Category Archives: Online Function

Bringing Color into the Field….err Fold.

Bringing color into the fold in design and projects within the classroom is now easier.  Recently, I learned about Adobe Kuler where using the standard color wheel you can observe how color schemes work together.  At first, I struggled to see how this might work within an agriculture classroom; however, I believe it may have many possibilities.

Adobe Kuler

You will need to sign-up for a free Adobe ID in order to use Kuler.  This is key because as you explore and create your own color themes, you will want to save them.  Having an ID allows you to save them and even share them through various outlets.  At the top of the page you will see “Create”, “Explore” and “My Themes”.  Create is just that – creating your own Kuler Theme for a projects or just for fun.  The “Explore” tab allows you to view other Adobe user’s themes.  This can be a source of inspiration or just to get an idea of Kuler’s capabilities.  Lastly, “My Themes” provides a collection of your own creations for later use.

Adobe Kuler

As you see there is many moving parts to the Kuler page.  There is a combination of hue, saturation and several other color components.  If you click on the “Color Rule”, there will be a drop down menu that allows you to choose a color scheme based on the where you want colors to fall on the color wheel.  The base color is the middle color as shown below and depending on the types of color rule you choose will determine where the accompanying colors fall in this theme.

Adobe Kuler

The bottom photo shows that I have chosen a monochromatic color theme based on a violet (Hex F227FF) color.  This way I can tell what color compliment this base color or in different situations would contrast it.  (Purple is my favorite color, so I just had to!)

Adobe Kuler


You will see at the bottom of each color there is a RGB and HEX number.  These numbers provide information to use to categorize exactly how much of the RGB color spectrum is used and to denote what HEX color it is for web page coding.  Unless you are doing your own graphic or webpage design these numbers are not that important.

I feel this could be a fun and inspiring resource for many projects within the agriculture curriculum.  I will be using this in Floriculture class to help students understand the color wheel and how colors work together to either compliment or contrast one another.  The interactive properties of this program allow students to really explore their own interests.  In addition, I believe this could be introduced to an Agriculture Business Management Class when talking about marketing.  Being aware of the psychology behind color and how poorly designed works can actually dissuade customers is important.

Happy Teaching…..

Prezi and Socrative: A Fun Voting Activity

Prezi and Socrative: A Fun Combo in Class.

It has been some time since I’ve posted.  A quote by Allen Saunders that seems to always run true for me and has lately had some bittersweet implications is:  “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans“.  Life has a way of interrupting even the best laid plans.  However, going forward, I hope not to neglect this and several other tech based projects I have in the works.

To date, I have not viewed myself as the most creative person in developing innovative activities to differentiate instruction and diversify my instruction approaches.  However, as I try to teach myself new applications, I find that sometimes the best learning happens simply when the students teach each other.  I have used Prezi in several projects in and outside of the classroom.  It’s a fun and innovative presentation producing platform that provide a multitude of components for classroom and business.  I encourage you to go and sign-up to explore the templates within Prezi – you can sign up for free where you get three free Prezi’s to begin your journey.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 9.15.59 PM

Once there, you will find many fun and animated templates to fit your style or topic.  Students had fun finding templates and customizing them for their topic, which for the day was the respiratory tract in Veterinary Science Class.  Below you will find an example of a Prezi template (which I have not filled in with information).  The arrows at the bottom of the page advance you to the next item in sequence of the animation pathway.

Prezi Template Example

At the bottom, of the page, you can see you have many options to store, share or embed your Prezi into whatever other platform you are using.  In our activity in class, I asked students to develop a Prezi on the basic anatomy of the respiratory tract (nose, trachea, etc) and give their function.  They were to include pictures as well.  Once completed, they were asked to share their Prezi via Paperplane (a url sharing system used in the school district).  However, you could create a GoogleDoc and have everyone share their Prezi url there as well.

The final stage for this lesson was to have the students compare and evaluate the information in each other’s Prezi’s.  I found this to be a great review exercise and created a competitive atmosphere within the classroom.  They were instructed to choose two Prezi’s they felt were the best at presenting accurate information in the most efficient manner.  I asked them to post their vote via Socrative.  This is just one way to utilize Socrative as you can also use it to give quizzes, poll the classroom or provide an immediate interactive platform to collect feedback from students.  It too is free to use and does not seem to have any limits in its usage.


Above is an example of the many choices you have with Socrative.  I simply chose the “short answer” category for our final vote on the best Prezi.  A word of caution: to ensure students are accountable for their postings, you can require students list their names before posting anything to the online forum.  This reduces any inappropriate content and promotes high expectations as the entire class will be reading their contributions.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 9.01.26 PM

This activity was a fun and interactive way for students to build content, evaluate it’s accuracy and contribute to the overall success of the class.  I hope to adjust and use this same protocol in other classes and settings.

Happy Teaching….


Hashout the Hashtag…

twitter image



# <— It’s everywhere now right?????

Of all the social media I have trouble conquering it is Twitter!  Making connections are everything in social media and blogging and it takes time.  I have several projects going on right now in addition to a full-time job, so I find it challenging to really become conversant with some outlets.  So I thought I would share some resources I am looking at to hash out the hashtag!!!

This is a great site I learned about from Harrisburg University on how Twitter works.  “Mom This is How Twitter Works”.

Here is a list on some top Agriculture hashtags by Janice Person.

Here is a great site on educational hashtags from Cybraryman.

And just for fun, here is the top 100 hashtags on Instagram (since I am semi-addicted to that app) from the Huffington Post blog.

How to shorten pesky long URL’s…

Google URL Shortener

Google URL Shortener

Ever wonder how those weird little short urls get created????  http://goog.Akrl??

Let’s say I take the following URL (a search on ‘Cows are Awesome’):



I plug it into the Google URL shortener function and it draws up this:

This is so nice if you have presentations and need to use hyperlinks.  Thought this might be of use!