Google’s Professional Development options for Schools

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Why it’s useful

All schools need to be thinking constantly about professional development for their entire staff. The Google offerings are extensive, free and have an active community of  teachers / educators/ administrators behind them. This is an ideal resource for anyone who wants to get their school moving in the direction of effective professional development. From personal experience I can highly recommend the materials that have been put together. They are all based on current educational research and have been put together with the spirit of fun and inquiry that Google seems to approach all its work with.

 

Google Draw – Creating Cartoonified Drawings

Introduction

Want to know how to Create awesome Cartoonified Drawings, even if you can’t draw? Then Google Draw is the tool for you. By working through this simple tutorial you will be able to go from the picture on top to the drawing below in under 2 hours.

 

 

 

Step 1 :  Sign into the Chrome Browser, your name  appears in the top right hand corner.
Step 2 :  Locate Drawings inside of Google Drive and open a new blank document.
Step 3 :  Install this chrome extension called Color Picker.
Step 4 :  Locate a picture you want to Cartoonify.
Step 5 :  Open the video below and follow the instructions.

 

Bonus Tips to make everything easier:

  • To Zoom without distorting, use Ctrl Alt + (zoom in) & Ctrl Alt – (zoom out) , to trace more accurately.
  • Always close your shapes , don’t draw unbounded regions.

Sharing your drawings, so everyone can see them

Once you have started your drawings, share them for everyone to see by taking the link to your drawing and posting it in the comments below. Remember to change your sharing settings so that “Anyone with the link can view”.

Examples from my class

 

 

Teaching a Computer to “See Things” by Doodling

 

Introduction

Recently I came across an awesome tool that google released to assist in creating the world’s largest doodling data set of common objects. I used it in my weekly ICT lesson with Grade 8’s & 9’s and was surprised by how much they enjoyed it. We also managed to have a brief discussion of what a neural network is and how researchers  are trying to use them to teach computers to recognise common objects.

Neural Network – “A computer system modelled on the human brain and nervous system.”

Outline of Lesson

  • Begin the lesson by asking the class if they know what a neural network is?
  • They probably wont, then ask if they have ever heard of AI?
  • Most will have, and some will even want to tell an interesting story about what they’ve heard.
  • Explain how one of the challenges for AI is getting computers to recognise common objects.
  • One type of solution is to have a massive human generated Database to compare things to.
  • And today we are going to make our contribution to that Database.
  • Begin use of Google’s Doodling Tool
  • The learners normally enjoy using the Tool for at least 30 min.

If you feel like you could offer any suggestions for improving this lesson , please leave a comment.

 

How to create a Personalised Learning Portfolio

 Goal

Create your own digital learning portfolio showing evidence of your individual learning path.

Definition

A Personal Learning Portfolio is a virtual, personal space that serves as a dynamic planning tool, archive, profile, and showcase of an individual’s lifelong learning experiences, goals and achievements. It is created by the learner, controlled by the learner, and is on a platform of his or her choice. Though the tool is geared to be an open tool that records the digital footprint of the individual, the learner controls who has access to any section of the portfolio at any given time.

Definition Credit

Explanation Video

Possible Content:

ArtsWorks , Writing Pieces , Video Clips , Audio Recordings, Projects, Books read and reviews of them, Online Courses or Programs , Blog component, Social Campaigns, Growth Filled Experiences, Leadership Roles, Projects Initiated , Volunteer Work , Places you’ve travelled or want to travel , Interviews with Interesting People , Vlogs ….


Examples

Tools you could use:

 

When signing up to create an account with one of these tools, rather select the option to “Sign up with Google” than creating an account from scratch. This means you don’t have to remember different passwords.

 

 

Managing Photos & freeing space on your Phone

Why you should read this ?

If you are constantly running out of space on a device due to Photos or just struggling to keep track of all your photos, then this post will be especially useful for you.

My tool of choice for Photo Management is Google Photos. Found at photos.google.com , it’s amazing because it has unlimited storage and great integration with other google products.

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Zamzar – a great free online file conversion service

Introduction:

I often find myself working on digital media project and need to do a quick file conversion for the purposes of compatibility with a particular tool. I don’t wont to download any extra software and I want it to be quick, convenient & free. This tools ticks all the boxes and yet doesn’t seem to be widely known, hence I thought it was worthy of a post. Just click on any of the images or this link to access it.

 

 

 

Shooting and Editing Video on only an iPhone

 

As a recent holiday challenge I decided to investigate the possibility of shooting and editing a short movie using only my phone (iPhone 5S) , no laptops/desktops allowed! I knew that a couple of years ago Apple released an Imovie App for phones and based on how fantastic iMovie is on a Mac , I decided to start there. A friend of mine has just got a Drone and so I decided to follow him around for a bit with my phone.

 

 

In the end it was surprisingly easy to edit on the phone. The most difficult part was figuring out when to swipe up or down to make different menu’s appear. But your Iphone is definitely a perfectly capable device for editing video on. And since most of us carry around our phones all the time, it’s probably the easiest way to do it too. I’ll try and have another crack at making a longer more advanced movie before the year is out. Just to see how advanced it really can get if you are only shooting and editing on your phone.