Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Build Your Own Spaceship - Academy of Science

Check this out! There is a free event happening soon at the Grant's View library. The event is sponsored by the Academy of Science, a St. Louis organization to help promote science interest and education in students and adults.

 Why not sign up and join us for an upcoming session on June 8th from 7:00-8:30 PM.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Novel Engineering - Space it running out!

Check this out!

Not sure if there is any room left but sign up if you are interested. Looks pretty fun.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This one thing has saved me year after year.

I am a digital pack rat. I never delete emails, I just move them into a folder to give the appearance of an empty inbox. I keep all pictures, never delete even the blurry ones. All that deleting takes too much time and way too many clicks.

I have the same issue with bookmarks, I have a ton.

Years ago I would save them to the browser but after a while I could never find what I needed. It was nearly impossible to figure out which folder sites belonged to. Did the district page fall into the school folder or work? Sometimes I would make a folder for finance another for bank and a third might contain stocks. It was a messy system.

I kept seeing all these tweets for Diigo, some type of site, app and extension for saving bookmarks and once I signed up I never looked back. Using Diigo has saved me time and now all bookmarks are a simple search away.

This tool allows me to tag each site I save with different key words. I could pick a stock I want to follow (Apple) and tag it with apple, stock, retirement, money. This system makes it simple to save and always have the ability to pull up information quickly. No more second guessing about which folder something belongs in.

If that wasn't enough, I never loose my links. When I get a new laptop or the one I'm using is reimaged, I just download the Diigo extension. All my sites are there. I can also find them on my mobile devices.

Getting Started
Start at Diigo's website.
Create an account.

I would recommend adding the Chrome extension
I also added it to my Android phone and iPad. This enables me to save things I see on twitter, facebook or the web quickly. No idea is lost. While I might not look at it right away, I'll have it when I need it.

Bookmarking on Chrome is a breeze assuming you installed the extension. I found this page about Pi and wanted to save it for later.
1. Click the little d and the drop down will appear.
2. Click Save Bookmark.

1. Add one word descriptions (tags) for the site you want to save. You can add more than one word but you need to put quotes around those words.
2. Click Save.

Finding Your Bookmarks
This is the true power of why Diigo has been so transformational for me, the library!
Click the little d in your browser like you did to add a bookmark.
1. Click the small double arrows in the lower right.
2. Click My Library.

1. I entered pi as my search term.
2. All the posts that reference pi appear in the results.

I could refine my search by adding summer17 after pi and my results would narrow considerably.

The big idea is to add more than one tag to each link you want to save. It becomes much easier to find later on.

Take It Up A Notch
Check out the teacher features. This is worth signing up for.

You can import your current bookmarks from your browser

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cancel your plans on Tuesday.

Take a minute and watch this video.

Then visit this post. There are tons of projects listed. Why not try something.

Shoot us an email. We can help!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mobile Video Editing - iOS and Android

We stumbled upon this app a while ago and it just keeps getting better. We thought it would be a great time to update the post centered around using your mobile devices to shoot, edit and share quality video projects.

Our original post was created for the PBL classes at LHS and this updated post will follow a similar pattern. This post was used in FACS to help guide the video creation process. The goal is to give the students five key elements and ideas for shooting and creating video projects on mobile devices.


  • We would advise you to have a minimum of 1 gig of free storage on your device before you start creating your project. Trust us, we learned the hard way. 
  • Do not delete any files until the project has been uploaded YouTube.

1. What do you watch now?
These two simple guiding questions start you thinking about the videos you watch on a regular basis. This helps frame your thinking around what makes up a quality video.
  1. What videos do you watch now? (youtube, twitch, things on facebook, tv, etc)
  2. What keeps you coming back for more?

2. Evaluating Great Video
Pick one of the bullet points below. Use that criteria to evaluate one of the following video clips.
  • angles they shot
  • movement of the camera
  • sound/audio/text
  • lighting
  • cuts in the video
  • audience - who is the intended audience
Pick one of these videos to evaluate using the criteria.
     Apple Of My Eye (shot on an iPhone 4)

What did you notice?

This acronym was designed to help those shooting video on mobile devices focus on what is most important.

  • shooT with a storyboard or this storyboard
  • Hold that camera steady
  • Interesting surroundings
  • Not too soft, not too loud
  • Know your audience and subject

4. Warm Up The Subject
Are you shooting a person? It is a good idea to think of a few questions to get your interviewee to relax before you start asking the questions you really want answered.

You are interviewing a teacher and really want them to talk about their day to day life in the classroom. You could start by asking them about why they became a teachers, who inspires them, etc. This helps them to start thinking about teaching and will usually result in better answers to the questions you really want to ask.

5. Editing
Avoid Editing
The magic is all in the storyboard. The better shots you take, the faster the editing will go.
One suggestion is to take shorter clips. Trimming off the ends of a thirty second video is simple, cutting up a two minute clip is insanity.

Editing On Your Mobile Device
We are using Filmora, a free iOS and Android app, as your editing software.

Open the FilmoraGo app on your device.

Click Create New Video.

Open the videos stored on your device. 

Select the clip(s) you want to start editing.

1. After you trim the clip, click Add.
2. This number indicates how many total clips you have so far for your project.

Click Next when you have all your clips ready to go.

1. Click on your clips to start editing them.
2. Scroll up/down for more options.

Once you click on a video clip you will be presented with additional editing options.
Scroll over to find options like voice over, audio mixing and adding titles to the clips. All of these tools could be useful for your final production.

Click save when you are ready to publish.
Be aware that this sometimes saves in real time. If you video is five minutes, it takes a full five minutes to save. It is a good idea to have your device plugged in while you save.

1. Choose YouTube. It is recommended to make sure you are connected to wifi when loading to YouTube. The upload process can take a long time, please plan accordingly.
2. You can also save to your camera roll or click More and save to Google Drive. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How long has this been a part of Seesaw?

I happened upon a new feature in Seesaw and thought I would share. Maybe it has been there for a while but this is the first time I saw it.

I know that you could always add something from the camera roll but there are times when a Google Doc would be more appropriate. They added a button that allows you to pull files in from other locations! To get started, just click.

Select the file location. I picked Drive.

I then navigated to the file. I tried a five page doc, worked like a charm!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Free but time is running out!

Are you ready for the solar eclipse? Why not check out this free event happening in June to get you ready for the big event. It is totally free but you need to register.

Build Your Own Spaceship - Academy of Science

Check this out! There is a free event happening soon at the Grant's View library. The event is sponsored by the Academy of Science , ...