Friday, February 15, 2019

Google Docs App Review by Ariana W.

Google Docs is a site that allows you to type and save many forms of documents, such as reports, book projects, and many more options. You can write anything in the app. For instance, I’m writing a book, using Docs.

The Add Button

         The “add” icon is in the bottom right corner of your screen. All of the documents that you have started will be in the middle of the screen, (depending on how many documents you have) and in the top left hand corner of the screen, near the time and date, there will be “three bars”. If you click on the “three bars”, you have the option to change the account you are using. You also have the options of “recent”, “starred”, "shared with me”, “offline”, “trash”, “google drive”, “settings”, and “help and feedback”. To start, you will usually be on “recent”. “Recent” is all of the recently opened documents. Then, if you move to “starred”, you will find all of the documents that you have starred. In “shared with me”, all of the documents that your friends or teachers have shared with you will be here. Moving on, the next selection you will find is “offline”. In “offline”, you have all your documents that you can edit offline with. “Trash” is the area that all of us are probably familiar with, but, if you aren’t, it’s where all of the documents that you delete go. If you select the “Google Drive” option, it sends you straight to your “Google Drive”. “Settings” is where you go to learn about Google Docs. Lastly, you find a button called “help and feedback”. “Help and feedback” is exactly what it sounds like. It gives  you help from Google Docs, and you can send feedback to Google about how their app is doing. All in all, the “three bars” is where you go for the different forms of areas in Docs. The “folder” icon is right next to the “magnifying glass” icon, which is the search area. The “search” icon is where you search for your documents. If you click on the “folder” icon, it shows what documents that you can get from your drive, without taking you to your drive. Below the “folder” icon, there is “three dots with three lines next to the dots”. If you click on that option, then you go to a list. The list is exactly what the icon looks like. The name of the document is on the left, and the date it was last opened on the right. The icon that is under the folder is now like a “grid”. If you click on that icon now, it will show the documents as a grid.
         Another icon is the “share” icon. On the iPad, once you open up a document, there is a little “human figure with an addition sign” next to it. Click on that icon, and then put someone’s email into it. Once you push send, the person you sent it to will immediately receive your document. Once you push the “edit button”, a “toolbar” pops up. On that “toolbar”, you have multiple choices. You have the bold, the italicize, the underline, and the “cross-out”. Like all of the names of the icons, that is what they do. When I typed the names of these icons, I used what they do, for all of them but the cross-out. The cross-out is only available on the iPad. Since I am typing on the iPad, this is what it looks like. Cross-out. You can also insert things, such as “pictures”, “links”, “tables”, “horizontal lines”, and “page breaks”. All you have to do is select the “plus” sign once you open your document.
         One of the pros of this app is that you can write whatever you want, whenever you want. Another pro is that you can edit the documents offline. Another pro is that you can add as many docs as you want.
         A con is that you can’t merge two different documents into one. One other con is not all of the icons are in the same places on the computer. There also aren’t a lot of the same icons in use on the computer.
         I personally think that Google Docs is a brilliant app. There are many uses for this app, whether it’s used for educational uses, or for business purposes, or just for fun. Google Docs will be one of the most useful apps, in my opinion.  And there you have it! My personal point of view on Google Docs!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Adobe Illustrator Draw App Review By Ariana N.

In class we are learning to make a blog and I got a drawing app. This app is the coolest thing you can do when you’re bored. I love this app and you will too.

Some cons of the app is that you have to have an ID. You can add another layer but it just adds to the drawing.

Now for all the pros from this app. It gives you a tutorial on how it works. You can go to settings and it gives you stuff on how to change the roundness, the angle, and the taper. Like I said, you can add layers. You can add a drawing layer or an image layer. When you first get on it asks which format you want.

You can add shapes, double tap to make a stamp or you can trace it.
To change the size, pinch two fingers close to make it small and to expand fingers go apart. To change the size of the brushes, hold and go up and down. Up to go to a bigger size and down to go to a smaller size. Same with the opacity, up to go darker and down to go clear. To change color click on the color and pick what you want you can have the wheel or RGB, or if you go to your history you can get the colors you picked before.

To fill in a close shape press and hold. And the best thing about this app is that you can go to discover and follow people and their drawings. Those are all the pros and cons of this app. If you like it go and get it. It will also be great because in class we have to make a book cover and this would be the best app to use.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Spreaker Studio App Review by Landon

In class when we are learning it is a relief to take a break from all the essays and have a fun project where at the end you present to the class. But for some this is a huge burden as they can’t stand presenting to the class. They could take a video that’s 100x more humiliating and that’s when speaker studio comes in only recording your voice!

Spreaker Studio has many features but some of the most prevalent are the sounds. When you first get into speaker and complete the tutorial if you look to your left you will see a lot of symbols just like the ones below. Tap one and a sound will play.

When you are recording you may tap one of these symbols and they will play a sound. For example, the one in the top left makes an applause. The one in the top right makes a laughing noise, although this may confuse students as it doesn’t play while you’re recording but instead will show up in the final product. You will know when the sound effects stops once the little yellow bar around the symbol has came all the way around.

Another feature of Spreaker  is the “push to talk” option. This option allows students who are recording and someone unknowingly asks them a question this allows the students to stop recording their voices so they can answer the question and after cut the part where they don’t talk.

In my opinion, the features of Spreaker are great. Everything feels very polished. I haven’t experienced any delays or glitches in the many times I have used this app and I have even enjoyed listening to some of my friends recordings as you can post them and make your own little talking show where other users can listen to what you make! Or you can go live where others can join your stream. All you have to do is click “record” then live once you are live you can host your own chat room where others can comment on whatever you're doing!

With all of the features in Spreaker that should probably give away just how good of an app it is. Like I said before, it feels very polished and smooth and I haven’t experienced one glitch or delay in all my time of using this fun app. Another good thing to point out is how reliable it is unlike GarageBand, another recording app, in Spreaker you can create your own account. So if your data gets lost just log back in. This app also has a great tutorial showing you the basics in how to use a few of its many features. In the end I feel like this is a very easy to use app and is also very reliable.

Although this app is great with its many features, it is only the basics of what a recording app is and definitely suffers because of this. The app is mostly is blocked by a paywall with a monthly subscription you can edit your videos and do all that fancy stuff, but the problem with that is a school can’t fund 300 $10 monthly subscriptions so we have none of these extra features. Now this sounds fine “big deal I can’t edit my videos who cares?” Well, think about it. If you make one mistake in a 10 minute video it’s either start over or deal with it. As a result, this makes the recordings feel very unfinished. Although this app has a lot of good features, this one con can ruin this app for me.

So the now question is “should I get the app or not?” But that’s a tricky question. My thought is that this is more of a social app than an educational one. With creating an account and adding all your friends then live streaming to talk to them that is the main focus of this app, not a private recording studio. If you are looking for a private recording app I suggest “Wave Pad” being able to edit your videos and no social features. In conclusion, it depends on what you are looking for. A social casual recording app? Pick spreaker studio! Looking for a more complex and professional recording app? Pick wave pad!

Welcome to the iHelpU Center Student Blog

One of the things we strive to do at Columbine is create and empower students to be leaders.  There are a variety of ways in which we do this, but one of the major things we try to do is create opportunities for students to work on things that have real-world consequences.  I can remember being a kid and doing random homework assignments that seemed to have no bearing on anything I’d ever need to know for my actual life.  I feel that engagement increases if students know that what they’re working on has real life consequences. One way we try to is through our Problem Based Learning units that kids work on throughout the year.  A key part of the PBL process is having the kids present to and engage community members in solving whatever problem the kids are addressing. Students at Columbine have designed the playground that ended up being built for our new school, worked to get out the vote during the 2016 election, and tried to solve the invasive species problem in our rivers.  These are just a few examples of our PBL’s.   

Another way in which we strive to foster leadership opportunities is through the student tech squad.  The students on our tech squad, which they renamed the iHelpU Center, help me to maintain technology here at Columbine.  Everything they do has a real-world impact.  They help students and teachers solve tech related issues.  Since we’re a 1:1 iPad school, it is important that everybody in the school has working devices.  The iHelpU Center students also work on projects as teachers request.  For example, students have filmed lectures, edited the raw footage, and given the final cut to teachers for posting to Google Classroom as part of a flipped classroom.  The tech squad students make video tutorials and videos that highlight tech happenings too.  The iHelpU Center students are also responsible for contributing to this blog once a week. Their purpose in the blog is to review educational apps or write about technology related happenings that are going on here at Columbine.  Every Sunday our principal sends out an email called This Week at Columbinewhere he showcases what’s coming up during the week. A link to the latest blog entry is included in his email so that teachers can read what our help center students think about various apps the teachers should use in class.  So that’s what this blog is.  I hope you enjoy reading what our kids have to say and maybe learn a little something too.