Tag Archives: technology project

New Content-Aware Feature in Photoshop CC

Straighten a picture in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware feature. You may have a crooked photo that would look better if it was straighter. First, crop using the Straighten option. This option allows you to set the horizon line and then apply a Content-Aware feature to edit the picture. Here’s how in 10 quick and easy steps:

  1. Open Photoshop CC.
  2. Open a photo of your choice that is crooked.
  3. Click the Crop Tool. From the Options bar select Straighten.
  4. Draw a line to represent the horizon.
  5. photoshop crop

  6. The image is straightened and cropped. Notice the areas where you lose a lot of your picture.
  7. photoshop straighten

  8. Click Content-Aware from the Options bar. The area to be cropped is adjusted.
  9. content aware

  10. Drag the selection handles to include or exlude any area of the photo.
  11. Click Commit to complete the operation.
  12. technophotoshop

  13. Save the picture.
  14. Close Photoshop.

This is an optional extension activity in the newly revised TechnoPhotoshop project. Read all about Photoshop lessons for beginners here!

Top 3 Reasons to Read and Write a Biography


In TechnoBiography, the newest technology project introduced by TechnoKids Inc., students select a notable person and learn how to write a biography. They are guided through the research process, learn how to write a personal history using headings, create a graphic organizer highlighting contributions, and showcase online artifacts related to the person.

But why is reading or writing about a famous or remarkable figure valuable?

biography technology project

In TechnoBiography, select a remarkable person, learn how to research, then write a biography.

1. A Biography Integrates Curriculum and Technology

An indepth investigation into a remarkable person can fit into almost all curriculum areas: language arts, history, social studies, science, art, or computer studies. Here are some ideas:

  • Write a Life Story: Practice expository writing. Write an engaging life story that offers insight into a person. Captivate reader’s attention.
  • Celebrate a Historical Figure: Develop a deeper understanding of a historical period. Research the contributions of a historical figure. Explain their importance to the past and influence on future events.
  • Acknowledge a Hero: Inspire others with the accomplishments of personal hero, role model, mentor, or newsmaker. Detail their successes and challenges. Outline reasons their efforts are admirable.
  • Investigate Scientific Contributions: Appreciate amazing research findings and inventions. Outline the path to discovery of a scientist. Explain how their work has improved the lives of others.
  • Appreciate the Arts: Learn about an art period or artistic style by studying a famous artist. Examine their artwork. Describe its meaning and how it influenced other artists.
  • Develop Word Processing Skills: Introduce advanced word processing skills in a computer studies course. Learn to customize styles, insert a table of contents, draw a graphic organizer, organize data using tables, adjust page layout, and add bookmarks.

2. A Biography Provides Inspiration

Reading about the real life story of a successful or remarkable person often influences, motivates, or provides encouragement. As students learn about the challenges that others have overcome, they can make connections to their own lives. They may recognize the hardships that a historical or contemporary figure has faced and relate them to their own struggles. The insight gained in studying a biography can include an affective, emotional component beyond curriculum objectives.

3. A Biography Teaches Life Lessons

Even though the practical skills learned in school – how to solve complex math problems, how to write an essay, or maybe even how to program a computer – are important skills for career, there are other critical lessons students need. Learning about the life story of a successful person can teach essential life skills, such as:

  • persevere to achieve goals
  • maintain a fair perspective and recognize other viewpoints
  • listen to learn from others
  • learn to be independent without relying on the opinion of peers
  • take personal responsibility and accountability for your choices and actions
  • develop a love of learning
  • deal with failure
  • be kind, helpful, and considerate of others

Learning from the real experience of others is a great tool to help young people grow into successful, contributing members of society.

Launch a Business Venture with Your Students

TechnoRestaurateur Computer Project

Are you a teacher using Google Apps? Are you looking for an engaging and authentic computer project to inspire your students? Just this week, TechnoKids announced the most recent technology project designed for Google Apps for Education: TechnoRestaurateur, a unique integrated project that uses Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Google Drawings.

In this project, middle and high school students launch a new restaurant concept, create professional documents, and build practical, real-world spreadsheet skills to analyze the success of their business.

TechnoRestaurateur Computer Project

Applying critical and creative thinking skills, students begin by conducting a survey of their peers. They organize the data in Google Sheets, create a pie graph, and use the results to make decisions about the restaurant. Then they use Google Drawings to create a company logo.

The next step is to write a professional letter with Google Docs in order to raise seed money.

TechnoRestaurateur Professional Letter

With the funding secured, students design a floor plan.

Restaurant Floor Plan

Build graphic skills using Google Drawings to design a restaurant floor plan.

Once the restaurant has opened and operated successfully, financial earnings are analyzed. Using Google Sheets, students organize monthly profits and analyze their earnings to develop a business strategy. They calculate and graph quarterly and average earnings and learn how to interpret a trend line to predict future profits. Finally, the business is advertised using a newsletter to potential investors as a franchise opportunity. The newsletter includes the restaurant logo, floor plan, and earnings graph to support the promotional text.


Checklists in the workbook build organizational skills and help students to ensure that they have completed all parts of the assignments.

For teachers, TechnoRestaurateur includes editable marking sheets and a skill summary checklist.

The TechnoRestaurateur computer project also has optional enrichment extension activities:

  • Use Functions to Analyze Earnings – Experiment with additional spreadsheet functions to analyze restaurant financial data.
  • Share Your Files with Investors – Create hyperlinks that link to other documents and then share the newsletter with potential investors.
  • Use Google Slides to Advertise a Deal – Design an animated electronic bulletin board to display special offers or upcoming events in the restaurant.
  • Use Google Forms to Rate Opinion – Build a survey about the restaurant. Have peers rate the food, service, menu items, entertainment, or an idea of your choice. Design a rating scale, have peers complete the survey electronically, and then analyze the summary of responses.

Read more about TechnoRestaurateur, view learning objectives, and see sample teacher guide excerpts and completed sample projects at Technokids.com.

Design a Fan Club Newsletter using Google Docs

Design a Newsletter
This week TechnoKids released a new, innovative computer project in which students express their passion for a topic. In TechnoNewsletter, students make a fan club newsletter with a series of articles designed for a target audience. They learn how to create a professional-looking publication using Google Docs or Microsoft Office.

Integrate Language Arts with Word Processing
The activities in TechnoNewsletter make learning essential word processing skills fun. Students write three articles about their topic including a Top 5 list that shares an insight, Word Search of topic related terminology, and an Opinion piece that argues a viewpoint. In TechnoNewsletter, students:

  1. Design a publication for a target audience
  2. Organize ideas using a planning sheet
  3. Write articles expressing a viewpoint
  4. Reference information sources with footnotes
  5. Revise writing to correct errors
  6. Share a publication in print or electronically

Engage student interest. Design a fan club newsletter. Teach essential word processing skills.

Make Learning Meaningful to Middle and High School Students
TechnoNewsletter integrates into curriculum. Students connect with a fan base of readers that are enthusiastic about a topic. The newsletter could be about a pop culture icon, school club, sports team, historical figure, travel destination, environmental issue, novel study, or scientific discovery.

Teach Valuable Word Processing Skills

Students learn important and advanced word processing skills, including:

  • format text to make it easy to read
  • list ideas using bullets or numbers
  • set line and paragraph spacing
  • copy, paste, and find text
  • crop, adjust color, and text wrap images
  • arrange content using a table and set cell properties
  • organize content using page breaks, page number, headers, and footers
  • adjust page layout
  • reference information sources

Challenging enrichment activities support learning. For example, students can co-author an article or engage in an online discussion.

View Samples for Inspiration

Included with the resources in this project are three sample newsletters. For teachers, the samples provide suggestions for curriculum integration. Students can study the samples to spark their own creative ideas.

  • TechnoStar – a fan club newsletter based on a fictional pop culture character
  • Amelia Earhart – a newsletter with a historical theme
  • Composting – an informative newsletter about an environmental issue