18 articles Articles posted in PD

Slowmation Workshop

At our annual professional development day, I hosted a double session on Slowmations. Slowmations are stopmotion animations, but instead of taking 20-30 photos to make 1 second of footage, you only take 1-2 photos per second. This makes the final movie more jerky, but much less time consuming and accessible to students of all ages.

Here is the detailed handout on how to make a slowmation. Click here to download it.

Below are some great examples of slowmations that teachers in the workshop made:

This is Todd, Eb and Susan’s tsunami slowmation. It looks super fun and I’m sure their children would LOVE to make an animation like this themselves.

Jens, Tony and Gregg on how to use a rowing machine. This one is interesting as it’s the first slowmation that I have seen use real people. I think their’s is very polished and came out great!

A great chemistry slowmation by Antoine and Cameron:

This is a great video from Shauna and Bruce in the math department. I love that they have really made a possibly dry topic very interesting and engaging.

As you can see, the animations can be used for a range of purposes, age groups and subject. Get your students making slowmations in class to really engage them and solidify the concepts learned in class.

I am also planning to present on this same topic at the up coming Association of German International School conference in January. I’m really looking forward to turning some more teachers onto the powers of using slowmations to really solidify understanding of a range of topics.

How To Set Up Filters In Gmail

Filters are a great way to speed up your productivity in Gmail. Filters allow you to ‘catch’ specific emails and run special rules for those email. For example, if you constantly receive emails that you don’t need, you ‘catch’ the email by specifying to from address or another indicator of that email and automatically archive it or mark it as spam. Conversely, if you spam filter is continuously filtering emails that are not spam, you can specify the email address it is coming from and have Gmail never mark it as spam.

There are many different combinations, so your limited only by your imagination.

How To Add An Image To A Blog Post

A quick tutorial on how to add an image to a blog post in WordPress/Blog.com/Edublogs/etc.

Google Apps Room Booking v2.0

It turns out my last attempt at making a movie for people to make a room booking was totally wrong! Woops! I apologize. The reason it was different was because my account is an administrator account so I could automatically add booking to room calendars.

This time around I corrected the mistake and made another video for you on how to make a room booking in case you need a refresher. Here it is!


How To Save Transparent Text In Photoshop

When working on our schools year, I work with Jostens Yearbook Avenue and my students like to find their own fonts and use them on the pages.

The best place I have seen to find custom fonts is dafont.com and once they are installed on your computer you can then select them in Photoshop to use.

Once you create a heading with your new font, you must then save the image as a transparency. We always forget how to make the image transparent so we can set it over other images and backgrounds so I decided to make a video to explain it.

P.S. One guess what font I am using?


For me, I love to customize EVERYTHING I own. I think that’s how I became competent on computers, because I would go through all the menus and customize everything to exactly how I want it.

During my middle school ICT class, I’d like my students to customize their computers, to make their workflow more efficient. Here are some videos outlining how to customize your computer:

Customizing Windows 7

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Customizing Firefox

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

How To Make A Booking On Google Apps

EDIT: This is video is actually wrong, this shows you how to do it from an admin account, to see how to actually do it please click here.


This is a very quick video to give and introduction to or a refresher to how to make a room booking with your Google Apps account. It does seem quite cumbersome but once you get the hang of it it is actually really powerful.

(Sorry for going so fast, I figured it was a video so you could stop and start it as needed)

Report Proof Reading: Have Your Reports Read To You!

Me, like everyone else in my profession, hate writing reports. I am also terrible at proof reading, so it’s always embarrassing when I send my reports off for a friend to proof read for me and it comes back with red marks all through it (thanks for your patience Cindy!). I was talking about this with some colleagues the other day and they said to help them find mistakes, they read their reports out loud. I was going to try this myself, when I found a tool that took it one step further. In Apple’s Pages, their equivalent to Microsoft Word, you can highlight a passage and have it read back to you! So while proof reading, I have my computer reading my reports out loud to me. Hopefully it’s successful in cutting down the amount of red marks I have in my report drafts, I’ll let you know how I go. For instructions on how to do this, watch the video below:

So what techniques do you use to help you proof read your work? Leave a comment below.

TED: Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

I saw this video a while ago now but stumbled upon it again on the weekend. Inspirational stuff!

Apple Distinguished Educator 2011 Applications Being Accepted

Last year I was lucky enough to be selected for the first Apple Distinguished Educator program to run in Japan. I was honored to be selected and proudly attended the weekend workshop in September. During the weekend we were introduced to our rolls and responsibilities as ADE’s as well as getting the opportunity to meet and get to know other ADE’s from all over Japan.

If you would like to become an ADE of 2011, Apple recently opened up applications for it’s Japan class. Click here to lodge your application.