Author Archives: Christa Love

Christa Love

About Christa Love

Christa Love, Vice President - Christa Love has a passion for education and technology. A graduate from Brock University she has an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Bachelor of Education in Primary and Junior divisions, and Masters of Education in the area of Curriculum Studies. Her work at TechnoKids Inc. began more than twenty years ago as an instructor at a local learning center. Since that time she has operated the summer camp program, taught at the research and development center at John Knox Christian School, trained educators throughout the province on issues related to technology integration, and overseen the curriculum development of hundreds of technology projects. In recent years, Christa has become the vice president of TechnoKids Inc.

Google Forms Lessons – TechnoQuestionnaire

Christa’s Top TechnoKids Pick

It was my turn to choose a favorite TechnoKids technology project this month. After lots of waffling, I finally settled on TechnoQuestionnaire, a technology project with Google Forms lessons ideal for Grades 6-12.

It was very difficult for me to pick only one. I love each technology project that TechnoKids publishes for different reasons. For example, I like the creative spark that ignites when students complete TechnoToon. The graphic stories always look fantastic when they are finished. TechnoToon is a top selling TechnoKids project, but it is not my top pick.

Another technology project that I love is TechnoBudget. The shopping spree concept is something that engages students. The activities make spreadsheets easy to understand and fun to use. TechnoBudget is a favorite of many teachers, but it is still not my top pick.

Combine Inquiry Based Learning with Google Forms

Why pick TechnoQuestionnaire? The quick answer is I love how Google Forms can be used to create meaningful learning experiences. I wish more teachers used Google Forms in their curriculum.

google forms lessons

Discover how Google Forms can be integrated into curriculum.

I know that many teachers are reluctant to use Google Forms, but it is one of my favorite web-based apps from Google. I like how easy it is to gather information. The variety of question types allows students to gather a range of information. In addition, the automatically generated report clearly summarizes the survey results. I like Google Forms so much that I designed a second technology project, TechnoTrivia, for elementary teachers.

One of the things I like the most about TechnoQuestionnaire is that it uses a real-world problem-solving model. The technology project applies an inquiry-based approach to learning. In the lessons, students learn how to select a research question and design a questionnaire to collect data. Afterwards, they explore data analysis techniques to interpret the findings. TechnoQuestionnaire has activities that offer a practical use of technology. The skills that students learn can be transferred to new situations.

google forms lessons

Google Forms Lessons Make Learning Meaningful

Have Students Become Researchers

I remember being part of the curriculum development team in charge of designing TechnoQuestionnaire a few years ago. In the beginning, I worked with several classes of Grade 7 and 8 students. I had two goals. I wanted students to understand the practical application of Google Forms. I also wanted to design a series of activities that middle and high school students would find interesting. I didn’t want them to be bored. Instead, I wanted them to appreciate the power of Google Forms and understand how they could use it in real life. It was fascinating to watch students become researchers.

When the unit came to an end, the curriculum development team created TechnoQuestionnaire. I like all the things that make it unique. I like the school spirit survey activity because it provides a concrete example of the purpose of a survey. I like the presentation of findings at the end of the project because it gives students an audience bigger than their teacher. I also like the pivot chart extension activity – because I like pivot charts.

Learn More About the Google Forms Lessons in TechnoQuestionnaire

TechnoQuestionnaire is a technology project best suited for middle and high school studnts. Check out my top pick!

Publish Books – TechnoBookmaking

Laurie’s Top TechnoKids Pick

This month’s TechnoKids top pick is from Laurie Gerard. Laurie’s favorite technology project is TechnoBookmaking. In TechnoBookmaking primary and elementary students publish books including picture books, flip flap stories, unfolding riddle books, layer book of facts, bookmarks, greeting cards, and more.

publish books

Publish books with Microsoft Office or Google Docs.

What makes TechnoBookmaking Laurie’s all-time fav is how enthusiastic kids are about what they are making. They are having so much fun! “Kids love the end result, and are always wowed by what they have made.”

Laurie has been a valued TechnoKids team member for over twenty years. One of the things she likes the most about her job is watching the pride students feel when they see what they can do with technology. “I like seeing them smile when they pick their work up from the printer, they just beam!”

publish books

Laurie’s top pick is TechnoBookmaking.

Another reason, Laurie loves this projects so much is because it can easily integrate into any subject area. Students can write a funny story for language arts, a fact book for science, or an unfolding riddle book for social studies. The templates can be used over and over again. This makes it a technology project that a teacher can reuse throughout the school year.

Publish Books with TechnoBookmaking

Check out Laurie’s top pick! TechnoBookmaking, is an engaging project that has kid publish books. Discover what makes it Laurie’s favorite TechnoKids project.

TechnoKids publishes a wide selection of computer lessons for kids. Other titles you may want to check out include TechnoMe. This title is ideal for an All About Me unit. You may also want to learn more about TechnoGallery. This technology project includes a collection of fun drawing activities using Google Drawings. You will be amazed at how creative your students can be with this web-based app.

Engineering Activities STEM for Elementary Students

To be competitive in today’s global economy, students will benefit from an understanding of engineering. It will help them identify possible career pathways. In addition, engineering activities develop problem solving skills, teach essential science and math concepts, and promote collaboration. TechnoKids technology projects can help elementary and middle school teachers integrate engineering into curriculum.

What is an Engineer?

An engineer develops technological solutions by applying their expertise in science and math. During the design process they define a problem, conduct research, analyze information, and develop a solution. An engineer must test ideas and consider various choices to select the solution that will have the most successful results. The field of engineering is very broad. There are four main branches of engineers: civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical. Each branch has multiple types of engineers that have a wide range of job duties. Most people specialize in a particular field or area of expertise. To learn more about the engineer profession visit Engineers Canada or read the Engineering Wikipedia article.

Many, many years ago the word engineer was used to describe a person who made siege weapons. They were makers of military engines. Today, the term can be used to include a variety of professions. An engineer can be a software engineer that develops computer programs, computer engineer that controls computing devices, environmental engineer that monitors nature, architectural engineer that designs buildings, aeronautical engineers that builds spacecraft, or a biomedical engineer that creates prosthetic limbs. This list is just a few of the exciting career opportunities related to engineering. There are so many more!

TechnoKids Projects and Engineering

TechnoKids projects can be used to teach elementary and middle school students about engineering. The instructional materials are project-based. The engineering activities can be used to develop a foundation for future learning in high school or college.

STEM and TechnoKids projects

STEM and TechnoKids projects

Electrical Engineer

An electrical engineer studies or creates devices or systems that use electricity. This role often includes other branches of engineering. An electrical engineer might write software programs, maintain computer hardware, design telecommunication systems, or design electric devices such as motors or circuits. TechnoKids has projects that apply electrical engineering tasks. For example, in TechnoHTML students become software engineers by writing code to build a web page, and in TechnoSpecialist students become computer engineers by learning about the function of hardware components. These are meaningful engineering activities that students enjoy.

Civil Engineer

A civil engineer designs, constructs, and maintains the physical and natural environment. This job is diverse, extending from infrastructure projects such as roadways to construction projects such as dams. A civil engineer might develop structures such as bridges, build transportation systems such as railways, or conduct environmental assessments such as monitoring air pollution. That is a lot of different types of jobs!

TechnoKids has projects that introduce civil engineering concepts that are suitable for elementary and middle school students. For example, in TechnoRestaurateur students draft a floor plan for a restaurant. This problem solving activity requires students to consider people’s needs to develop a viable layout. The combination of creative and critical thinking required to complete the task is a precursor to applying engineering fundamentals in fields such as architectural engineering. Another TechnoKids project that applies engineering principles is TechnoQuestionnaire. In this project, students design a questionnaire to research an issue, analyze the findings, and propose action based on the results. The design process and reasoning required to complete the activities are similar to the methods used by engineers when researching a problem.

Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer designs and operates machines and mechanical systems. This job includes a wide range of professions. They may manufacture items; design vehicles such as boats, cars, or spacecraft; construct power plants using a range of energy sources (coal, geothermal, tidal, wind, solar); or monitor the efficiency of building systems such as heating or air conditioning. This year, TechnoKids will be creating a project that uses 3D modelling that will target this area of study – it is going to be so fun!

Chemical Engineer

A chemical engineer mixes natural and man-made materials using chemical processes to produce various substances. This area of engineering is vast. For example, it includes refining petroleum, creating paper products, and manipulation of genes. Although a fascinating career path, TechnoKids does not have a project that targets this area specifically. Instead, there are several TechnoKids projects that could be integrated into a unit of study related to chemical engineering. For example, TechnoDebate could be used to explore the ethical issues related to engineering practices, TechnoPresenter could be used to explain an engineering process, or TechnoResearch could be used summarize an engineering topic.

Don’t Hesitate – Integrate Engineering Activities into Curriculum

Engineering activities can be suitable for elementary and middle school students. Instruction does not need to wait until high school or college. Instead, young children can learn about engineering and how it applies to real life to create a foundation for future learning.

Make a Lightroom Web Photo Gallery

Did you notice that Adobe Bridge can no longer create a web photo gallery? No problem. You can make a Lightroom web photo gallery instead. A web photo gallery is a website made from HTML files that displays a series of images using hyperlinks. The home page shows thumbnail images of all scrapbook pages in a grid. When a thumbnail is clicked, a full-size image appears in a frame. A web photo gallery is a creative way to view Photoshop documents. In the past, a web photo gallery option could be made using Adobe Bridge. However, since the recent Adobe update this is no longer available. However, you can use Adobe Lightroom Classic to create a web photo gallery instead. Lightroom Classic is a photo organizer with editing features.

 Lightroom Web Photo Gallery

Lightroom Classic Web Photo Gallery

Prepare to Import Files into Lightroom Classic

Before importing your Photoshop documents into the Lightroom Classic Library, export each file as a PNG with a unique filename. This will keep the original pages intact, and will help to avoid issues that can occur during import. Place the files into a Student Name Gallery folder to stay organized.

  1. Use your skills to create a new folder in your student folder. Label it Student Name Gallery.
  2. Export each Photoshop document as a PNG into the Student Name Gallery folder.
  3. When finished, close Photoshop CC.

Import Files into Lightroom Classic Library

You need to add the folder to the Lightroom Classic Library. This will import the photos into the program. You can then use Lightroom Classic to create the web photo gallery.

  1. Open Lightroom Classic CC.
  2. In the left pane, in the Folders area, select the Add button. Select Add Folder.
  3. Select the Student Name Gallery folder. Click Select Folder.
  4. The files in the folder should be selected. From the top bar, select Add.
  5. Import Files into Lightroom Classic Library

    Import Files into Lightroom Classic Library

  6. Click Import.

Create a Lightroom Web Photo Gallery

The web photo gallery in Lightroom Classic is similar to the version that used to be available in Adobe Bridge. The output will look and function the same.

  1. Select Web from the bar along the top.
  2. Select the Classic Gallery layout style.
  3. Click Preview in Browser to see what the template will look like.
  4.  Lightroom Classic Web Photo Gallery

    Lightroom Web Photo Gallery

  5. Close the browser tab to return to Lightroom.
  6. In the Site Info area, type in a site title, collection title, collection description, contact name, and web or mail link.

Export the Web Photo Gallery as an HTML File

  1. At the bottom right corner, click Export.
  2. Go to the location where you placed your student files.
  3. Type Web in the File name box.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Close Lightroom.

View the Web Photo Gallery

  1. Go to the location where you saved the Web folder. Open it.
  2. Double click the index.html file to open the photo gallery in a web browser.
  3. view file

    Double click the index.html file.

  4. Click a thumbnail to see a full-size image.
  5. Click Previous or Next to view each scrapbook page.
  6. When you are finished, close the web browser tab.

Looking for More Photo Editing Ideas?

TechnoKids has updated TechnoPhotoshop to work with the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC. Filter, retouch, and superimpose images. Discover how easy it can be to use professional photo editing tools to create unique images.

Photo Editing Activities

Photo Editing Activities