Tech Ramblings

SketchUp Toy Locomotive Lesson

This is a series of video screencast tutorials that demonstrate how to create a toy locomotive using SketchUp.

Students love doing these activities, but they don’t want to have anyone show them for 40 minutes on a projector screen and then set them free.  They also don’t want to have to figure out written directions (did you ever open up the shrink-wrapped manual?).  They just want to jump in and create. This format allows students to start from the beginning and model as they watch.  If they skip a step or have trouble, they can go back and rewatch that portion of the tutorial. If they find another way to do the same thing, that’s even better.  If a student misses a day, they have not missed any instruction. Continue reading “SketchUp Toy Locomotive Lesson”

Sports Photography (In low light)

I was recently asked about shooting fast moving subjects, in this case, football players, in poor lighting conditions.  Stadium lights are nowhere as powerful as the sun and indoor gym lighting can be poor as well and provide its own challenges when finding proper white balance.  I learned how to do this in the cruel, low light of our school gym where everything was painted blue. Continue reading “Sports Photography (In low light)”

HDR Software For Free (Photomatix)

In my photography class for teachers, I have a unit on HDR photography.  If you are not familiar with HDR, this is the process where you take several pictures of the same scene at different exposures so you can capture every element at its proper setting.  Your brain converts all of what your eye sees, but a camera can only capture one level of exposure settings at a time. Continue reading “HDR Software For Free (Photomatix)”

Self-Publishing Yearbooks

Well, self-publishing your yearbook may not be fun at first, but if you break the various tasks into chunks so it isn’t too overwhelming, you’ll get through your first year with a big profit that you can use for growing your program(s) and never have to beg for scraps from the office again. I dived in head-first my first year, but you could phase in some or all of these chunks to fit your needs. Continue reading “Self-Publishing Yearbooks”

SketchUp – An Introductory 3D Modeling STEM Activity For Your Classroom

Here is a video tutorial I created that takes students mouse-click by mouse-click with SketchUp to build a 3D model of a pencil. The student is introduced to some of SketchUp’s basic tools and concepts including, Continue reading “SketchUp – An Introductory 3D Modeling STEM Activity For Your Classroom”