Introductory to Google Expeditions by Mason Keith

 

Google expeditions offers many opportunities with the new Virtual Reality headsets. Expeditions takes the ideals from Google Earth and maps and puts that power into a virtual reality experience. In this blog, I will help guide you to learn how Google Expeditions operates and how to get the best experience out of it. 

 

Specifications

The app requires you to use the app with either any Droid or Apple device. The devices will need to run these operating systems in order to use the app: Android (4.4 and above) or iOS (8.0 and above). The phones used with a virtual reality headset need to meet the required specifications:  

  • GPU comparable with an Adreno 330
  •  720p or 1080p quality phone screen
  • Minimum of 2GB ram
  • 2.4ghz and 5ghz wifi support
  • VR headset compatible screen size

When you have your devices, download the Expeditions app from the Google Play Store or from the App Store. The first time you open Expeditions, you’ll be offered a brief demonstration of the app. In the demo, tap Full Screen to see how the app works without a viewer.

To lead an expedition 

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Open the Expeditions app and tap Lead if you haven’t already selected the guide role.

  1. Make sure your explorers are connected to your Wi-Fi network. You can see how many explorers are connected next to People at the top.
    • If there are no explorers present, tap Connect Explorers or People and see Networking problems for help.
    • To connect from the explorer devices, tap the red Open Wi-Fi Settings link to turn on Wi-Fi and connect to the correct network.
    • If the explorers are connected but the guide is not, they’ll see the message “Hold on. Looking for guide.” Connect your guide device to the same network as the explorers to begin.
  2. Open a downloaded expedition or browse to find a new one. You need to be connected to the Internet to download a new expedition.

After everyone joins an expedition, you can get started. You can only play the scene that’s currently selected.

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How to join an expedition

Open the Expeditions app and tap Follow.

  1. Find the expedition that the guide started, and tap Follow.
  2. 2.Place the phone in your viewer.
  3. Move your head to look around.

Here is a tutorial on how to operate Google Expeditions:

Bio

IMG_0844Mason Keith (@maskeithHD) is a Senior at Ash Grove High School. He is a member of the Ash Grove Student Help Desk. Mason plays baseball and football and is also involved in BETA, FBLA, and STUCCO. He plans on attending OTC and then Missouri State pursing a career in Business.

Infinity New Tab

Infinity new tab is a Chrome-based cloud applications platform, for easy use of Chrome. For someone who is new to Chrome this would be a great way to learn how to use this software.

First enter extensions and download Infinity New Tab.

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Open up a new tab and Infinity New Tab should come up.

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By clicking on the red plus button in the top right hand corner you can choose what apps you want on your screen. By two finger clicking on the icons will allow you too delete apps.

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Clicking on custom will allow you to put in your own URL to make an icon.

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Therefore Infinity new Tab is great for new users and is very easy to use.

Bio-

IMG_0909 Kyle (@PrattMaster1) is a Junior at Ash Grove High School and a student in the Assist Help Desk. He is on the Ash Grove track team and a member of FBLA. After High School he plans on going to college to become a physical therapist.

Interested In New Tech? Try A.I. Experiments.

With A.I. Technology being relatively new, many people are eager to mess around with the tech, and create really cool applications. You will learn about the experiments from https://aiexperiments.withgoogle.com/.

Giorgio Cam

Starts with the user taking a picture of any object, then the computer uses image recognition to label the object, and create song lyrics based off the label it provides.1

Quick, Draw!:

The computer generates random words for you to draw, and based off your drawing the computer has to guess the drawing.2

The Infinite Drum Machine:

This experiment uses everyday sounds, only the audio of them, and it places similar sounds together, it also allows the exploration of similar sounds, and make your own beats.3.png

Thing Translator:

This experiment allows you to take pictures of objects and it provides how to say it in a different language.4.png

Bird Sounds:

Uses machine learning to organize bird sounds, the computer wasn’t given tags or names, only audio, further showing how far along A.I. technology has come.5.png

A.I. Duet:

Allows music making through machine learning. A neural network was created in the experiment, and was given example melodies and built maps of notes and timings. All the user has to do is play a few notes, and see how the network responds.6.jpg

Visualizing High-Dimensional Space:

This experiments shows the users how machine learning works, and shows the connections the computer makes; by visualizing high-dimensional space.7

What Neural Networks See:

Experiment allows your camera to explore what neural nets see.

8Handwriting with a Neural Net:

This experiment lets you play with a neural network that generates strokes based on your own style of handwriting. 9

 

This is just the beginning of A.I. Applications/Experiments, hopefully innovators can continue these and push these ideas and creations much farther. The future looks bright for technology, and it looks like A.I. is leading the way.

 

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Maxwell Cashio – Student

Maxwell Cashio (@CashioHelpDesk) is a senior at Ash Grove High School in Southwest Missouri. He is currently involved in many activities including: FBLA, FCCLA, Beta Club, Track & Field, Basketball, and Football. Max loves helping out classmates at school with Google Apps whenever he can. His favorite Google Application(s) would be Google Sheets/Forms and how they can do many things to improve productivity and efficiency in any job or hobby.

YouTube 360

With the rising demand for VR (virtual reality) in today’s society, it’s no surprise that some major companies are making a go at promoting this explosive trend into their company or products.

How a 360 Video is Made

If you haven’t done your research, then you are probably wondering how these 360 videos are even made. These interactive videos are made with a special 360 degree camera. Big companies like Samsung have made their own version of the 360 cam, and Nikon even made a water-proof version, used in the YouTube hit “Isle of Jaws”. 

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Image from “Isle of Jaws”

These cameras make filming everything happening all at once a possibility. The video is filmed just like any other video that you would shoot with your phone, it is then processed in a way that allows the gyro function in your phone to control the video and where you are looking during the video.

How to Find a 360 supported video on YouTube

New videos that support the 360 function pop up on YouTube every single day. You can easily find them all over the website. Just simply look up “360 YouTube video” in the search bar on YouTube’s home page. You can also follow this clickable link (“Isle of Jaws”) which will take you directly to the video. Screenshot 2017-02-13 at 11.26.39 AM.png

Usable Platforms

A lot of people, although not knowing about these videos, have heard all the rage about these “headsets that make you dizzy”. V.R. headsets have become very popular over the last couple of years, specifically in gaming, and for use with a mobile phone. Google stepped up to make what is called the “Google Cardboard”, a small cheap V.R. headset made out of cardboard, and two plastic magnifying lenses. You simply slide your phone in with a Cardboard compatible app or video and your ready to go.

More extreme versions of V.R. headsets have been made, and run on their own Operating System. They come built with the screens already on them, and that’s not all. The HTC Vive comes with two controllers that act as hands in some of the V.R. games that you can get for it.

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“HTC Vive” shown above

Along with the HTC Vive, there is another main stream V.R. Headset you may have heard about. Launched by Playstation as a prototype in 2016, and now available for the public to buy, The Playstation V.R. is making headlines everywhere, and if it wasnt strictly used for console gaming, the HTC Vive would have some pretty hefty competition.

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“Playstation VR” shown above

Buntitled-drawingio:

Kaelin Tate was born in Ash Grove Missouri. He is involved in FBLA, Golf, Band, and Help Desk. Kaelin likes working on computers and being outdoors.

Twitter: @AG_King15

Automated QR Codes Using Google Forms

Using QR Codes and Google Forms to Automate Student Check-in

In this post, we look at how you can use the magic of Google Sheets to create unique QR codes for students that reduces check-in to a scan of a QR code and a couple of clicks, and (even better) sends the info to a Google Sheet that can be viewed by teachers and administrators in real time.

This is great for data purposes: How much time does a student spend getting math help? Or (my favorite question) how long does it take the average student to go to the restroom? Seriously, though, this is an amazing tool for ensuring student safety by helping us track where students are at any given point of the day. This would also be a great way to speed up the checking out of equipment (e.g. generating a QR code for each device that will pre-populate all of the information when scanned).

Basic Process

The basic process is to use the “get prefilled link” option in the Form under “more” (the three dots on the top right) to generate a pre-filled URL for the form. We then use this link as a pre-fill URL template for the form. For my Form, the prefill link looks like this:

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If we analyze the link, it’s a little messy, but we can see where the pre-fill information (student name) has been placed in the middle. Changing this one piece of information will change the information that automatically populates in that field when we load the form through this link. Google Sheets is a great way to create a unique URL for many students all at once.

The video below shows this process from beginning to end.

Load and pre-fill a Google Form with QR Codes

Steps:

  1. Create the Google Form that will be used to submit your answers
  2. Create an Excel file that contains all information you want prefilled (students names or emails, etc.) with one cell for each field to be filled.
  3. Get the “prefilled link” for the Google Form and use the “Concatenate” formula in Sheets to quickly create a unique prefilled URL for each student.
  4. Format the sheet with URL in one column, and title in the next
  5. Use the “QR Code Generator” Add-On in Google Sheets to generate codes with titles

A little note:

I keep getting this question, so I want to clarify that this will not fill in a form that is already open. What these pre-fill links do is open the google form with the information pre-filled to minimize typing and possible typing errors.

A special thanks to the King of Google, Mr. Houp, who upon seeing my previous round-about method of generating QR Codes in Sheets, suggested there might be an Add-On for that, which resulted in my discovery of the amazing “QR Code Generator”.

Gadient_pic.pngBio:

Sharon Gadient is a Math Teacher at Ash Grove High School. This is her eighth year of teaching mathematics, and she still loves it. Sharon enjoys applied mathematics, and has a special fascination with fractals (both the pretty and the useful). Her hobbies include playing with technology, writing, and curling up on the couch with her German Shepherd to watch Dr. Who.

Twitter username @library_ghost

Fix “Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged” Error

This error message is scary. Luckily, it does not take many steps to resolve and shall soon be nothing more than a distant memory, just follow the steps outlined below.

Solution 1

Power Off, Power On

If the error message persists, shut down the Chromebook by holding down the power button for 5 seconds.  Then, tap the power button to power it on. The Chromebook should be fully operational.

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The power button is labeled “3”.

Solution 2

Perform a hard reset

A hard reset is achieved by simeltaneously pressing the keys “Esc” + “Refresh” + “Power”.  The screen will go black as soon as all three are pressed. After 5 seconds, the Chromebook is safe to power on and resume normal activitites.

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1: “Esc”             2: “Refresh”           3. “Power”

Developer Mode:

  1. Press Ctrl+D to go into developer mode and then click the “Enter” key.
  2. Press “Spacebar” key and then click the “Enter” key.

Finalize Hard Reset:

  1. Click the “Spacebar” key
  2. Click the “Enter” key
  3. Great job!

The computer is now ready for “Enterprise Enrollment” again!  Just signed in twice and you are good to go!

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Solution 3

Reinstall the Chrome Operating System

Warning: All local data will be lost in this process. However, all files stored in “Google Drive” will not be affected.

Excerpt from Google’s help page below:

What you need to create recovery media
Make sure that you have:

A USB flash drive that can hold at least 4 GB, and that you don’t mind completely erasing. You can also use an SD card if your Chromebook has an SD card slot.
An extra Chromebook, Windows, or Mac computer with administrative rights and the Chrome browser installed.

 

 

Step 1: Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility app
On the working computer (not the Chromebook with the error), install the recovery app.
Open the app.

Step 2: Identify your Chromebook
In the screen that appears, type in the model number of the Chromebook you want to recover.
You can find this number at the bottom of the error message on your Chromebook.
Click Continue.

Step 3: Insert your USB flash drive or SD card
Important: All the information on the USB drive or SD card will be deleted. Make sure you’ve backed up those files.

On the working computer, insert your USB drive or SD card into an open port. The recovery app will show all storage devices connected to your computer.
Use the dropdown menu in the app to select the correct storage device.
Click Continue.

Step 4: Create a recovery image

Click Create now.
The tool will create the recovery image on your USB drive or SD card. Don’t remove the storage device yet.
When you see a message saying that your recovery media is ready, remove the storage device from your computer.

If you are continuing to experience troubles, you can navigate to Google’s support page.


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Bio:

Cole Davis (@Cole_Davis64) is a student at Ash Grove High who attends classes at OTC for Computer Information Science. He dabbles in 3D animation in his spare time, and likes to help people make the most out of their computers. It’s not uncommon to find him browsing spicy memes, or making some internet.

Improved writing by Speaking!

Fast and Easy

Voice to text can be used on almost all phones nowadays but mainly just smartphones such as LG and iPhone’s.

Easy Texting/Typing

Many people type by hand ideas or thoughts in their head every day, whether its by phone or computer.

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Speak your mind to type

While typing its easy to get stuck and forget what popped into mind.

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A Quicker way to type

By using voice to text, this allows for someone to let their thoughts flow onto the screen just as fast as they think of them.

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Now there is an improved way of texting or typing up an essay, and its called voice to text! A way of being able to say everything without forgetting or getting halted. By using voice to text this allows an individual to speak what comes to mind first and not having to worry about the typing speed keeping up with the thoughts that are going through the mind.


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Bio: Riley Benton (@beefcakes39) is an Ash Grove high school student who loves sports and is also a member of FBLA, STUCCO and FFA.  He plans on going to a community college and learning multiple of handy skills and applying that to his future job.