Category Archives: Tech Essentials

Lesson 3: Forensic Sheets

In this lesson, we’re going to act like detectives and use our spreadsheet skills to try and solve a most serious crime…  (a completely fictitious one, but play along for fun).

Forensic Accounting


You’ve been called in by the Glenview Police to offer your expertise in organizing, editing, and analyzing data in Google Sheets. A crime of a most serious nature has been committed in Glenbrook South’s Graphics Lab. The only evidence that the crime scene detectives were able to recover were a series of Google Sheets and a broken wall clock that is believed to be the suspects weapon.
The victim’s name is Hector Macfadden – Mr. Michael Macfadden’s identical twin brother and husband to Isabella Macfadden.
Your job is to organize, edit, and analyze the data in the Google Sheets to try to determine what took place.




The Evidence

Visit each of the links below at the corresponding station with your group members, make a copy of the data for your group start sleuthing.

  1. Phone Records:
  2. Contact List:
  3. Hector and Isabella’s Checking Account:
  4. Michael’s Checking Account:

Lesson 6: Cardboard

In this lesson, we’re going to examine a cutting edge piece of technology and share our findings via Twitter and Blogger.

Google Cardboard?

Conduct a Google Search and form some background knowledge about Google Cardboard. In short, what is it?

Group Responsibilities

In two groups assign the following jobs to your group members:

  • Photographer
  • Researcher (1-3)
  • Technician (1-3)
  • Social Media Manager


With your group members, explore the features of Google Cardboard. The photographer should document your group’s experience with photos. The researchers should find out what Google Cardboard can do. The technician is responsible for downloading apps and “getting everything to work.” The social media manager should tweet out what you’re doing (share the photographer’s pictures via Twitter and use the hashtag TE161 as well as any other relevant hashtags).


Write a review of your experience with Google Cardboard on your blogger portfolio. Answer each of the questions below, and include an image that your group posted to Twitter. Tweet your permalink when you’re done. Include the hashtag #TE161.

  • What is Google Cardboard?
  • What applications are available for Google Cardboard?
  • What was your favorite application?
  • Where can someone purchase Google Cardboard?

Don’t forget to Tweet your permalink!

October 22 Lesson Plan

Sorry I can’t be in class today. I have a meeting during all of Block 3.

Watch This First

What To Do

The first thing you’ll do is get into the small groups that I’ve selected below:

Done Not Done
Suld amd Bilguun Oka
Ralf Bogdan
Anna Florian
Enrique Raol
Ashir Ailar and JC

In your groups complete the following:

  • help each other submit your MLA Essays to Google Classroom.
  • Then print your essays to Printer SBUSP141_2
  • Read your essay to your partner
  • Write a comment at the bottom of this post explaining what you liked about your partner’s essay.


If you finish the steps above before you go to lunch I’d like you to update your Blogger blog by following the directions in the video below.

Video 3C

Please watch the video below (on the big screen) when you return from lunch.

May 19th – Lesson Plan

While I’m away, please watch my instructions below and refer to the steps below:


Use Screencastify to create 5-10 videos featuring the software that we have used this year:

  • Evernote
  • Blogger
  • LastPass
  • Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets
  • Prezi
  • PowToon
  • Twitter
  • Feedly
  • Gmail
  • Animoto
  • WeVideo
  • etc.

Project Files

Add the folder below to your Google Drive, then add the media files to your WeVideo account:


Upload your Screencastify videos to your media folder in We Video, then create a new video project. Your goal is to edit a cinematic trailer inspired video for the Tech Essentials class. Use the book trailer video from The Four Hour Chef below as inspiration for this project:


  • Trailers should be as long as the music file in the “Project Files” folder.
  • On Thursday, we will add footage that we record with digital cameras, so leave space
  • Try to synchronize your video cuts with the changes in the song

If You Finish Early

Please watch this incredibly interesting episode of “Download: The True Story of the Internet.”

Lesson 2: Podcasting

Whatever your interest or hobby may be, chances are good that a podcast exists specific to it.

What’s a Podcast?

A podcast is like a talk radio show except that instead of being delivered over radio waves, it’s delivered via the internet. Most people listen to podcasts on their smart phones in the car, while working out, or while doing chores.
Anyone with a microphone and a computer can create a podcast which means the content is far reaching and the quality runs the spectrum from professional to almost un-listenable.

A Kardashian Tale

A little while back, you may have seen or heard in the news that Kim Kardashian posted a picture online to a website that drew millions on viewers. This is the story of the man responsible for making sure the site didn’t crash under such a heavy load of visitors.

Mic Note

Visit the Chrome Web Store and download the application Mic Note. Create a new recording that features you interviewing a classmate. Include the following:

  • Introduce yourself and your guest
  • Ask your guest about their first experience with computers
  • Ask your guest what they like to do most on a computer now
  • Ask your guest what they predict the future of computing will look like
  • Thank them for being on your show


Create a new account at and use Last Pass to save your new username and password. Upload your exported recording to PodBean (think of PodBean as an audio only version of YouTube). Publish the recording and submit your link to Google Classroom.

Profile and Header Image

In this part of the lesson, we’re going to use Photoshop to create original artwork for our PodBean accounts. We’ll download the image below:

In Photoshop we’re going to create each of the following:

  • 600 x 600 Profile Image
  • 1600 x 559 Header Image

How To

Watch the scene below to see, step-by-step, how to create your profile image:

Tie It All Together

Now embed one of your podcasts onto your Portfolio blog.

Lesson 4B: MLA

In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to set the formatting of various elements on an MLA formatted essay.

What We’ll Learn

Before you start Part 1 and Part 2, make sure you know how to do each of the following:

  • add a header
  • insert a page number
  • left, center, and right justify text
  • set the line spacing
  • adjust the font (in the header and the body)

MLA Formatting – Part 1


The information below is borrowed entirely from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.
In Google Classroom, open the Google Slides document titled “MLA Essay” and label each bulleted item below using rectangular callout shapes. Paraphrase each bulleted item to fit within the callout. See an example of the first bulleted item after the textbox below.

Formatting the First Page of Your Paper

  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date. Be sure to use double-spaced text.
  • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
  • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play; Human Weariness in “After Apple Picking”
  • Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
  • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.



MLA Formatting – Part 2

With the style guide that you created in MLA Formatting – Part 1, correct the format, layout, and style in the document below (access the file via Google Classroom).

MLA Formatting – Part 3

Once you’ve formatted the document above, click Add-ons > Get add-ons…  in the file menu drop down. Then add the EasyBib Bibliography creator. Then, insert a page break at the end of the paper and add a Works Cited Page following the basic rules below:
The information for the resource used in this paper is here: Andrew Carnegie: The Gospel of Wealth

Basic Rules for Your Works Cited Page

  • Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
  • Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page.
  • Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
  • List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-50. Note that MLA style uses a hyphen in a span of pages.

MLA Formatting – Part 4

Now take what you have learned about MLA formatting and write a paper in the style of the Modern Language Association.  You can write about anything you want so long as you meet the following criteria:

  • Your paper is about something you are interested in, and I learn something (1 page minimum) – 3 points
  • You use proper grammar, spelling, and writing conventions – 2 points
  • Your paper is formatted properly according to the Modern Language Association – 5 points
  • Include a proper citation – 1 extra credit point

Unit 6: Technology Operations and Concepts

One of the key skills in becoming a technologist involves transferring your current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

Final Project

For your final project of the semester, you will conduct a research project in an area of technology that interests you. You will use the searching, organizing, and presenting skills that you have acquired throughout the term to demonstrate your learning.

Project Requirements

This project will be worth 20 points. You will have three days in class to complete it. On the last regularly scheduled day of the term (January 16th), we will begin presentations. Remaining presenters will present during the final.

Developing a Good Research Question

While the video below pertains to writing a college level paper, it will offer you great insight into developing focus for this project.

Developing a Research Question

The worksheet below has been shared with you via Google Classroom. Complete it to help you develop a strong research question.

Lesson 3: WeVideo

In this lesson, you will use non-linear editing software to create a movie trailer style video or the Tech Essentials class.

Tech Essentials Movie Trailer

New York Times best selling author Tim Ferriss is a master of publicity. The video below features a movie preview style trailer to his most recent book – The Four Hour Chef. We’re going to do the same thing as Tim only for our Tech Essentials class. Take a look at his video below:

Download the project files below, extract them, upload them to Google Drive, and then import them into


As in the sample video above, you saw a lot of footage spliced together. This is often referred to as B-Roll. It doesn’t exactly tell a sequential narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, but it does provide coherent visual stimuli that compliments the message of the production.

Your job is to capture B-Roll of the types of things that we have done in Tech Essentials this year using the video cameras and the screen casting software Screencastify. Then, insert it into our class preview video package.
Be creative, work in teams, and use a tripod!

Shared Folder

Upload your footage to:


Visit the following link to create a WeVideo account: 


Include the following in the description of your video.

This video was largely inspired by the cinematic trailer of The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss:


Once you’ve written your reflection, tweet the link to your post using and the hashtag #TE161.