Thursday, March 22, 2018

Adobe Spark for Chromebooks

Adobe Spark is a great way to create video with a Chromebook.  It is simple, scaffolded, and works. 8th grade students at my school are currently using it for Social Studies, but it could be used for many applications.

Here are my tips for getting started with Adobe Spark Video on a Chromebook.  Full video above, but my tips are linked below by topic.

Finding and Inserting Pictures: Start 2 minutes in.
Creating Map images with Google Maps to insert: Start 5 minutes in.
Starting to record your voice overs : Start 6 1/2 minutes in.
Downloading and Sharing: Start about 7 minutes in.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trading Cards for Historical Figures

Trading Cards for Historical Figures

King Kelly Baseball Card
'King Kelly' via CC2.0

I was asked by a teacher in my building to help make a template for students to make 'historical figures trading cards'.  Not old baseball cards. Basically a sports card, that students could edit to show details about a person that they could research. The template is linked below the video clip.

Here is my short explanation of how to modify...

Here is my template for Making a Trading Card in Google Drawings.

Hope this helps you!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year’s resolutions... Google Certified Trainer

New Year 2018

Hi everyone,


It’s been a bit since I’ve posted... but I have been working on my resolutions, or just goals.

So, I thought I would post a few of them here, so maybe I will keep them.
Firstly, I want to take more photos this year.  I want to be more creative, and spend more time working with my camera.  Post to Instagram more often.

I also want to blog more.  Frankly, I have been slack after changing jobs, and I have to work towards documenting my ideas more.

I want to experiment more with robotics and programming this year.  I have been playing with Ozobots with my Hour of Code project.  I will be posting more with that in my next post soon.

Winter Break project

Google Certified Trainer Application

I have been working to certify as a Google Certified Trainer.  The process has gotten easier since I last certified.  The tests are fewer, and less expensive.

So, why should I certify?  Well, you build skills.  You delve into Google products that you might not have played with before.  Dig deeper. Learn.  The Google Training program has many lessons built, to help you review.  Get started with your training at the Google Training Center.  It has skills to build with Google products, Digital Citizenship, and skills you can build with being a better trainer.

Selfie with Google Badges

If you want to be a Google Certified Trainer, you need to pass three tests and have done 5 recent trainings.  The tests are Google Certified Educator 1, Google Certfied Educator 2, and the Trainer Skills assessment.  Each has a fee to take, but the assessments are cheaper than they had been in the past.

I enjoyed the process of applying for Google Certified Trainer over the break...

Steps to prepare for your Google Certified Trainer:

  1. Take some fundamentals training.  Practice for the Certified Educator 1 Test.
  2. Register and take the Certified Educator 1 Test.
  3. Prepare for the Certified Educator 2 Test with the Advanced course.
  4. Register and take the Certified Educator 2 Test.
  5. Prepare for the Certified Trainer Assessment
  6. Take the Trainer Skills Assessment
  7. Fill in your application, and make your video...

Here is my application video:

With luck, I will be successful... at least I got something out of the process.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Build your own teleprompter!

One of my jobs this year is teaching a media studies class for 7th graders.  I have about 13 kids right now, and we are working on creating a news program for our school.  One of the things that might help my kiddos this term is the ability to be able to see their words on screen as they record.

Here are my steps in getting a teleprompter for my classroom.  Maybe you can make one too.

My school has a great 3d printer, a Makerbot Replicator Mini.  I thought, well maybe I can print one.

I found this project online by speedy777 and downloaded the STL files.  I had to modify some of the parts, so that they would print on my Makerbot.  It took a couple of days to get all of the parts together, glue some of the pieces that I had to cut, and cut down some bolts to fit more nicely.  The glass, shown in the video, is from an old photo frame, and I covered the edges in electrical tape.

I downloaded the Parrot Teleprompter app, and I control the play pause with a Saetchi Smart Pointer bluetooth remote.  All I do is gently cover the glass with a sweatshirt to darken the space around the glass and set the iPad to maximum brightness.  Students can copy/paste text from Google Docs on the iPad into the teleprompter.

This compliments my setup in OBS to record and livestream work at Waupaca Middle School.

I'll post some student work in the near future!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Just tell me! Working in Chrome with your voice...

Have some text that you want your Chromebook to read?  It can! Your Chromebook can read passages that you highlight, if you have an extension called Select and Speak.

Talk to me please!
If you install it, you can highlight text, and get the chromebook to tell you what the highlight says!
Highlight the text and press the extension button on the top of the chrome window.  Watch the video for more detail.

Google Docs can do the opposite.  You can talk to your chromebook, and it will type what you say. Go to Tools, and Voice typing.  Give it a try!

Picture of Voice Typing in Google Docs menu.

Just remember to say words like 'period' and 'question mark' and it will add the punctuation.
Remember, this does not take the place of your editing work!  Check to make sure that it is using the correct words, (for example:  to, too, and two).

Hope this helps you to use your Chrome browser or Chromebook more effectively.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer School Animation Course

This summer, I had the privilege of working with some great kids experimenting with Animation.  Students were encouraged to tell their own stories, and just have fun!

Here are a few of the students in action.  Many were doing camera animations.  Tripods were nice to help hold the iPads, but I also was able to borrow a few wire book holders from the library.  This helped the students to keep the camera still. Cardboard, post-it notes, whiteboard markers, tape, and a few toys made life easier.

Here are the apps we used:

Do Ink Animation (iOS)  This makes great hand-drawn animations.  Its a paid app, but worth the money.  

Stop Motion Studio Pro (iOS) I recommend the paid version, it allows you to draw on the photographed frames, and the possibility for sound effects. This is also available as a free app, and is also available for Android devices.

There were a lot of great products created.  See the link below to see their work!

Animation Showcase

Monday, May 15, 2017

Green Screen Animation using Keynote and iMovie

Spinner over Green Screen
Spinner on Green Screen

Sometimes you want to create digital effects for a movie, but... you just do not have any fancy software to create your video effect.

Well, if you have a mac, you might be able to create something that may meet your needs... in Keynote and iMovie.  Basic Mac apps from Apple.

Here is my Video Tutorial, broken down into small parts.

There may be other applications for doing this method.  If you have ideas about how you might use this, add it to the comments section!