Blog Posts

Working on becoming a Google Certified Educator

I’m  a massive fan of what Google has been doing in the education field. My students and I use their products every day. I teach others how to use Google Classroom and other G Suite Apps and I often find myself being asked questions about Google products during my school day. After talking to a few educator friends and doing some research, albeit brief, online, I’ve decided to work towards becoming a Google Certified Educator Level 1.

I’m always looking to further my education, skills, and experience (as all educators should) and I feel like this is a natural next step in my process. The basic process that Google puts forward is that you sign-up, take 13 Units of at-your-own-pace instruction/training, and then take a 180 minute exam to test your skills.

I started the process tonight and found the content enjoyable and easily digestible. As I’m very familiar with the basics of Google products, I didn’t think the intro stuff would be too hard. And it wasn’t. The final quiz of the unit left me with a few problems because it was marking questions wrong that I knew were right. I figured out that you must capitalize your fill in the blank responses and I was able to move along from there.

I hope to work towards completing all of the units before winter break and take the test over break. The test costs $10 and I honestly don’t know if passing it does anything for my career, but I’m really more interested in what I can learn from it.

In the past I was an online educator for high school students and I currently sell online courses on a variety of subjects, so I’m interest to see how Google does the whole online education thing. I’ve seen what they have done with Google Classroom (love it) and I want to see how deeply rooted the choices in Google Classroom are to their own instruction.

Wish me luck, it’s time to be professionally developed!

How to change the background color in Autodesk Inventor

I’ve been using Autodesk Inventor for half of my life at this point and it’s a software that I love and know well. I’ve been teaching Inventor to my students for the past several years and I wanted to make some videos outlining how to do various tasks in the program.

I plan on adding an entire set of videos showing tutorials of how to do all of the major things in Inventor so that students can easily learn new skills without my direct intervention.

How to download Netflix moves to your iOS device

Netflix just announced that they are allowing user to download videos to their devices for offline viewing. My wife and I are planning on taking an overseas trip next year and this is welcomed news for the flight. In the video below I show you how to download videos directly to your iOS device.

NOTE: Not all movies and shows on Netflix can be downloaded.

SolarEdge Online Monitoring Review: Basic

As part of our solar panel system, we have free online monitoring. The panels run into a SolarEdge inverter, which is web enabled. This gives us the ability to see how each panel is performing as well as monitoring out daily, weekly, month, quarterly, and/or yearly production. It’s a pretty solid system that I find myself checking daily.

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In the video below I review all of the parts of the SolarEdge online monitoring system as well as some of the pluses and minuses.

JuiceBox Pro 40 EV Charger Review

With our recent upgrade to solar, we also wanted to get a Level 2 charger for the house. The same people who installed our solar panels, put in our charger as there is a fair bit of electrical work to do for each.

Before getting the charger I did a ton of research on which had the most bang for the buck. Most chargers start around $600 or so and have a pretty standard feature set. The following were things we considered when looking at chargers:

  • Maximum amperage
  • Wifi and/or app
  • Cord length

After looking over the dozens of options we settled on a JuiceBox Pro 40 from eMotorWerks. It can supply 40 amps of power, has built in wifi and app that allow you to see real-time energy usage, charging state, and a few other features. It also has an option for time of day restrictions so that I could basically turn the charger off when I’m not home. It also has a cord long enough to reach the car if it is parked in the second spot. None of the other chargers I looked at had all of these features.

It’s not a pretty charger by any means, but if I purchased a Nissan Leaf, I’m clearly not super worried about looks.

5 New Things in Camtasia (and 1 disappointment)

My favorite screen capture and editing software Camtasia recently came out with a new version. Needless to say, I got a copy of it instantly and started working with it. After a few hours of use, here are my first impressions:

camtasia9If you are interested in understanding how to use the software, I created a course that will walk you through everything. The course is video based and offers project files, insights, and everything needed to get you up and running with Camtasia. Follow this link to get 50% off of the normal course price.

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