Tyler's Tech Tips

Issue #5 - March is for "Making" 2016

Google Drawings - Vector Portraits

Let me know if you would like me to come in and work with your students on this. This is a great project to learn about Google Drawing, using high-lights, low-lights, features on a face, and recreating a self-portrait. Your students will love this!

Green Screen Fun

Most of us know about Green Screens and think they only exist when the weather man does his thing on the news. Well, it is the year 2016, and classrooms as low as pre-school are taking advantage of this tool.

First of all, you need to have some sort of device and a green screen app. I use "Green Screen" by DoInk on my iPad as this is one of the easiest and least expensive ($2.99). Secondly, you need to have something green for your background. This could be a actual green screen, a green bed-sheet, a green table cloth, a green shower curtain, or green butcher block paper that most schools have in their work room. Any color screen could work, but most use green because it is a color not many people wear. Lastly, you need to have an idea on what you want to shoot your video on.

Here are some suggestions on how to use a green screen in your classroom that I got from Scholastic:

  • Mock court case

  • Recreating a book

  • Book character trait “interviews”

  • Video blogging

  • Math thinking explanations

  • Math student-created story problems

  • News casts

  • Virtual field trip

  • Music video

Remember that your background in a green screen could be a image or a video that you have on your device.

Green Screen and a Beating Heart

YouTube PD Recap

I recently hosted a YouTube PD here at the ISD on March 15th. Here are a few highlights of the PD that I would like to share with you.

  • YouTube has a TON of inappropriate content. Use with caution in your classroom.
  • To remove all suggested videos while watching a video, use ViewPure.
  • Use TubeChop to cut parts of the beginning or ending out. Thanks Sara Smith!
  • Create playlists for any one of your classes and post those playlists to your website.
  • 3 ways to upload videos are through your computer, through the sharing system on your device, or using the YouTube Capture App.
  • 3 ways to edit your videos are through YouTube's Creator Studio, using iMovie, or WeVideo.
  • 3 ways to screencast are through screencast-o-matic, using the Snagit extension, or the IPEVO whiteboard app.
  • Use EDpuzzle to take videos and add audio comments and questions for assessment.

Shooting Video on an IOS Device

Odds are if you have iPads in your classroom, you may be shooting video with them. Here are a few tips to get those videos looking a little more professional using your camera app.

  • Rotate your iPad so it is horizontal. This goes for all your devices as most video will be played back on widescreen computers and TVs.
  • When in video mode, double tap the screen to toggle from widescreen mode to zoom in mode.
  • Hold down on the screen for 2 seconds to lock in Auto Exposure and Auto Focus. This will keep your video from constantly trying to fix the subject.
  • Change the brightness level by tapping your screen once so the light icon appears. Move that icon up or down to your liking.

Discovery Education - Are You Using This?

REMC 10 has purchased Discovery Education subscriptions for all tri-county school districts. This service allows teachers to access free content, lesson plans, images, videos, etc. All of these resources can be downloaded and dispersed as you wish. Teachers are also able to add a classroom page, assign homework, and allow them to create digital boards. Email me for instructions on how to get your free account.


Have your students "MAKE"

Many of us have heard the term, "MakerSpace", "Makey Makey", or something to that degree, and may not have known what that means. Even for myself, this was something that I had to dig into deeper to get a full understanding. A MakerSpace is physical space in the classroom filled with everyday objects and technology where students can play, explore, create, and invent. This is something that students at all levels could benefit from as it pushes them in their thinking and self-confidence.

"Tinkering is a powerful form of learning by doing...One of the most endearing things about the maker movement is how many children are celebrated as heroes, leaders, and innovators." ~Invent to Learn

What types of things could be in a MakerSpace?

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Legos
  • Circuits
  • Batteries and LED lights
  • Green screen
  • Coding and programming tools
  • Coloring utensils
  • Anything you have lying around.

Here are a few examples of a MakerSpace:

Check out this awesome product in the video below. It is called a "MaKey MaKey" and uses circuits that can be plugged into anything to act as your keyboard and mouse.

MaKey MaKey - An Invention Kit for Everyone