Sunday, February 7, 2016

Photo Manipulation

I spent some time this weekend remembering why I loved digital media; if you can imagine it, you can create it.  This is where I left Google apps behind I dove headfirst into Adobe Photoshop.  Our students are preparing to put on the musical, "Into the Woods" and this is the first version of a poster I am creating.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Vector Graphics with Google Drawings

In the suite of Google Apps, I think that Drawings is under appreciated and under used.  Most people don't know some of the amazing things you can do with drawings.  Here is a quick list of some of the ways I used Google Drawings:

  1. to make thumbnails for my videos (great for branding and avoiding that awkward 'open mouth moment' at the midpoint of the tutorial
  2. classroom posters (Canva is great for this too but Google Drawings comes with all the sharing goodness of the other apps, commenting, file history and on and on
  3. for commenting and labelling pictures from my phone or the web (think of students in the science class who take pictures of various steps in their lab
  4. or for creating vector art like this avatar of myself
  5. (notice the honest crow's feet)
The magic begins at page set-up where you can choose 'custom' and then between inches, centimeters, points or pixels.  If I am making a YouTube thumbnail, I select 720 x 1280 pixels, use the rule of thirds, primary colours and basic shapes for an attractive image.

Google drawings are free so you won't be spending money on  monthly subscriptions (like Adobe CC).  Of course there are only the basic features (compared to Illustrator) but with some imagination, and online help from graphic artists  (Joshua Pomeroy), even newbie aspiring artists can do some great work.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Google Innovator Academy

If it were not for my friend and colleague who nominated me for the Google Innovator Academy, I would never have applied.  But I did.  I studied, ruminated about how to do this and finally hit the send button on the application.  Woohoo!

I have learned a lot during this process, and acceptance to the Academy or not, I am on the winning end to be sure.  I spent an insane amount of time getting this all ready, but I learned every step of the way.  The most important lesson is that I can do more than I think I can.  We all can.  It's good to push yourself and see how far you can go.

So, here's my 'Vision Deck' and my 'Moonshot' video.   Google asks you to frame a problem in education and propose a solution (tech included).  This is mine.  Next blog post, I will elaborate on them but for today, I simply wanted to share.  Thanks for reading/watching/listening.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Google Certification

Over the Christmas holidays, I decided to take the plunge and study for the "Google Certified Educator" exams.  The study time was relaxed and I allowed myself the occasional YouTube indulgence, but always on topic.  I spent time learning (or actually relearning) formulas and functions in Google sheets (love the 'import range' function).  Although I live and work in Google products every day, I still had so much more to learn.

The exam itself is not as intimidating as its preparation.  The process is simple enough; register, pay $25 US and wait for the certification folks to send you an invite.  The exam tests your knowledge and proficiency of the different products.  You can't fake this one.  If you don't 'know your stuff', you won't have enough time to complete the exam.

So I wrote, I fretted (just a bit) and I PASSED as the badge clearly shows.  Now I am eligible to apply for the Google Certified Innovator Academy happening this February in Mountain View California.

Onwards and upwards...