How To Use Smarty Pins

What is Smarty Pins?

Smarty Pins uses Google Maps and gives trivia question that a player must pinpoint the location on the map.

How does it work?

A player is given a question such as, In what US state has the most Superbowl’s been played at? A player would pin a point on Florida. Say a player pins the point in Kansas City as many miles as the player is off are how many miles are taken away from your 1000 mile total given. 

How to play:

First choose either start a new game or choose a category.

Screenshot 2017-01-11 at 10.37.34 AM.png

Choosing start a game allows a player to go straight into a game with a mixture of a bunch of questions from all categories. Choosing a category makes all the questions about that one topic. 

Screenshot 2017-01-11 at 10.38.51 AM.png

Playing the game: (1).gif

Smarty Pins can be fun to play in free time while you learn trivia. Have fun!



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.


Quick, Draw with Google!

Quick Draw is a game built with machine learning. It provides computers with the ability to learn without having to be explicitly programmed.

Machine Learning – It provides computers with the ability to learn without having to be explicitly programmed. Machine Learning focuses on the development of of computer programs that can change when new data/information is given.

How it works

Users are given approximately twenty seconds to draw a randomly selected object

While drawing a computer will start naming off things that the user might be drawing.

They will have six items to draw and extra time does NOT carry over into the next object.

Note: The computer does not base what you drew as a whole. It processes how you drew it by which ways (left, right, up, down) and which lines you started/finished with.

Other Features that can assist you!

After the doodles are completed drawing the six items you will come to a screen that shows whether or not the computer guessed your drawing.Screenshot 2017-01-12 at 10.14.09 AM.png

At this point there are 2 choices:

  1. Click the ‘X’ box to go back to draw more
  2. Click on you drawings
    1. It will show other drawings on how it learned what that object wasscreenshot-2017-01-12-at-10-17-31-am
    2. It show you what the computer thought you doodle could have been.Screenshot 2017-01-12 at 10.21.40 AM.png



Some of the objects that could be drawn include:

Vehicles               Food

Animals                Land features     

Facial Features   Silverware

Tools                     Electronics

Clothes                 Toys

Why use Quick, Draw?

Quick Draw was created to give people a fun example of a how you can use machine learning.



Tyler Howell (@thowellhelpdesk) is a senior at Ash Grove High School in southwest Missouri. He is currently involved with a plethora of extracurricular activities including: FBLA, FCCLA, Track & Field, and a former captain of the football team. Tyler loves helping out students with the google apps. He enjoys using the google applications to assist him in his school work also.

Photoshop for free? Pixlr is pretty close.


Chromebooks do not come pre-installed with any sort of image editing software, and that is a major bummer. There is no need for fear. A website called pixlr has all of the functionality of Microsoft paint and, fortunately, more! Although this software does not have the functionality of Adobe Photoshop, it has many of the basic tools Photoshop has, for free!

Selecting and Opening Files into Pixlr

Step 1


Type     into the address bar of the chromebook and press enter.

 Step 2 (optional)

It is possible to create Free Account to have online storage for images. Go to the top left corner of the screen and click on File>>Open Image Library. This is where you can save and access your pictures anywhere with internet.

Step 3

Here is the largest step. Let us begin by finding an image.  Once a search is submitted, click on images. Then, click on any image. After that, click on view image. Once that loads, right click and select “save image as”. After that, the Chromebook’s file manager will appear. By default, the image will be in the “Downloads” folder of the Chromebook. Click “Save” and there have a saved file!

Tip: File Manager can be accessed by clicking the magnifying glass on the Chromebook’s keyboard and typing “files”. The logo looks like this:


Step 4

To open our file in Pixlr, click on file in the top left corner. Then, click on “open image”. This will open the images in the Downloads Folder on the Chromebook. Select the cat photo, and it will open in Pixlr.

Making The Masterpiece

Now that the image is open, the next step will show some basic functions of the pixlr editor, such as adding transparency to images, and adding text to images.

Adding Transparency To Images

  1. Select the wand tool and left click areas of the image that is not going to be transparent. Tip: Hold down “Shift” on the keyboard have multiple wand selections simultaneously.

       2. Next, clean up the spots on the image that were not quite detected by the wand tool. Select the lasso tool and, while holding shift once again, select the rest of the spots that were missed. Here is the lasso tool’s logo: lasso-tool

       3. Now that the kitty is selected, invert the selection. This replaces the selection with every part of the image that currently is not selected. It inverts the selection.

       4. The final step is to copy and paste the current layer. This can be done by navigating to Edit>>Copy and then select Edit>>Paste. Then, deselect layer 0. From here, the image can be exported as a transparent PNG.

Adding Text To Images

This is a simple process. Click the “A” icon towards the bottom left of Pixlr’s screen. Then, click anywhere on the image. Then, simply type the text that is going to appear, and viola! The

Exporting Images From Pixlr

After the image’s edits are completed, there are multiple places to save the image.

-The chromebook

-Pixlr online storage

-Google Drive

Important: Save the transparent image in the PNG file format. If not saved as a PNG, the transparent sections will become white again.

1.  To do this, simply click “File” on the top left once again, and then click “Save”.  From there, choose the location where the new image will be saved. The picture can be saved in the Pixlr library, or on the Chromebook. In this example the pretty kitty is saved onto the Chromebook directly.

Hooray! A fully functional, online image editor on the Chromebook! There are a lot of different tutorials online for all of the tools Pixlr offers, so do not be shy and jump right in! Good luck and have fun!




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.

Giorgio Cam Take a picture and make music with the Chromebook

What is Giorgio Cam?

This is an AI experiment that takes a picture and tells what the object is in the picture, while putting it into music lyrics.


How does the Giorgio Cam work?

The Giorgio Cam creates rhymes and adds rhythm to the music.  Then it identifies the object, while using the photo to create entertainment with music. 


Why it is fun for learning?

Giorgio Cam uses image recognition to label what the picture is, then the cam turns the labels into lyrics of a song. This AI experiment makes learning things a lot of fun and very interesting.


This is an experiment built with machine learning that makes music with the computer just by taking a picture. It uses image recognition to label what it sees, then it turns those labels into lyrics of a song.


Bio: Riley Benton (@beefcakes39) is an Ash Grove high school student who loves sports and 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 my future job.

The Survey Says….Google Feud! by Mason Keith

Google Feud is a fun little game that Google has created that lets you play Family Feud but uses the top Google search results as the answers. It is a fun experience that allows people to learn more from google and keeping them entertained for hours.

To get to Google Feud:

Search Google Feud and it’s the first result that pops up.

Here is the link to the website-


How to play:

The game gives you 4 options to choose from to start playing; culture, people, names, and questions. When you pick one, you get 4 chances to complete the 10 answer table. The questions that are asked are popular topics people have searched on the Google search engine. The answers are popular questions people have asked about the topic.

Here is a video that displays how the game looks and operates.

Linking the game to Google Search Engine:

When the answers pop up, you have the option to click on them which will take you to the search results of that question. It is a great way to do research within a game. (14).gif


Google is growing rapidly day by day and has not slowed down. Many tools are available to use to help benefit your work, research, or social interaction.  Google Feud is a unique tool offered by Justin Hook using the Google API.  It’s fun game that keeps you entertained while getting work done.


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.

Music Learning Machine

Have you ever wondered what a computer would do if it was played thousands of sounds without any sort of organization? What would the computer think about those sounds, and how would it organize them? Well three really smart Computer scientists had that exact question and they actually brought the project to life in the form of a drum machine that is live via google’s machine learning website.


But what is actually going on here? Let us explore how machine learning categorizes sound.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is the sub-field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. This does not make the computer intelligent or free thinking. The only thing that the computer can do is take in information and organize it however the computer sees fit. Google was very fascinated by machine learning and they invited independent studios join them in building really cool applications using machine learning.

What are the benefits?

Machine learning is being worked on more every day to help in many different professional and educational areas. Computers will be able to organize data without having to be explicitly told how to and that could save many hours of coding and tweaking to a system.

The more Computer Scientists look into machine learning the closer we will get to true artificial intelligence in computers.  We will be able to take a random list of files, like the drum machine files, and just let the computer organize them in a smart way. This opens whole new doors in all fields that use computers and will make computer use much more organic. 

For more info about Machine Learning Click Here for more information.

What is the Infinite drum machine?


Above is a picture of all the sounds on the drum machine, every single dot is a different sound.

Three computer scientists/musicians, Kyle McDonald, Manny Tan, Yotam Mann and their friends at google, took thousands of everyday sounds and noises and gave them to a computer to find out how the computer would organize them. They then plotted all the sounds on a graph and built a drum machine around using these randomly organized sounds. By mousing over the sounds they will play, allowing individuals to explore the graph of sounds and see how the computer grouped them together. After selecting a few of them one can try and make a drum beat out of the random sounds using the dots at the bottom of the screen.


Extra Features

Hitting the random button will pump out four random sounds and clicking the tempo button can change the tempo of the beat. Clicking about will give information about the project. Clicking the filter button to view many different filters for the sounds or make custom own searches.


A short video from the creators


img_20161215_110244Larry (@Larry_Fry_III) is 18 years old, from Bois D’Arc, MO; in his Senior year at Ash Grove High School. He loves everything that has to do with technology. He is also attending OTC’s Computer Information Science course. Larry plans to go on in life to become a programmer or a web developer. He consider myself an expert with google docs and “simi” coding expert in Python, C#, and HTML 5/Css.

Codecademy: A FREE Online Coding Class

 Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages including Python, Java, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, and Sass, as well as markup languages HTML and CSS.

1. First visit their main page and sign up so they can save any completed progress. The site is located at

*NOTE* – They do not use the provided email for spamming and barely send any emails in my personal experience. 


2. Once an account is created, access is granted to any of their free coding lessons. This video created by a few of our A.S.S.I.S.T. board will “assist” in preperation for terminology.

3. Now that the basics are out of the way, the coding adventure can begin. My advice is to begin with Python or HTML since it is an easier to understand language in comparison.


This free service has been a major help to my advancements in coding. In my experience it started my interest in coding and choice in career.  It can be used for basics and introduction and some advanced courses.

Thank you for your time and have a fantastic day.



Zachary Bingham is a senior currently attending Ash Grove High School. His favorite after school activities are playing video games, watching  anime, and creating programs. Knowledge fuels his day to day life as well as exploring new ideas. Prior experience with technology he has had is  taking OTC  Computer Information Science classes for 2 years. He also has had experience with programming languages such as Python,  C#, HTML, and CSS.

Twitter: @zbinghamAG