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Monday, November 13, 2017

YouTube Playlists: Why You Need Them and How to Make Them

YouTube can be one of our best tools to use in the classroom once we figure out how to harness its power. One of the simplest ways to tap into the power of YouTube is to organize content by placing videos onto playlists. Playlists can contain content that others create as well as videos that you create and upload. Adding videos to playlists saves you time and the stress of having to search for a video minutes before you need it. The video below will show you how to upload your own videos, how to create and add videos to a playlist, and how to share a playlist.

Applications for Education
How many times a day do you have to tell students what they missed when they were gone? One of the things  I did at the end of each day was record a short screencast where I would walk students through what they missed if they were absent and I showed them exactly what they needed to do to get caught up. I would upload those screencasts to YouTube and then add them to the playlist for that particular class. Students knew they could access the link to the playlist from our classroom website so it dramatically cut back on the number of students asking me what we did when they were gone.

I also created playlists for each unit that I taught. If I found a video that I thought might be useful I added it to a generic playlist for the class. Once I previewed the video,  I would either move it to a shorter and more specific playlist so I could find it very quickly when I needed it or I would delete it from the generic list.

This video walks you through the process of uploading a screencast to YouTube, adding it to a playlist, and then sharing that playlist with others.

Voice Recording Tools


Our voice is one of the most powerful tools we possess, but many times we default to writing instead of talking. There are definitely times when writing is the way to go, but there are other situations when spoken words can have a dramatic impact.

Here are some tools that work well to capture voice. Some of these work directly inside of Google Docs while others capture voice and can then be downloaded and shared.

Talk and Comment is a Chrome extension that allows users to provide voice comments. This is a great way to provide feedback students.

Vocaroo is a website that allows you to make a voice recording without creating an account. Simply make your recording then when you are satisfied with your recording you can save it. You must download the file if you wish for the recording to be available for longer than just a couple of months.

Twisted Wave Audio editor that allows users to capture their voice or upload files from their computer or Google Drive and edit them.

VoiceRecorder is a simple tool that allows users to create and trim audio files then save them to their computers.

Google Voice allows users to set up phone number. When people call this number they can leave a voice message which is also transcribed. This is a great option for teachers who need students to create a short recording because all of the recordings are captured in one location making it easier for teachers to access.

Here are some additional resources for making audio recordings on Chromebooks and recording tools that work in your web browser.

Applications for Education
Imagine how powerful it would be to capture the voice of a student who is just beginning to read then record them again reading the same material and hear how much they have grown as readers. Or what if you captured students reading a passage in the first year of a world language class then recorded their progress throughout all four years? It is incredible to document things like this using voice recordings. Recordings are also a powerful way for students to explain a process or reflect on their learning.




Google Arts and Culture: Art Collection

This is the second post in a series about Google Arts and Culture. In the first post, we took a look at the history of the project. Today we are going to explore some of the ways to access the artists and galleries. To access the menu of options you will need to click on the "hotdog" menu on the upper left corner of your screen once you open Google Arts and Culture.

Collections- This option lets you explore collections of art from hundreds of museums from around the world. When you open a collection from one of the museums you will see items in their collection that you can view by popularity, the year they were created, or color family. Information about the museum is available in this view as well including hours of operation and a link to the official website for the museum. In many instances when you open a collection you will see a little yellow Pegman icon. This indicates you can explore the collection by touring the museum using Street View. It is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the experience. The Musee d'Orsay is just one example of how this works. Click on Pegman to jump into the museum then navigate using the arrows, selecting an image from the tray, or by jumping around on the floorplan.

Artists- This is the best way to search the collection if you are searching for a particular artist. You will find biographical information as well as all of their items. Each of these collections can be shared directly to Google Classroom using the sharing button.

Mediums- If you are looking for a specific medium this is a great way to search the entire website for those pieces. There are well over 200 options which help narrow your search to very specific results. For example, there are numerous items for clothing including cotton, leather, gauze, nylon, wool, felt, satin, and velvet.

Art movements- This is one of my favorite ways to search Google Arts and Culture because I can rearrange the items by when they were created. It's fascinating to compare what artists were creating during different world events or to compare works from different artists during the same time period.

Applications for Education

Google Arts and Culture is such a versatile product and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and used in many different subjects. Art can be used in math to teach about shapes and patterns. Social studies teachers can use art as a visual way to teach about what was happening around the world during different periods of time. It goes without saying this can be a very powerful way to get students interested in art.

This video demonstrates how to navigate using Pegman. There is no sound on this video.