Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Adding a Link to an Image in Blogger

Today, after a suggestion from a kind soul who was trying to get a better look at an image I posted, I learned how to link an image in my blog to something else, such as a PDF, website, or a LARGER VERSION of an image.

This might not sound revolutionary, but prior to today, I did not know how to do that.  I wasn't aware that I was missing a vital skill!

I first learned how to link an image to web content from Clive Eaton's blog.  In his post, he gives pointers on the HTML code that can be changed in order to link web content to images. Thanks for sharing, Clive!

Updated 5 February:
I've since discovered a way to do the same thing without changing the HTML code.  To view my tutorial, click the image on the left.  Both ways work, but it's good to have choices!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Empowering Girl Makers: Infographic

I created this infographic, titled Empowering GIRL Makers, for my Instructional Design class at Marlboro College. Since I have been thinking about girls and e-Textiles lately, I thought that this was a fitting topic to explore more deeply.

This is the first full-length infographic that I've created; this is my revised version.  Clicking on the image or the link above will take you to a PDF of the Google Drawing.

I used a variety of tools to create this, including Google Drawings, SnagIt, PiktoChart, Grafio, and Paper53.

I like the images and the research that this graphic portrays.

I had tried inserting a Tagxedo image in one section, but the resolution was terrible no matter what I tried.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chameleon Scarf Completed

I've been comparing and contrasting my LilyPad Arduino to the Adafruit Flora.  Using the Chameleon Scarf tutorial (and code) from the Adafruit website, I have created my first eTextile made with Flora.  This scarf has a color sensor and neopixel LEDs that change color, based upon what is placed in front of the sensor.

Although I did not write any of the code for this project (which feels like cheating), I learned how to use a new feature of my sewing machine, how to add Arduino libraries, and the advantages of using Adafruit conductive thread, rather than cheaper thread.  

To get started, I bought an inexpensive cashmere scarf and sewed it in half to create the tube you see here. Using a special foot on my sewing machine that zig-zags over a cord, I was able to gather the tube into ruffles and quickly sew my power and ground lines.

The trickiest part of this project was making sure that my computer had the correct Arduino libraries added.

While sewing the circuit together, I discovered that Adafruit thread is stronger, shinier, and much easier to work with than the Spark Fun thread!  I will never go back!

Rather than sewing the ribbon into a circle, I used Velcro, making it easier to remove the ribbon and LEDs from inside the scarf.

I enjoy the process of coding with a LilyPad, but I really like the way that a Flora doesn't require as many pins to create something truly inspiring; I have concluded that I am a fan of neopixel LEDs and the Flora Color Sensor.  I am eager to learn how to write my own code using Flora and its many sensors.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 (Creative Commons) Job Aid

My goal was to create a Job Aid in two pages or less.  It had to aid learning, be visually compelling and easy to print out, and not result in cognitive overload for the user.

This is my most recent attempt. I used SnagIt and Google Slides to create it. It was designed as a cheat sheet for finding and properly attributing Flickr Commons images.  My first attempt to create a Job Aid didn't go so well, but I think this one is better.  (Link to PDF)

Image Codr Job Aid (page 2) Revised 28 Jan 15

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FLOG: Creating a Job Aid with Snag It

One thing that I'm attempting to do better this year is be more open and transparent about the things that I try that don't work out as planned.  In addition to blogging, I will be flogging (maintaining a failure log) to elevate my focus on process over product.

Words of wisdom from my Marlboro professor, Rick Oller:

"Fail early and fail often."
"The process is the product."

Context:  I am currently taking Instructional Design at Marlboro College.  Our first task was to create a Job Aid in two pages or less.  It must aid learning, be visually compelling and easy to print out, and not result in cognitive overload for the user.  Sounds simple, huh?

To get started, I found a numbered list of directions that I'd previously given to students as a reference sheet and decided to create a Job Aid with the list.  

Next, I experimented with Snag It for the first time to take a series of screen captures.

Lastly, I exported the captures to Google Drive, inserted them into two Google Drawings, and attempted to design a layout that visually captured the essence of my list.

Discoveries and Reflection:

  • Some tasks are too complex to explain well within a limited space.  
  • Job Aids are better suited to simpler tasks with fewer steps.  
  • Too many screen shots can be overwhelming.  
  • The clarity of my images is inconsistent.
  • This looks much better in color than printed in grey scale; the orange boxes and arrows don't show up in black and white.
  • I should have used more interesting subject matter for the images I combined, rather than a picture of myself.
  • I like the use of numbers.

This is an example of what NOT to give to students.

Next Step:
  • Try again, but focus on a simpler skill.
  • Focus on having clearer images.
Update:  If you'd like to see my latest attempt at creating a job aid, you can view it here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Rudolph hat was featured on Wearable Wednesday!

My reindeer hat was featured on the 1/7/2015 episode of Wearable Wednesday!

This was my first wearable tech project, a hat made with a LilyPad Arduino, a temperature sensor, buzzer, and several LEDs.  To learn more about it, please visit my earlier blog posts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Girls MAKE IT: Circuits, Coding, & eTextiles

Girls MAKE IT:  Circuits, Coding & eTextiles

I am honored and excited to be collaborating with +Lucie deLaBruere, Vermont Works for Women, the Generator, Tech Savvy Girls, and an all-star cast of inspiring volunteers, including +Leah Joly, to host an all-girls Maker Event on Friday, January 30 in Burlington's Generator maker space!

Read about it below and then "SIGN UP" a team from your school!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

#ETT Google Jamboree Application

The start of a new year is always a great time for reflection and goal setting.  This year, an open invitation to apply for one of the 200 free #ETTGoogle Jamboree slots nudged me into action.

In the process of brainstorming some desired outcomes--and direct actions that I'd need to take-- in order to make 2015 the best year for my students' learning, I created an animated infographic that showcases my plan for the year!

I started by creating the image that you see below, by playing with the Grafio app.   This took much longer that I'd expected, because my first attempts lacked cohesion and were too distracting to depict a concerted attempt at focused reflection.  (FLOG Alert:  If I'd spent more time pre-writing, I wouldn't have had to make so many revisions on the graphic!)  

The addition of a photograph, depicting my latest e-textile, required that I create a new project!  I'll be the first to admit that this hat is not as neat as it could be.  My stitches are large and unwieldy.  But, wasn't it the insightful Voltaire who advised that perfection is the enemy of finished...or something like that? Just for kicks, I coded the tune, "Don't Stop Believing," and upload it to my hat.  (See my application video below.)

After completing the graphic, I decided that I'd be happier with it if I added some movement.  This I accomplished by using the props in DoInk animation.  Once I was satisfied, I imported the clip into iMovie, added a tune that I created on Garage Band, and voila!  It was this video that I submitted as my final application.

The animated version may be viewed above (but it's easier to see at full-screen).

While I am hopeful that I will be one of the lucky few selected to attend the conference, the time I invested in the application will serve me and my students well in 2015, as well as allowing me to put my money where my mouth is.

Update:  I'm Going!  I'm SO excited!

Post Reflection