PD Workshop: How to Design Beautiful Handouts and Other Documents

This week we learned four tools that make it easy to create graphic organizers, posters, online ad graphics, and infographics. This results in products that are more polished – and authentic – than cutting and pasting on paper!

And here’s some work from the workshop participants:


Amy Li:

Sign up for Ofo bike sharing

It’s getting easier and easier to get around Nansha. The latest entrant to the mobility scene is Ofo, a bike-sharing service whose yellow bikes are ubiquitous in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other urban areas.

Foreigners can sign up if they download the app (using Wechat doesn’t seem to work), but the in-app registration mechanism appears to be buggy: it accepts your documents, but forgets that you’ve submitted them when you exit the app. To sign up, you need to contact customer service… but you can also visit Matt K and bring your passport if you want help signing up for Ofo. We’ll be posting video instructions here soon as well if you want to do it yourself and can type some Chinese!

Office for Mac Now Does Real-Time Co-Authoring!

Office for Mac now lets you co-author in real time just like the online version! (Read more at Arstechnica.) To enable this functionality, update your Office apps by opening any of them, go to the Help menu, and choose Check for Updates. After updating, you will be able to open documents and change them with other people at the same time. Note that the other users ALSO need to be on the latest version if they are also using the Mac apps.

Simple Screencasting with a Macbook and Mini-Whiteboard

If you’re in the middle school and have an iPad​, creating a screencast where students draw and explain a concept is easy with an app like Explain Everything. At the high school where students have Macbooks, the drawing part isn’t easy – but it can be with a mini-whiteboard! You can create a simple screencast like this:

First, put your Macbook lid down to 45 degrees and place a small whiteboard directly below the screen:

Use Quicktime Player to record a movie with your webcam. The movie will be upside down and reversed:

BUT we can use Quicktime Player > Edit menu to flip the video horizontally and vertically!

There you have it – easy screencasts with tools you already have in your classroom. When they’re done, have students upload them to Microsoft Stream (https://web.microsoftstream.com/) and share the link with you.

Teaching Video: The Four-Shot Movie

Video projects are always fun for students, and visual literacy is an essential skill in today’s media-oriented world. But we don’t have time to teach the entire grammar of filmmaking. Last week, though, all grade 9 Chinese students learned the basics in a lesson called the Four Shot Movie.

The four-shot movie is the most cost-effective introduction you can ​give to your students before a video project. In 80 minutes, you review the four types of shots, ask students to film a 20-30 second video, and then edit that video in iMovie. Assessment comes in the form of a gallery walk when students walk around looking at other students’ edited films. While students film in groups, each student edits the video clips individually. This short activity teaches shot composition, the importance of brevity and conciseness in editing, and gives them ample feedback from both the teacher and their peers.

Use the turn-key presentation below (link)

and see examples of student work:

Example 1

Example 2