Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Birthday Wishes from Google...

I had to share this.
It is my birthday today and the Google logo for me when i logged in at school was cakes and when I hovered over it it, it said "Happy Birthday Karen".
How cool is that!!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rolling, rolling, rolling.....

A new year means a new roll out.
This year we have a combination of the netbooks the students own that they have come from intermediate school with and the new chrome books that new sign ups are getting.
We started working on the first set of chrome books yesterday. It was a bit more tricky than we first thought ( and involved quite a varied selection of swear words being used while setting up the first couple !!).
We had to go into the admin dashboard to find the students new Google log ons / email addresses. This then had to be put into the chrome book. To get them onto the internet at school, they all need a pre-shared key (PSK), that will tie their machine to the wireless. To do this, these psk's had to be loaded from a spreadsheet onto a usb stick, via the note app on chrome. As the chrome books don't come loaded with any software that works offline, in order to read this psk from the usb stick, it had to be online. Temporary access to the guest network had to be used, the psk put into the student wireless connection, then the guest network forgotten.
For the students who have arrived with a netbook, we need to put in a psk so they can get on out network.
We ran out of psk's and new ones of these were sent at the end of today.
I guess I know how tomorrow will be spent.
Hey ho, at the start of last year we had to sit and put the bios on and image 450 netbooks from scratch!!... this is easy compared to that job!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Having a go with the YouTube Video Editor

I have been aware of the YouTube online video editing ability since last year when I went to the Google PD day. I have had a little "play" with it, but nothing too serious.
We had our Powhiri at school this week for the new staff and students and I shot a bit of video as well  as taking the usual photographs. I usually use my MacBook to edit videos on iMovie, but i decided this time to have a proper go using the YouTube editor.
It took quite a while to upload the footage to Google. I decided to keep those files as private, so no one could see the unedited version of anything. The editing itself was very easy. Trimming the ends of clips was simple and adding a title and a fade out was easy to find. There is a basic set of tools at the moment, but it is all very easy to use and find your way around.
I am more confident now in recommending this method to staff who have no experience in editing videos. A lot of staff members mentioned making videos for their sites on their "wanting to learn" lists when polled at the end of last year.

Here is my first effort...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Starting my Class Sites

I made a decision at the end of last year that my Graphics classes this year would all be making their own sites to present their work on.  I wanted to do this so that everything they do this year will be in one place an not as separate documents etc that I have to nag them about sharing.
I made a start on this today with my Level 2 / 3 class. We made the basic site and put the pages on that they will put their project work onto.
I am thinking already that this will give them more alternatives to present their research work as they can embed so much more than the words and pictures that they have been used to.
I told them that when they shared it with me they could make me be able to view it not edit. Then after they had made them I hit them with the small piece of information that I am one of the school admins on the Google account, so I can get into anyone's site. Ha ha ha...their faces were a picture.

The list of sites on "my sites" since today has grown rather a lot !!

I am looking forward to seeing the students' Graphics work develop on their sites. It is a new way of working and presenting for them and me this year.
We have just got to convince NZQA to accept the work being submitted in this way!!


Yup...seriously...what DO these kids do with their netbooks over the holidays.
We had enough come in over last year at the ends of the two week holidays. It was always a busy first week back with repairs and re-images.
This is our first experience of having the whole school come back with their netbooks after the long summer holiday.

This is the haul for this week that has been booked in to be looked at by the tech team.

I don't know if it is just me being really fussy about how I treat my tech equipment ( you are reading the ramblings of someone who won't put her phone down unless it is in it's case or put on something softer than the table), but I really don't understand how they treat their netbooks so badly. I really think they use them as doorstops, frisbees, rugby balls etc....
This one looks like it has been a dog chew toy!!