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Thursday, February 26, 2015

WeVideo Makes Updates to Their Online Video Editor

For the last couple of years WeVideo has been the alternative to iMovie that I've recommended when asked. The biggest selling point of WeVideo is that it operates completely online which makes it a good choice for Chromebook users and folks who don't have regular access to desktop video editing tools. The downside to WeVideo is that it can take some time to understand and master the nuances of WeVideo's editing tools. This week WeVideo took some steps to change that.

The latest updates to WeVideo's online video editor consolidated the features of the "basic" and "advanced" editors into one product. In combining the two editors into one WeVideo made it easier to edit the tracks in your video productions. You can now simply click on a track to edit it.

The other big update to WeVideo that I'm excited about is the new option to preview your visuals while recording a voice-over at the same time. In the past I had to record my voice-over then go back and adjust the visuals to match the duration of my voice-over. Now I can see the visuals while I record which makes it easier to time the pace of my speech and the pace of the transitions between visuals.

Applications for Education
In the past I've shared lists like this one in which I've suggested video projects that can be completed with WeVideo and similar tools. The highlights of that list includes creating documentary videos, creating Common Craft-style videos, creating instructional videos, and producing book trailer videos.

How to Use Tackk to Create Blogs and Digital Portfolios

Tackk is a free tool for creating blogs, simple webpages, and digital portfolios. It's flexible and easy to use so I included it in my Best of the Web presentation at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference earlier this month. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to create a simple digital portfolio on Tackk. As you'll see in the video you can sign up for Tackk in a variety of ways including using your Edmodo or Google credentials.


Applications for Education
Last summer Tackk created a Tackk Edu page to showcase examples of using Tackk to create and distribute assignments to students. Visit Tackk Edu to see science, math, social studies, art, and language arts lesson plans that utilize Tackk.

Now You Can Customize Headers, Footers, and Page Numbers in Google Docs

One of the complaints about Google Docs that I've heard for years is that it isn't easy to apply proper headers, footers, and cover pages to documents. This week Google took steps to change that for Google Apps for Education users.

You can now customize the placement of headers and footers in your documents. You can specify which pages those headers and footers appear on which makes it possible to create a cover page within your document. To customize header and footer placement just open the insert menu in your document and select header. Once your header is inserted you will have the option to display it or not display it on a page.

Google Docs users can now customize the placement of page numbers on their pages too. Open the insert menu then select page numbers to specify the placement of your page numbers.

Applications for Education
The new options for customizing headers, footers, and page number placements should make it much easier for students to format their papers to meet academic standards.

Thanks to Skip Zalneraitis for sharing this news on Google+ this morning. 

Webinar Recording - Storyboards in the Classroom

Last night I hosted a webinar with Aaron Sherman from Storyboard That. During the webinar we took a look at the new features of Storyboard That and how those features can be used in the classroom. Some of the new features include captioning storyboard frames, new graphic organizer layouts, and a slew of new teacher guides. The slides from the webinar are available here. The recording of the webinar is embedded below.


Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Send Invitations to Events from Your Google Calendar Account

One of my favorite features of Google Calendar is the option to send email invitations to my events directly from my calendar. For example, when I schedule a meeting with three colleagues I simply put the meeting into my calendar then send invitations to those colleagues from my calendar event. My colleagues will receive email notifications of the event time, place, and any other details that I've added to the event's description. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to send email invitations to Google Calendar events.


I'll cover topics like this one and many more in my upcoming online course Getting Going With GAFE. Three graduate credits are available for completing the course.

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