Friday, 22 September 2017

Google for Education Certification Exam Level 1 (Week 9)

Today was the big day. All our learning and creating and sharing was being assessed, and at the end of it we were expected to get a Level 1 badge. However I cannot show you what it looks like because
of this:
The excuses are:

  • umm...
  • it was...
No not really - I just needed more time. It took me longer than usual to get started. The questions were not too hard, I might say some were easy and I really enjoyed it. Perhaps I took too long enjoying the exam and eventually ran out of time. I got 20 multiple choice Q's and 11 scenarios and am guessing that the others got something similar. When the timer alert was on the "last 10 minutes" I still had 5 scenarios to work through. That alert sort of "woke me" up and the tasks were done faster. Clearly not fast enough as I was working on scenario 9/11 when the exam self terminated since it was 3 hours since I started. It does not help to note that only one person in the group got through today.

Note to self - 
  • Google "Hangouts" and "Meet" are different and not interchangeable. 
  • Youtube "watch later"  and "playlist" are also different.
What next: we have to wait 14 days to repeat the attempt so I will register some time after a week so that we can give it another go. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Sites Review Wk 8

This week we have had exams at school, and still going on - the next one starting in about 20 mins at 9 am. At the DFI we are reviewing our sites today. I shared my sites on chrome cast, starting with the one I made in 2011 and have been using it till the end of 2016. The new site is not as full but is much easier to navigate - I could see that myself even before we got some feedback. For the current site I got some ideas and some feedback: Instead of linking the year plan google doc, I could embed that in my site, ditto for the show me,  explain everything or other (A physicist shoots himself to prove a point ) videos of the various calculations etc.

We are preparing for the google level 1 test and the skills required for that are the ones we use everyday. Use the school account to register, more details here. Register at least 48 hours before so that the login details are sent in time. Have multiple devices to switch between screens, and use an incognito window. If you need to practice then there's help available here.

Working on "new" sites is so much easier than the classic sites. Of course the flip side is the limitations you have in terms of what pre determined options are available.
Here's the landing page for all my important sites, created using the new sites. What I did was just take screenshots of the individual sites/blog etc and converted these to buttons and added the links.
Plan is to link the sites of everyone in the DFI group.
Embedding is a breeze on the new sites. We can embed docs, maps, you tube videos, or videos from the drive. The docs are live and no one can edit these online. A new utility which was released last night is embed url; this is still in the initial stages so not yet fully functional.

Here is the link of my new site. 
With this done I believe that I am almost ready for the Google Certified Educator Level 1 Exam :-) 

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Sites Wk 7

Today's session was about websites and I was sure this was going to be a slow & boring day. I designed/made my first website almost 2 decades back in 1998 and therefore I know everything about sites. Wait a minute - I sound just like my students!

And how wrong this notion was. I now know, not just how much I did not know but also how to find what I want to know...

Back to the morning - we first shared ideas about what a good site should have ( well organised, links on the landing page etc) and NOT have (too busy, monotonous, busy, access denied etc). If you cannot fit all your important links on the landing page in the screen - gamify a treasure hunt to find stuff on your site. A google form could help in that.

We learnt about Google keep and I really liked the text grab feature - very useful. This could also be used to create soft copies of student's paper work (exams/ diagrams etc) and save as a multi page doc in the absence of a scanner.
Here's a screenshot of the work done on the new site - Standards for the Teaching Profession

Friday, 1 September 2017

STP's and Image mapping for sites: Week 6

As is the case every week, we learnt a lot of things in today's session. The best one for me was image mapping - I had seen this being used on a few sites but was not sure what it is called or how it was done. But having done it I can say with confidence that is is fairly straight forward. You just have to follow the logical steps, If you try to change the order it wont let you; and of course the feature wont work.

Here's a screenshot of my home page with an image of the 6 Standards of Teaching Profession. The area on the picture allocated to each standard acts as a link to a new page which has more details for THAT standard. To go to the page for standard 3, you click anywhere in the area of "Professional Relationships"on the image and this takes you there. Its that simple!

Getting this effect is not too hard either.

Step 1 - Map the image with (x,y) coordinates using pixlr as below. Notice the "plus" at the top left corner of the gold biscuit picture - the coordinates of the point are displayed at the top right corner of the screen. By moving the plus around the boundary we can get the coordinates for the entire boundary. Be aware that the boundaries should not overlap - potential problems!!

Step 2 - Enter the coordinates of the boundary and the corresponding url into the code (HTML)

For example: <map name="map1">
<area coords="162,58,254,15,333,4,440,16,533,56,422,225,346,207,272,225" href="" shape="poly">

<area coords="534,62,425,229,471,281,484,343,688,344,676,251,647,181,606,125" href="" shape="poly">
<area coords="688,351,485,347,473,409,417,467,518,642,590,590,655,497,680,428" href="" shape="poly">

Step 3 - SAVE, ofcourse you want to check that it looks fine and also that it actually works. That's it - done! finito!!