Friday, December 1, 2017

Links and Loves

Sometimes the power of technology, computer science and education amazes me. It has been a week of learning, exploring and creating.

Next week is the Hour of Code. Many jobs today require employees to code or program in some way. Coding is what makes this possible.

Since it is the season to listen to holiday music, why not try Incredibox and make your own music??  You can even share your musical creation.

What if Holocaust Survivors Could Teach Your Class? I love this idea! Virtual Reality is such an amazing learning tool.

Inserting images on Docs, Slides or Drawings has changed.  The ability to take a screenshot is no longer available.  Perhaps this extension or this extension can help with taking screenshots?

The 70 / 30 Principle - Who’s working harder?  In my opinion, today’s students should be much more active in the learning process.  

As I enjoy my weekend, I'm going to think about all of the ways that technology makes my everyday life easier, richer and more enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Five Sites for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

What is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the ability for computers to perform tasks that are usually performed by humans such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translations in languages.

Machine Learning is a type of AI where computer systems learn to make decisions based on collected data.

After listening to the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast on the topic of AI and Machine Learning,  I was inspired to write this post.

Here are some examples of AI and Machine Learning that you can use in your classrooms.

Quick Draw by Google - Draw the object and see if the computer system can recognize the object. 

Auto Draw - a game where the computer tries to guess what you're drawing and lets you replace your drawing with an artistic drawing.
I drew a turkey

Here is one of the recommended artistic images

Mystery Animal - The computer pretends to be an animal, and you have to guess what it is using your voice.  Ask 20 yes or no questions to see if you can guess the animal. 

Story Speaker  - Create talking, interactive stories with no coding required.  Just write your story in a Google Doc with the Story Speaker extension.  Create forks in the story similar to a choose your own adventure. Then play the story and ask the reader to answer, with voice, which choice they want. The story continues according to the reader's choice.  The stories can be written quickly using the templates. Try this one out.  Use the chat feature if you don't have Google Home.  Remember to get the extension.

Teachable Machine -  Teach a machine using your camera with no coding needed. Use gestures in your camera to have various actions take place such as playing a gif, making a sound, or speech commands. Machine Learning is difficult to understand until you show others this site and how it works.

I hope you check out these sites to keep up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology such as AI and Machine Learning. Share these with your friends, colleagues and students. Enjoy!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Links and Loves

It has been a week filled with great technology learning moments.

I attended the Amplify CollaborateIT conference on Tuesday. Here are some of the incredible takeaways from the keynote speaker, John McElligott who talked about Embracing Disruption. John works at York Exponential in Pennsylvania. He spoke about Robotics,  Humanized Computing and mind controlled bionic arms OH MY!  To say the least, I was in my techy element.

This week I listened to this podcast - Is Facebook Spying on You? Have you experienced talking about a product and then having it appear on your Facebook Ads?

This book was recommended to me and I’m going to start reading it over Thanksgiving break. It’s about coping with the exponential increase in computing power.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. A friend made me a turkey placeholder like this one.  Simple and fun!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Links and Loves

Happy Veteran’s Day - today and tomorrow I celebrate all of the men and women that serve or have served in our military. Thank you to Andrew Schaller for putting together this honor wall at Oshkosh West High School. My Uncle Jerry Kunde is on this wall.

I listened to this podcast this week which gave me so many things to think about and consider with technology and deep thinking.  Are we using the applications and tools to the fullest potential?

Did you read my blogpost on Ways to Use Animation for Student Projects and Engaging Lessons?  It amazes me how far animation and 3D design has come in just a few years.

This week I am working with a teacher and her students to record a Ted Talk using Flipgrid. I also set up a new BreakoutEDU, a scrapbooking and card making station and we finished a pixel art poster in the Innovation Lab.

This week, someone surprised me with free printable pumpkins for our Innovation Lab. What a thoughtful thing to do.

And yesterday, I received a Boogie Board with Liquid Crystal Paper from Blackboard to try out. Think of a modern, cutting-edge way to take notes and share them digitally.

It has been a productive week and I'm thankful for all of the wonderful surprises.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How to Use Animation for Student Projects and Engaging Lessons

Animation Comes in Many Forms

Using animation tools can help to add engagement, creativity and technological knowledge for students . Animations can also add excitement to your lessons. With plenty of applications for animation, the days of static imagery and boring presentations are long gone. Here are some of the possibilities.

Create looping Gifs 
ABCya Animate or Giphy can be used to make looping animations called gifs. Students could show a process, change over time or movement through a gif. 

With ABCya Animate, students can create scenes that will play in a short animated video.  This site seems most appropriate for elementary and middle school students, however, when I showed this recently to some high school students, they enjoyed creating gifs and with the ability to add your own images this site becomes more attractive. 

Giphy can be used to upload a series of images to turn into a gif or a paste in the url of a YouTube video and select a portion to turn into a gif.


Comic Strip Animation
Sometimes an appropriate way to show learning or creativity is through a comic strip. With the growing popularity of graphic novels and of animated films, comic strips are a popular choice for student creation.

MakeBeliefsComix is a simple comic strip creator that has a very low learning curve. No account is needed to use this site and the options for sharing include email, print or save image as a png (image file). Add backgrounds, characters, thought bubbles and objects easily. Use the selection window to customize the look of each item being added. Here are 25 ways to use Make Beliefs Comix in the classroom.

StoryboardThat is one of the most advanced free comic strip creators out there. With the ability to edit and customize every frame and object in the comic, students will be able to create very detailed and realistic comics.

3D Animation
With the advancements in 3D printing and virtual reality and 3D animation in movies, this technology is of interest to most students and educators. Uses in the classroom might include creating 3D models, designing home decor or jewelry, prototyping a product, creating unique objects, character creation for games or displaying objects for viewing.

TinkerCad is a free online 3D design tool where the user can add or import shapes, adjust those shapes to exact dimensions, rotations or levels, and combine shapes to build models, characters or objects. Download as a stl file for 3D printing on a 3D printer.

SketchFab is a place to create, upload, view and share your 3D creations online. Import a stl file (stl is a file for 3D viewing and printing), perhaps from TinkerCad, and enjoy the ability to edit your creation. Use the SketchFab app on your phone to view your creation in VR mode.

Animation Videos
The days of boring presentations and still imagery are going away. With the ability to create animated catchy videos and avatars, today's students can delve into exciting new options.

Powtoon is free, easy to use and helps to create clever and entertaining videos and presentations. With ready-made templates, a simple click and drag interface, a quick voiceover tool and easy animations, Powtoon is a great choice for student and teacher creation. 

Voki is a great free tool for creating an animated avatar with some features available with a premium account.  Add a computer generated voice or your own voice to send a spoken message to your audience. Create avatars that resemble a real person, characters from a story, historical figures, famous people, etc.  
click here
I hope this blog post inspires you and your students to give animation a try. I love all of the possibilities and options.