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Thursday, May 19, 2016

theLearnia Offers a Good Way to Create Video Lessons

theLearnia is a free service that I reviewed about four years ago when it was primarily a social network built around video lessons. This week I took another look at theLearnia and learned that the site is now focused on helping teachers create video-based lessons.

On theLearnia you can create video lessons up to fifteen minutes in length. Your video lessons can be simple whiteboard style instructional videos or they can be videos based on slides that you either create on theLearnia or upload as PowerPoint files. I gave the service a try this afternoon. I simply uploaded a set of PowerPoint slides then hit the record button to narrate what was shown on my slides. theLearnia also provides tools for drawing on top of your slides and or writing additional text. Videos created on theLearnia are hosted for free and you can share your videos through typical social media channels and or by embedding your video into your blog or website. You can see my test video here.

Applications for Education
theLearnia could be a good way for teachers who already have a bunch of PowerPoint slides to turn those slides into flipped video lessons.

A Crash Course in Physics

On the last day of March Crash Course launched a new series of videos about physics. The series now contains seven videos on friction, integrals, derivatives, Newton's Laws, and motion. The playlist is embedded below.



For some physics lessons that younger students might enjoy, take a look at NASA's Rocket Science 101.

To use these Crash Course videos as part of flipped lesson try EDpuzzle, VideoANT, or VideoNot.es.

Why You and I Should Care About Updates to the Google Classroom API

This week the Google for Education blog published a post that most teachers probably scrolled right past because the first sentence referenced the Google Classroom API. I don't find fault with any teacher who scrolled past the post because most of us aren't developers and aren't going to be developing our own apps to integrate into Google Classroom. But I do want to explain why you might care about the latest update to the Google Classroom API.

This week's Google Classroom API update lets developers build applications that can access assignments, grades, and workflow in Google Classroom. What this means for end-users (teachers and school administrators) is that we could soon see better gradebooks and reporting systems that will eliminate the need to manually transfer grades into or out of the gradebook in Google Classroom.

The update Google Classroom API will also let developers create more seamless integration between their apps and Google Classroom. For example, GeoGebra now fully integrates into Google Classroom. That integration lets teachers add GeoGebra assignments directly into their Classroom streams and lets students submit to you via Classroom their work completed in GeoGebra. Watch the video below to see how that works.

How to Insert & Modify Charts in Google Slides

On Wednesday afternoon Google announced the release of a new feature in Google Slides. The new feature is the option to insert charts and graphs from Google Sheets. You can insert pre-existing charts from your Google Sheets or you can create a new chart or graph from scratch in your Google Slides. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to insert a chart into Google Slides and how to modify the chart.


Applications for Education
Students could use the new charts feature to create representations of data they collected in a research project. They could also use the new charts feature to display representations of data found in the Google Public Data Explorer database.

If you found this video to be helpful, visit my YouTube channel for more than 300 ed tech tools tutorial videos.