Flat Classroom™ Certified Teacher Personal Journal

Name: Aaron Maurer

Place your journal entry for each week under the headings 'What?', 'So What?', 'Now What?'
  • make entries here in your own personal journal - this may include links to blog posts and other online material you create and/or are part of
  • browse the entries of other participants
  • add comments/reactions to another participant's journal entries under the discussion tab
  • contribute to discussions on the Ning, in the FCCT 13-1 Group related to the topic from the week


My name is Aaron Maurer and I teach gifted education for grades 4-8 at Bettendorf Middle School in Bettendorf, Iowa. I love life, love learning, and love having a great time. You can learn all about my nerdy ways here www.about.me/coffeechug

Module 1: Connection

Pedagogy: Global Project Design

enter here...

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges

Challenge #1: Set up your RSS Reader

Do after: Module 1 Connection
Do: Set up your personal learning network using the RSS reader of your choice. Set an appointment with yourself for at least fifteen minutes three times during the next week to learn from your PLN. Share: Comment on at least three blogs or sites in your PLN with your reflections on what they are saying.

Tag: fcc1_pln


Challenge #2: Set up Your Blog

Do after: Module 1 Connection
Do: Set a time to talk to colleagues and/or administrators about what you are learning. Discuss blogging with them and what you have learned. Find out about the expectations for authoring a professional blog in your school or educational community. Set up your blog with appropriate privacy and permission settings. As an alternative to a personal blog, we invite you to join our Flat Classrooms educational network and have your blog there. (http://flatclassrooms.ning.com) Share: Email the link to your blog to someone in your learning community.

Tag: fcc2_blog


This was a new experience for me. I have a Google Reader that I use to track infomation important to me. I have always wanted to integrate this aspect into my teaching and classroom, but just have not had to time to figure out the logistics of doing so. I think I have things in my Google Reader that I don't want my students to read so trying to learn about how to create that divide is something I need exposure to. I have also never tagged any posts before so this was new. Not quite sure the purpose or why I did this, but I would assume it would be to use in my classroom to tag sites, articles, etc. that fit a unit of instruction. I post comments all the time and actually my Google Reader keeps taking time away from reading YA novels. Drats!!!!

I also use FeeddlerRSS app on my iPad to read my Google Reader. I find it to be the easiest to use while sitting in my sunroom reading at night before I go to bed or early in the morning. I am open to other apps, but I don't typically read my Google Reader via a computer. What I will do is star and share any links that I like or find interesting. When I make it to my computer at home or school, then I will read those items again in more detail and post comments at this point. I don't post comments as much as I should or like. Which does not make sense because on the other end of the stick I am constantly wanting more comments on my own blog.

My blog has been going on for a few years now. www.coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com

This blog is pretty popular among students, teachers, staff, and other online friends I have made along the way. It has really taken off over time and most recently over the last year or so. I will post to my blog about this journey as needed. I post probably too much as is, but it will be nice to reflect on my blog throughout this journey to see what type of feedback I get. This project is off to a great start and I am glad I am taking time to get involved and push myself to new levels. My target audience is students, but I have many teachers and educators who also read my posts. Taking time to add some more educational type posts will be a new goal of mine and see where it leads me.

'What?', 'So what?', 'Now what?' model and in my case a quick summary of my rant above

  • 'What?' - describe the learning experience including factual information about new tools and resources discovered
    • I use FeeddlerRSS app on iPad to read my Google Reader http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/feeddler-rss-reader-for-ipad/id364873582?mt=8
    • What apps does everyone else use for their learning purposes?
    • I need to learn how to create a PLN for my school and classroom that is separate or at least divided up from my private one
      • Any ideas or suggestions? I would like to set this up soon and test it out with the few weeks of school that remain
  • 'So what?' - Reflect critically on how this new learning has impacted on your life as an educator, share what you believe were the highlights and difficult aspects of the module
    • I was just reading a great article about retiring class binders and taking everything to the digital world. http://thecleversheep.blogspot.com/2011/03/retire-binder.html
    • I want to move in this direction and some of the first steps to moving in this direction is to understand how to create a PLN for my students and my classroom and to use it effectively
    • I have just added several things to my To Do List(must paint the rooms of my kids first before wife loses her patience with me) that I want to accomplish this school year and RSS feeders for my class is one thing along with turning my iPad into an IWB in my classroom
  • 'Now what?' - write about your ideas for taking this learning to the next level and what you are going to do with the new tools, new concepts and describe a possible path for development
    • I think I already discussed this above. My plate is already full and it is time to sit down and eat!

Module 2: Communication

Pedagogy: Global Project Design

I am learning many things as you can find out by reading my reflection posts. However, I am also feeling stressed a little as I realize that it is now time to move on to the next step. It is time to take the plunge and dive a little bit deeper with what I am doing and expand on my comfort zone. This week my goal is to establish a CMP and have my students present all work on a wiki for me to see how I manage. The challenges this week were awesome. I have had some experience with the challenges and that helped. However, they forced me to fine tune my uses and what tools to use. This class is really helping me to see how much potential I have and now it is time to move that to application. I posted my reflections based on the each challenge. Feel free to read and comment on my blog.

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges

Challenge 3 Reflection: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-teacher-certification_10.html

Challenge 4 and Bonus Challenge: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-teacher-certification_1947.html

Challenge 5: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-teacher-certification_3561.html

#5 Bonus! Student PLN Construction
Bonus Challenge Reflection added 4/16/11 - http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-teacher-certification_16.html

My reflections are included in my blog posts

Module 3: Citizenship

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges

Challenge #6: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-teacher-challenge-6.html

Challenge #7: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-challenge-7.html

My Journal Reflection for this module

Module 4: Contribution and Collaboration

Pedagogy: Global Project Design

Challenge #8: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-challenge-8.html

Challenge #8 Bonus: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/04/flat-classroom-chalenge-8-bonus-edit.html

Challenge #9: Assess: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/05/flat-classroom-9-assess.html

Challenge #9 Bonus: Peer Review Classroom

Challenge #9 Bonus: Join as a Judge: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/05/flat-classroom-9-assess_08.html


All reflections are embedded in the blog posts

Module 5: Choices and Creation

Pedagogy: Global Project Design

Challenge #10: Student Choice: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2011/05/flat-classroom-10-give-students-choice.html

Challenge #11: Standards:

**All reflections and learning are in the blog entries

Module 6: Global Project Design Elements

Challenge #13: Project Design

#13 Bonus!: Engage with Social Media


Module 7: Celebration

Challenge #12: Celebration and Summation:

Module 8: Advanced Global Project Design and Management

Challenge #13: Project Design:


Module 9: Putting it all together

Challenge #14: Pitching your Global Project Design - All links are included in this PPT.

Challenge #15: Flat Classroom Project re-design! -