 10 hours to my day.

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#ITEC13 Conference Presentations by Coffeechug #coffeechugPLN

Here are my two slide decks for my presentations today.

Thank you to everyone who attended. If you did not attend, take a look and feel free to contact me with any questions, ideas thoughts, or concerns.

Here are my slides – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/60qet2ahrctv6zi/Kb5XCk1PW6

Here they are via Slideshare.net

Here is my contact info

Aaron Maurer

I will share all resources via Evernote soon. I will post the links when they are ready.

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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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Online Tips: Cleaning Up Email Signature and About Me Page

I have been working on tidying up a few things to my online presence. The first thing I needed to clean up was my email signature.

Here is what I had

Amanda(my wife) always makes fun of me for this signature as she cannot believe that I have all this junk stockpiled at the bottom of each email I send out. I thought that I needed to clarify my jobs and duties in the school so I never viewed it as bragging, but more of an obligation to let people know who they were talking to in the emails.
After reading Platform, I decided that it was time to clean things up. I took his advice and used what he shared in the book. Here is what I have now.
It looks much simpler, but really broadcasts everything about me. They can now find whatever they want. I really like this approach. I have made the necessary changes.
The other thing I cleaned up was my About Me page on my blog. I followed most of the advice and tried to clean it up a bit. I did not follow all advice because I just can’t be 100% serious. I have to mix in my personality a bit, but I think I still made some major improvements from before. My old about me page was a joke and really wasted space. I took some of the old and mixed it in with the new and I think it turned out okay. I think it can use some work, but it is on the right track.

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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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Using Technology in Junior High Math: Learning with cell phones and iPads and computers OH MY!

My wife is a junior high algebra and pre algebra teacher for Pleasant Valley Junior High. She does not like to give herself credit for the hard work and time she devotes to teaching math. She forms great relationships with the students and with that foundation kids come to class everyday ready to learn math…..even the ones that don’t like math.

One of her goals this year has been to work on shifting to Common Core and more importantly to engage students with the concepts. After a great presentation and keynote speaker yesterday during our professional development day with George Couros and doing some presenting myself I could not help but think that I was missing something. It finally hit me that my wife has been doing some great and amazing things with technology in her math class. I often think that math is such a tough content area to connect with students and to make relevant. Most junior high students don’t think big picture and don’t hear why this or that is important to their lives.

I asked my wife to share with me some of her recent lessons. I hope you find them useful and if you have suggestions or perhaps even other great ideas to share that would be wonderful. 

As teachers we are all “Idea Bandits” where we search, read, and research ideas and then tweak them to make them our own. These ideas originated from me throwing out some questions of help on my PLN as well as her looking online for ideas. 

Idea #1: Students create videos for to help them review

My wife used Wallwisher which is now Padlet(new and improved) with her students. For a review for a test over concepts she gave each student a question to prepare and explain how to solve. She gave each of them a hard copy of all the problems first so they could see what the problem looked like before they watched the video.

To record students they kept things simple to start. They used good old whiteboards and used the camera option to record. They spread out in hallways and classrooms to record. Anytime you try something new you always test the waters, reflect, and make changes. There are apps that can help make this even better like Screenchomp which she plans on using next. This is one app worth having if you have the opportunity for iPads in your school. If you don’t have iPads there are other ways to do this very project using Flip videos for example. I will be adding how to screencast without iPads(my school does not have iPads at the middle school) over on my classroom tools wiki page as well as tutorials on how to use these apps and tools(will be posted within a week).

After they recorded their screencast and explanations the students then uploaded them to Padlet where all students could see all the problems. This way students could go and access the video they needed. There was no wasting time by having to sit through problems they already knew how to do. They could just go to where they needed help. Really, this is a whole flipped classroom and crowdsourcing project that benefits everyone.

Here is a link to the final results of her review assignment. The students really liked this project. The kids did say that sometimes the videos took a while to load. I think if using at home it would be faster as most schools internet is slow anyways

I will be posting her next cool math idea soon. It is titled Texting Olympics. Stay tuned.

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