The Maker Portfolio and University Admissions










By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

I am always focused on the end-game. The end-game for students is the next level after they leave K-12. Preparing students to compete and succeed is difficult. There is always a huge debate over where time should be allocated, what subjects are more important, and what skills will be required ten years after graduation.

I do believe there are always trends, and finding those trends can be difficult. Most of the data we gravitate towards, is data that we are directed to look at. The trick to finding trends, is to find new questions to ask. In order to find those questions, I try and look at data through a variety of lenses.

College Admissions Data

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) publishes a report called the State of College Admission. I decided to research the 2014 and 2016 reports (data range from 2006-2015) after being very intrigued by a 2007 article titled, Young, Gifted, and Not Getting Into Harvard. 

The author, 

Of course, evolution is not the same as progress. These kids have an AP history textbook that has been specially created to match the content of the AP test, as well as review books and tutors for those tests. We had no AP textbook; many of our readings came from primary documents, and there was no Princeton Review then. I was never tutored in anything and walked into the SATs without having seen a sample SAT question.

As for my bean sprouts project, as bad it was, I did it alone. I interview kids who describe how their schools provide a statistician to analyze their science project data.

I started to wonder, aside from academics, are university admission processes valuing all the extracurricular work students are doing, and all the stress and time involved in this competitive process. Many extracurricular options involve technology, and require significant investment in time and money.

The data from NACAC was interesting. There are four common summary columns: Considerable Importance, Moderate Importance, Limited Importance, No Importance.

I decided only to review the change of “importance” in the No Importance category. The first three categories are variable. No Importance is not variable, it is absolute, and reflects a definitive negative statement.

Read More @ The International Educator

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QuickTime Trimming Feature: Take a Section of Video or Audio from Anywhere in the Clip

By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

Need Quicktime for Windows?

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From Chrome to Phone App with a QR Code

By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

QR Code Chrome Extension Mentioned in the Video

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Episode 139 – Destroy Dat Data

Tony and Patrick are back! This episode Tony discusses WiFi and we talk about Remix OSTony and Wifi email comment and a lot more. Check out the talking points below.

  2. Remix OS on Mobile (ROM)
    2. Connects your Android device to a screen
    3. Supports mouse and keyboard input
  3. How to effectively destroy school data
    1. Hard drives in computers
    2. USB/external drives

As always you can subscirbe to us  on iTunes, Podomatic or download the episode HERE.″
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There is No App for That









By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

“Read every line item until you get it.” ~Michael Burry 

During the last four weeks I have been reading literature, academic studies, and news articles on finance. I have studied graphs, looked through numerous sets of data, watched Youtube videos, and read two full books on asset allocation.  I am doing this research in my free-time, because I want to make a new investment. I want to fully understand how to manage the investment, and the longterm risks involved. There is No App for This. This is work, and it will only get more complicated as I get more involved.

Adding to my research, I watched a few fiction and non-fiction movies about the 2008 economic crisis. Studying humanity’s failures on a grand scale is always enlightening. Through my reading, and viewing, of this event I learned that Dr. Michael Burry discovered the market problems by reading 1000s of individual mortgages. He instructed his staff to read 1000s of records as well and to interpret the data. There is No App for This. This is work, and it only gets more complicated as it develops.

The systems and tools that allow a few people to manage tens of thousands of data points, to connect the community, to inform families, and to track what is happening formatively are not trivial systems. These systems have Apps that allow for a few conveniences, but all the power and value is in the strategic and creative development of these systems by the schools that use them, not the companies that own them.

Read the Rest Here @ The International Educator

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Episode 138 – Body Cameras

Tony and I are back! In this episode we talk about body cameras in the classroom and the official announcement that Chrome OS will support Android apps. It raises some questions.

  1. Body cameras in the classroom?
    1. by: James Vincent
    2. Is this a good idea?
    3. Thoughts?
  2. Android apps on Chrome OS – officially
    2. Is this a good thing?
    3. How would this work with GaFE? i. Play for Education –
    4. Any future for the iPad in education?

You can download the episode HERE!

You can also listen below.

Be sure to follow us on Podomatic and subscribe us to iTunes.


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Uh oh – BroPro

Guess what I discovered this week with the Chromebooks in my classroom?? Well, if you see the picture above this post, you probably can guess – BroPro. This is a VPN Chrome Extension. It basically lets people (students mostly) get around the school’s web filters to visit sites that they shouldn’t such as games, social media sites and so on. You might be thinking Well I will just report this to the IT department and they will block it. That is a good idea, and exactly what we did at our school, but then something weird happened.

You see once it was blocked, it did not delete the extension from accounts. the BroPro extension was still there but it couldn’t do what it was supposed to do and so accessing any website became impossible. It kept returning an error about the proxy setting. Now here is the real weirdness. This extension, though only installed on one user profile, affected the entire system. So no matter who logged in, BroPro kept them from accessing any websites.

As a teacher, we can’t manage our students accounts (believe me – this is a good thing), so here is how we got around it. On the login screen for Chromebooks anyone can delete a user account from that particular Chromebook.

When you delete a user from a Chromebook it will also delete all their user data from that computer. This means that the BroPro extension will also go bye-bye and thus return the Chromebook to working order. Check out the link below to learn how to delete a user from a Chromebook.

Now when you determine who has installed the extension, have them remove it from their account!

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Episode 137


Tony and Patrick are back at it. In this episode we talk about teacher evaluations via a video recording. The impending announcement of Windows Cloud and Intel’s Compute Card. Could this be the future of computing in schools?

  1. Teacher evaluations via video?
    1. Is this a good idea?
    2. Logistical problems
    3. Platform for sharing
    4. Security
  2. Windows Cloud
    1. A real competitor for Chrome?
    2. RT revival
    4. Will only run Windows Universal Apps
    5. Windows Docs –
  3. Intel’s Compute Card
    1. A modular computer
    2. Designed for IoT but could this be a great solution for schools?

As always subscribe to us on iTunes or follow us on Podomatic.

You can also download the show HERE!

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Making an area calculator in Google sheets

Google sheets is pretty powerful – heck most spreadsheets program are pretty powerful. This guide will show you how to create your very own spreadsheet that will automatically calculate area. Area is not terribly difficult for students but it is always nice to have a little something in your pocket to check your work.

I’m going to do this for with my grade 6 math class this week and thought I’d share it out! Feel free to change or get in touch with me about any questions!

  • Rectangles/squares
  • Parallelograms
  • Triangles
  • Trapezoids

Step 1 – Create a new spreadsheet

Before you can start working on a spreadsheet – we need to create it. This is very easy

  1. Go to
  2. If it asks you to log in – go ahead and do that
  3. Click on the New button
  4. A drop down menu will appear. From here select Google Sheets


Step 2 – Set up the spreadsheet

Here is our brand new spreadsheet and we are going to set it up.

  1. Name the file
  2. Copy the information you see on my spreadsheet onto your spreadsheet – make it look exactly the same!

We can format it later to make it look better.

Step 3 – Area of rectangles and squares –  length x width

Let’s add the formula for the rectangles and squares.

When writing formulas in a spreadsheet program (any spreadsheet program), you will need to start with the equal sign (=).

Now we are ready to start adding in some formulas. This is where the magic happens. We will start in cell B4.

Copy the following in B4


When you do this and hit enter you should the formula replaced by the number 12.

What is happening is the spreadsheet is taken the number in cell B2 and the number in cell B3 and multiplying them together.

When you hit enter you should get an answer of 12!

Step 4 – Area of parallelogram – base x height

This formula is going to be very similar to the rectangle/square formula.

This time we will be typing our formula into cell D4.


When you hit enter you should get an answer of 42

Again, what is happening is the spreadsheet is taking whatever number is in D2 and D3 and multiplying them together.

When you hit enter you should get an answer of 42!

Step 5 – Area of a triangle – 1/2 x base x height

Now that we have the rectangle, square and parallelogram taken care of, let’s try the triangle.

Since we are doing more than just multiplying two numbers our formula will look a bit different. We will be typing this formula into cell F4.


When you hit enter you should see the answer of 20!

Step 6 – Area of trapezoid – 1/2 x (base 1 + base 2) x height

Now we are to our final and most complicated formula.

We will be typing this formula into cell H5.


Everything must be copied perfectly! If not it will give you an error. If you do this correctly you should get an answer of 15!

Formatting (if you want)

Now that it is built you can type any dimensions of those shapes and it will automatically and correctly calculate the area of those shapes. Below is an area calculator that I’ve been working on.

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