Google Opps

You have no doubt heard of Special Ops. Well, this week we kicked off our own version titled Google Opps. What’s it all about? Creating and supporting opportunities for staff, faculty and students to dig deeper into all things Google. Why? Because ASIJ is very excited about hosting the Google Apps for Education Tokyo Summit on February 9-10 and we want to build momentum and anticipation for that great event.

How are we doing that? For starters we are sharing information about some of the upcoming opportunities for Google related PD.  Google Apps Training online material,  Google Teacher Academy in December at Mountain View, CA, and Power Searching with Google. (Thanks for your help with this effort @edueyeview!)

And what a great start! This week twenty plus enthusiastic ASIJ faculty and staff have signed up to form study groups to learn more about the suite of tools we have as part of being a Google Apps for Education school.

More Google Opps to come!

Slideshow splash

They say you can only hold 7 things in your mind at one time and I agree. I had used this tool a while ago and then forgotten about it. Flickr storm and Splashr have come in very handy the last few weeks for both my work in class and in preparing for a couple of workshops on Organizational Development and Visual Literacy.

My Visual Communication class have been working on understanding and drawing linear perspective. Here’s a little visual slideshow that Splashr helped throw together.

My Presentation

Yearbook work flow

In 2007 we shifted to an in-house production of the yearbook at ASIJ. I found the artificial deadlines that a ‘yearbook company’ imposed frustrated the process and the opportunity for students to gain a ‘real world’ experience of producing a publication. Making the switch resulted in huge benefits; we had more control over the production, and the printing quality improved while reducing the overall costs. Obviously printing companies don’t want everything arriving at the same time. If their main work is yearbooks then they have to collect work periodically to spread out the flow. There have been no regrets with making the shift.

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Making the ‘Type’ video

The rational for making the video was to have a visual resource to compliment other strategies I use to teach students about type. The process of construction was pretty straight forward. I always say to my students ‘begin with the end in mind’ so I started by mapped out on paper the sequence I thought would work (a very basic storyboard). Then, in Adobe Illustrator I created the graphics. Using ‘screen capture software’ I was made each slide in a couple of clicks each. (I use that process quite a bit when creating slides to show only on screen as it is so fast.) Then it was a matter of uploading to Animoto—wow it is awesome to get such a slick result os easily. I thought the first version didn’t quite achieve what I was after so I copied about half the slides again and added them for visual reinforcement. I’m now thinking about creating one on ‘color’.


I went to a technology workshop at school today. It was a really productive morning. Met some interesting folks and picked up some new ideas and tools. Brian Lockwood introduced ANIMOTO in his workshop on Digital portfolios. Very easy to use and a slick product. I just need to work out how to embed it in my site and I’ll share my first attempt. hummmmm….how do I do that I wonder 🙂 PS. Obviously I did!