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!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Starting and Stoping YouTube videos with custom web address

Sometimes videos are too long.  And, you just want to watch a small part.  I love TED Talks, but I do not think there is enough time to watch a whole TED Talk in a class.  

There are lots of ways you could edit a video... some not exactly respecting the wishes of the person that uploaded the content, and mostly time wasters.  But here is a way you can code the web address to give you a player window that just creates a snippet.

You can then use this as a link during a Keynote, Google Slides, or just sending to your students so they can focus on the important part of the video.

Here is a video walk through...

The process described here will create a new window, with a full screen player. It will have a start and end to the video.

First, Go to your video on YouTube… press share.

YouTube Share link window.
The Area shown in blue is the ID of the video.

Look at the code below.  Parts are changed in colors to correspond to what they do.

Black Section:  Loads in 'Full Screen Video'. (only way this works.)  
Blue section = (area between / and the ?) is the ID of the Video.
Time is measured in Seconds.  1:26 = 86 seconds.
Green Section = Start Time.

Red Section = Stop Time.

Here is an example video link below...

And that's it!  Fairly simple, and not too painful way to customize the length, and start and end time of a YouTube video.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tech Tip: Google Sheets

Google Sheets image.

Google Sheets is the G Suite's version of a spreadsheet.   

Spreadsheets are an electronic document in which data is arranged in the rows and columns of a grid and can be manipulated and used in calculations.  In MS office, Spreadsheets are created in Excel.  Most formulas that work in Excel, also work in Sheets.

Here is a simple tutorial of some basic functions, in under 5 minutes.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Teaching new Tricks with YouTube LIVE for Professional Development

Teaching tricks.

I have a loveable little dog.  Her name is Molly.  It takes her a bit to get something, but once she gets it... she knows it.  She doesn't do tricks, but she sits and stays. She is a good dog.
Molly wearing glasses
I get a treat after this, right?
Well, as a Technology Integrator, I have been trying to find ways to teach my teachers 'computer tricks'.  I am new to my school this year, but I feel like I am getting there.  Winter is nearly over, so new doesn't cut it anymore. The schedule at my school is a bit difficult to meet with many groups on a regular basis, and my teachers are busy.  And asking them to attend a training is difficult.

So, I started using YouTube LIVE.  I have been planning Professional Development sessions, and broadcasting a live version on Tuesday afternoons, which I have been calling 'Tech Tuesdays in the 803'.  I use a Google Site to promote, send the link to the live stream, and send the teaching session materials.  I archive the sessions on the site for teachers to watch later, or go back to for reference.

Screen shot of Technology Professional development page.

With this, my teachers can watch at other sites in my school district, from their computer, smartphone, etc.  They do not have to watch it live either, they get a recorded stream, all done automatically from YouTube.  They can sit back, and watch it in their pajamas later...

So in essence, I have teachers learning new computer tricks in their pajamas.

How I did this...

There have been a few technical things to get it moving.  I start things off by going to YouTube Live Events and setting up my Event details.  This is found in the 'Creator Studio' tab of your YouTube account.

After I setup my settings, I get my equipment organized.
Screenshot of YouTube Settings
My settings.  My stream name is blurred on purpose.

My current list includes:

OBS Studio icon
I use OBS Studio for Mac on my Macbook Air to encode my broadcast. This mixes and mashes the video fun down into a live stream for YouTube.

I made a short video of the settings I am using, that might help you get started with OBS working with YouTube Live.

I hope this might help another Technology Integrator or Tech Coach out there that might have a similar problem.

Go find your tricks to teach to your staff, and get started!

Friday, January 6, 2017

T.H.I.N.K before you post...

Everyday, someone gets hurt by someone else's words.  We sometimes say nasty things.  Sometimes, hurtful, harmful things.  These things can really stick with someone.

I try to think... "would I say that in front of my Grandma?" 

I realize that not everyone has the same Grandma.  Mine helped me learn to bake, milk cows, drive a tractor, and taught me some manners. Maybe you have someone else you have in your life like that... that you would not want to have them think any less of you.

Would my grandma be proud of what I just posted online?
Grandma finds the internet via
Not actually my grandma.

Many students and teachers have accounts for many things.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube,... the list probably is longer than my arm.  Sometimes multiple accounts, based on who might read it.

THINK before posting image via

I want to make my grandma proud, every time she opens her computer and sees something I posted.  If you want to T.H.I.N.K. of a way to remember if you should post something... try this approach.

Is it True?  

Invasion of Fake News via Flickr
'Invasion of Fake News' by Free Press via CC 2.0

Are you about to post or share something that you can't prove?  There are many people out there that are spreading lies, and half truths.  Consider using an online fact checker, such as

Is it Helpful?  

You might have a talent, a skill, or something beautiful you created.  It might help someone else that is trying to learn to do that awesome 'thing'.  
Cat Helping
Helpful by wotthe7734 via CC2.0

Is it Inspiring?  

Does it help motivate others? Does it make you want to get up and dance? Is it too awesome for words?

High Five Gif via DESIGNBENT.COM
High Five Gif via DESIGNBENT.COM and GIPHY

Is it necessary?  

Sometimes, we just over-share.  Sending out stuff that just doesn't need to be there.  Sometimes, we have to post something, or email something, maybe for class work.  But does it need to be said?
"Don't be a parrot..." by LiveLifeHappy via CC2.0

Is it Kind?  

If you are posting something that is not nice,  I just do not think Grandma would approve.

Grandma Drawing
"Grandma drawing" by Olivia Schultz all rights reserved