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Monday, September 18, 2017

Reminder - YouTube Is Removing Its Photo Slideshow Tool

In June it was announced that YouTube was going to remove its Photo Slideshow tool in September. It's now September and on Wednesday the Photo Slideshow tool will disappear. Additionally, some of the editing tools for cutting and splicing videos are being removed from the YouTube editor. Here are some alternative tools to consider using in place of the tools that are being removed from YouTube.

YouTube Photo Slideshow Alternatives:
StupeflixSharalike, and Animoto all let you import a batch of pictures and add music to quickly create an audio slideshow. Animoto and Stupeflix both let you add text over your images while Sharalike does not. Sharalike, however, allows for much longer videos than Animoto and Stupeflix will create. Sharalike and Animoto offer iOS and Android apps while Stupeflix does not. Finally, Animoto and Stupeflix offer free education versions for teachers.

Basic Video Editing:
iOS and MacOS users have access to iMovie for free now. If you're looking for a video editor for your students to use on iPads or Macs, iMovie is more than adequate for the vast majority of classroom projects.

Windows users can still use Windows Movie Maker. Microsoft is not officially supporting it on Windows 10, but you can still download it and use it on Windows 10 computers. But later this year Microsoft will be releasing Story Remix which is essentially the replacement for Movie Maker. This video provides a preview of Story Remix.

Chromebook users and those who cannot install software should look into Adobe Spark and WeVideo. Adobe Spark is free to use. You can upload images and videos to use in your final product. Adobe Spark will let you record narration on a scene-by-scene basis by simply holding a record button while you talk. I have some tutorials on Adobe Spark that you can watch here and here.

WeVideo offers a robust web-based video editing tool that rivals the features you can find in iMovie. The limitation of WeVideo is that in order to access its best features like voiceover, green screen, and high resolution production you will have to purchase a subscription. School pricing starts at $199/ year for 30 seats.

Using Augmented Reality to Learn Nouns and Verbs

Metaverse is a great platform for creating your own augmented reality games and activities. Through the Metaverse Studio anyone can program an augmented reality experience without having any prior coding or programming knowledge. With Metaverse Studio you can build and publish an augmented reality game to accomplish many learning objectives. A great example of this is the Nouns and Verbs game that Marty Cryer published in the Metaverse Teachers Facebook group.

Marty's Nouns and Verbs game starts with an introduction in which students choose to learn more about either nouns or verbs. After making a selection students are prompted to watch a short video that refreshes their memories about nouns and verbs. If students try to fast-forward through the video, they are prompted to go back and watch it before they can proceed in the game. After watching the video students use their phones to take pictures that represent either a verb or a noun. The game will tell students if their pictures are representative of nouns or verbs.

You can try Marty Cryer's Nouns and Verbs game by clicking here. If you're reading this on a laptop computer, you will be prompted to use your mobile device to view the game. You can choose to have the link sent to you in a text message. You will also need to have the Metaverse app installed on either your Android phone or iPhone.

Disclosure: Metaverse is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Play Your Dates Right - A Fun History Game

Play Your Dates Right is another great game template developed by Russel Tarr at ClassTools.net. The concept of Play Your Dates Right is that students have to pick the correct sequence of three historical events. The event in the middle of the game template is always the event that actually did come second. Students have to guess if the first and third events are in the proper sequence. See the screen image below for an illustration.

You can create and publish your own version of Play Your Dates Right by using the free template provided through ClassTools. To get the template all that you need to do is click the "edit" link that appears in the lower, right corner of Play Your Dates Right. Then you can enter a list of events with their corresponding dates. When you publish your game ClassTools will randomly select from your list to be displayed.

Applications for Education
I've always stressed to my history students the importance of sequence. Play Your Dates Right could be a fun way for students to review the sequence of events in a unit of study. An obvious case use is in reviewing the causes of the outbreak of a war.

Built to Last - Bubbl.us Mind Mapping

Bubbl.us is the third entry into my Built to Last series. This is a weekly series featuring the educational technology products and concepts that have lasted as long as I have been writing Free Technology for Teachers which will be ten years in November. See the first two entries in the series here and here.

Bubbl.us is an online tool that students can use to create mind maps for any concepts that they are studying. For years I have had students create mind maps to illustrate the many factors that contributed to a major historical event like the American Revolution. Creating mind maps on Bubbl.us is an easy process of simply clicking on the center of your screen then entering the central topic of your mind map. The next step is to add "child" topics or bubbles that are connected to the central topic. Those are added by clicking the "+" that appears while holding your cursor over an existing bubble.

All bubbles on a Bubbl.us mind map can be color coded, hyperlinked, and re-arranged through a simple drag and drop process. It is also easy to change the layout of your entire mind map by simply selecting a different layout from the Bubbl.us editing menu (see the screenshot above). Completed Bubbl.us mind maps can be downloaded as images or printed. Of course, you can also share a link to your live Bubbl.us mind map. It is also possible to embed your mind map into a blog post or other webpage.