Thursday, April 29, 2021

Playful Learning Lounge at Dynamic Landscapes conference

One of the ways I'm finding joy this month is to connect and play with my playful colleagues as we prepare for the Playful Learning Lounge at Dynamic Landscape conference  starting next week.

 I so missed engaging with my colleagues and friends at the Innovation Lounge of our f2f conferences each year, that I just had  to bring a  group of them together to play at Dynamic Landscape.  We hope you'll join us and stop by the Playful Learning Lounge every Monday and Thursday during the 3 weeks of Dynamic Landscape starting May 3 where you can roll up your sleeves and create and make as you  pick up some new tips and tricks for designing playful learning experiences with kids.  Come by to play with 

  • the cardboard queen - Caty Wolfe from Center for Tech at Essex)
  • Patricia Aigner from Rutland City Schools for some paper engineering
  • Darcie Rankin from St. Albans City School and some LOOSE Parts
  • Kristen Wilson from River Valley Tech Center and her MicroBits 
  • Tony Galle from St. Albans Town School and his 3D printing genius 
  • and ME as I get you started with SVG graphics on a Chromebook that you can use on your 3D printer, Cricut Cutter, Laser Cutter, Large Scale Printer, Embroidery Machine and more

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Playful Learning - SVG


Excited to announce that I've been able to organize a group of my maker educator friends to create a Playful Learning Lounge at Dynamic Landscapes 2021.   Come play with Caty Wolfe, Patricia Aigner, Darcie Rankins, Kristen Wilson, Tony Galle and myself at the Dynamic Landscapes Playful Learning Lounge 2021.   Come play with us!  Here's a sneak preview of my session where we create an SVG graphic than can be turned into something that brings you joy. 

Finding Joy - SVG Project
for Dynamic Landscape 2021
Playful Learning Lounge

Learn a New Skill, Tips, and Tricks for creating using SVG Graphic

If I sent you to find joy, where would you go?  Where would you look? 

Let's create a simple object that reminds you of something that brings you joy. 
This object could be a keychain, a sun-catcher, an ornament,  a laptop sticker, window decal, or even a piece of jewelry,   Here is an example of what we will make. 
Cardboard prototype & acrylic earrings

The first thing you'll need to do is to design a scalable vector graphic file or an SVG file. 

We'll use  - a free cloud-based design application that can be used to design SVG files. 
Start by creating an account on  I use my Google Account.  Then use the short video tutorials  below to create your SVG graphic file. 

Getting started with Gravit

Designing using Basic Shapes

Creating Compound Shapes from Simple Shapes

Integrating Pre-made SVG designs 

Saving and Exporting your SVG design

Create and Make Time with your New Skill and Share a Picture or Video here! Select the appropriate column on our Padlet.

Connect and Discuss ideas for designing playful learning using SVG graphics Share your ideas during our Dynamic Landscape Playful Learning Lounge or add them to the comments of the prompt found on our Playful Learning Padlet

Enter the No Tech - Low Tech - High Tech  Playful Learning Challenge

More tutorials working with GlowForge Laser Cutter 

1) From Google Drawing to Lasercut Designs for the Glowforge - Getting Started
2) From Google Drawing to Lasercut Design for the Glowforge - Next Steps

3) Creating Laser Cut Designs using Gravit for the Glow Forge -- a Cloud based Vector App -

Getting Started with Gravit using Primitive Shapes
Getting Started - Finding Joy Project
Getting Started with Gravit Importing SVG graphics

4) Creating Laser Cut Designs using Gravit Next Steps -- Working with Text

And for a wonderful set of short intro video tutorials to Gravit, check out John Umekubo's series here starting with his BASICS tutorial below

5) Creating Laser Cut Designs using Inkscape - Getting Started

6) Creating Laser Cut Designs using Inkscape - Next Steps

Inkscape Tutorial for Laser Cutter from Washco Utah Library Makerspace


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Steps for Assembling Your WeVideo Project with Remote Collaborators

 So far in this series on Making Media with Remote Collaborators we have covered  

Steps for Organizing a project with remote collaborators
Step 1 for Organizers - Build Community & Select Script
Step  2 & 3  for Organizers  (Create Rehearsal Material and Setup Collection Process for Recording)
Step 4 for Organizers  - Communicate with other Remote Collaborators

Steps for Performers, Singers, Artists, Actors

and now it's time to pull it all together into a Final Production (Performance) which include 
Steps for the Video Producer and related collaborators

I like to use WeVideo  for these steps for several reasons.

1) It is accessible and affordable

The fact that so many of our schools  now provide a WeVideo EDU account to their students and staff in our state is a testimony to their commitment to Equity, UDL, and Creativity.  School's made a big step towards digital equity when they moved to a one-to-one model providing one computer per student.  The price of Chromebooks made this possible for many school districts.  However, the Chromebook does not come with creativity tools that students who use laptops have access to.  ALL students need access to video creation tools.  So many schools have used $ on the savings from purchasing a Chromebook to add a WEVIDEO  EDU license to the device, making it possible for ALL students to be able to create video projects and podcast projects ANYWHERE, ANYTIME!.  That is definitely a sign towards Walking the Walk of Digital Equity. 

Of course this also speaks to Universal Design for Learning - as students now have tools that can provide "Multiple Means of Expression" and "Multiple Means of Engagement" 

And for those who only have access to the Free Version- you can upgrade your access to the Pro Version for a month to complete this step. 

2) It is collaborative

The options for Project Collaboration has been part of WeVideo for a long time.

The key to collaborating is to make sure you choose the Collaboration Option when creating your PROJECT at the BEGINNING of the project.  At this time, WeVideo does not allow you to change the Personal Project types to Collaborative Project types after they are created.  If you just assume that you MIGHT be collaborating during your project from the GET go, you'll be able to invite collaborators later. 


If the Video you are creating or editing is part of a Collaboration Project, you can invite  others to edit the video in one of three ways.  My favorite way is to use INVITE with a LINK and send the link to others when i'm ready to invite them.   This works great if you can trust your collaborators to NOT share the link with others.   If that trust is not there, then I would suggest selecting individual members from your organization.   I rarely have need for EVERYONE in my organization to have access to a project. 

Who Can Collaborate?

That's up to your WeVideo Administrator.  I recommend that they turn this feature on for Students AND Teachers.  Since Collaboration is one of the dispositions or habits of minds we are working towards in all of our students,  why not use video projects as a vehicle to grow this skill in our students. 

You also have to be in the same ORGANIZATION to collaborate. Currently there is no feature to allow for collaboration between schools/orgs.  One tip for inviting others  from outside your school to become collaborators  (i.e. author, mentor, etc)  is to ask your admin to save a couple WeVideo licenses for outside collaborators.  You can invite them for a "short period of time" then  reclaim the license and reuse the license for a different outside guest to  collaborate with your students. 

Breaking News:  Collaboration with WeVideo just got even sweeter with the new REAL TIME COLLABORATION feature.

3) It's easy to learn 

WeVideo Academy is filled with effective short tutorials that teach you what you need when you need it in the matter of minutes. 

The Podd Brothers have a great 15 minute tutorial that walks you through creating a virtual choir video with WeVideo available on  the free stuff section of their website.   These steps can be used with most any collaborative video project. 

Let's Walk through the Process of Producing the Video of your Readers Theater Project. 

Of course - Log into 

(You can get started with a free account, but will need to upgrade to access certain features) 

1. Click on PROJECTS. 

If you are starting a new project, Select Create a New Project by hovering in the upper right hand corner.

If you are trying to access a project that you created earlier or one that someone else invited you to simply click on PROJECT in the side menu and select MY Projects or Projects Shared with Me. 

You can create as many videos as you want inside a collaborative project and all members of the project will be able to edit any of these videos.  Everyone who is a member will also be able to access ANY media located in the PROJECT Media folder. 

To invite remote collaborators to a project, you can RIGHT CLICK on the project name and click INVITE Collaborators. 

2.  ADD  and Organize Media

As we saw back in earlier post, there are several ways that collaborators can contribute to the project as actors, artists, singers, etc without being invited to EDIT the Video. 

Check out this post in the Steps for Organizer to learn how to set up a Drop Box Request or a Google Drive to collect media from many remote collaborators. 

It is important to note that the MEDIA DOES NOT become accessible to the whole project until the project organizer follows BOTH of these two steps. 

 --- Import  MEDIA into his/her WEVIDEO account from Drop Box or Google Drive
---  Right Click on the media and SHARE TO PROJECt 

Once both of these steps are complete, all members of the project can access it.  Here is a short video that demonstrates these two steps. 

Keeping media organized in FOLDERS is most helpful.  
Use the New Folder icon in the newWeVideo interface to create a new folder 
You can also Right Click in the My Media interface.

2.  Getting Oriented to WeVIDEO Layout 

4.  Add the Script or Instruction via Google Doc as a Linked Resource 

An often overlooked feature of WeVideo is the ability to add Google Docs to linked resources. 

4.  Adding the Actors to their own Video Tracks

Drag each actor's video to its own track. 
Rename the Track

Add a Video Track called ALL ACTORS

Resize and Reposition the Individual Actor Videos as you add them to the track 
Note:  Important to do this BEFORE you start splitting and trimming the videos.
Crop as necessary using WeVideo's new Crop Video tool. 
Double click on the video to get the following controls.

If desired you can add a Background slide with Green Screen Cutouts on its own Track.
This track needs to be above all the Actor Track. 

I created the above background slide in Google Slides.
While in Google Slides -
Add Shapes
Remove the border of each shape and fill it with a green to use the green screen effect in WeVideo. 
Download the background slide as a PNG and import it to WeVideo Media /  Project Media folder. 

Use the Color to remove the Green so color and allow the actors videos to show.
Adjust the actor position and size until you are pleased with the effect.

5.  Splitting and Sequencing the Actor's contributions

Split and Trim each Actor's video into sections
Zoom in and use the sound waves to make this easier.
Delete the scraps (or dead air)

Drag each actor to the ALL READERS Track in the correct sequence
Test as you go muting and unmuting as necessary 

6. Adding aa Title and Credits

Use the Title features to add Titles and Credit

Add Animation, Graphics, as desired
Use WeVideo Essential or make your own

7. Add Music and Sound Effects

Use WeVideo Essential or make your own

8. Finish and Export your Video

Decide on privacy setting and where you would like to export to live

Your Readers Theatre Performance of Video Project is Ready to SHARE with your Audience!