Sunday, February 19, 2017
Have you heard of a hands-on game for kids to experiment, build, and learn through video game creation and at the same time acquire computer science skills? Bloxels will provide all of these experiences for students. While students are creating their own video games, they are engaged, collaborating, and acquiring crucial skills that will help them be successful in their future.
Bloxels is a game that uses a game board and the Bloxels app, which can be found at the Apple Store, or Google Play store. It will allow students to build, capture, design, play and share their video games. Additionally, students can create a game or room layouts, pixel art, animations, backgrounds, and characters. Bloxels is considered to be a platformer game which similar to Mario Brothers by Nintendo.
This game will expose students to many computer science concepts such as coding, problem solving, critical thinking, logical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and provide them with innovative opportunities. Applying these skills are very important in today's society and will be beneficial throughout their lives, especially in the job market when they graduate from school.
What's included in the box set?
The game board is a physical board that has 13 rows x 13 columns, for a total of 169 boxes or rooms. It also comes with 9 different colored cubes where each color represents a different purpose. See the chart below.
Create an Account
In order for students to utilize this platform, they will need to download the app to their device and create an account. I recommend that the students create an account so that they can save their progress. The teacher or parent will receive an email to confirm the account. Once this is completed, students can save their progress to their account. If an account is not created, the students can still create and build, however they will be in guest mode, where the progress is not saved.
Let's Get Started
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I create an animation on linking to cell ranges in Google Sheets.
You can also read more about it on the G Suite Update blog.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
I provide a lot of professional development to staff at my school district throughout the year. While other facilitators may provide treats or other types of rewards for their attendees, instead, I reward them with a customized digital badge.
Last year, I started to distribute digital badges for all of the attendees in my professional development sessions. Although I received little feedback from them, I still sent it out. I felt they deserved it and can proudly display their badge and brag about it.
So how did I do it? First, I used a Google Form to collect their information, including their name, and email address and all of the responses get recorded into a Google Spreadsheet.
Then, I used the Bitmoji extension to create my avatar. This extension can be found on the Chrome Web store. I created a new Google document and activated the extension in the browser. I searched the library to find a Bitmoji that had a positive message or emotion. There are tons to choose from.
Once you choose your category, pick the specific Bitmoji from the category by dragging it into the Google document. Capture it using a screen capturing tool such as Windows Snipit, Jing, Nimbus or Snagit and be sure to save the file to your device or to Google Drive.
Finally, I used Credly to create the customized badge. This application gives you the option to customize the badge shape, icon, text, border and colors. I found this tool to be user friendly and quick to learn. I would highly recommend that you try it by creating a free account.
After you create your badge, it is time to give credit it to the attendees or students in your class via email. Simply go to 'Give' from the menu, select 'Choose an Existing Credit', fill in the recipient's first and last names and email address as shown below. Once completed, simply click 'Send Credit'. The recipient will receive your digital badge.
Once you start creating badges, you will get addicted! I use them all the time to reward teachers, and students on their accomplishments in my class or professional development sessions.
Here is a short animation on using Bitmoji and Credly to create customized digital badges.