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Thursday, July 19, 2018

How to Use Blended Play for Classroom Review Games

Last week I published a post about a neat game platform called Blended Play. Blended Play provides five online game boards that you can project in your classroom to use as the template for review games. I have had a lot of questions about Blended Play since I published my blog post about it last week. I made the following video to demonstrate how Blended Play works.

A Great Example of Sharing Stories Through Google's My Maps

Kevin Hodgson's blog has been one of my daily reads for the better part of the last ten years. Kevin is a sixth grade teacher and masterful storyteller. Over the years I have learned a lot from reading his blog. Earlier this week Kevin published a blog post titled #WriteOut:Mapping the Immigrant Experience at the Springfield Armory. In the post Kevin shares a map that he created to display immigrant stories as they were connected to the Springfield Armory and the home countries of the immigrants who stories are told through text and audio displayed on the map. The map is one of the best examples that I've seen of using Google's My Maps to share stories. Go to Kevin's blog to read the post and see the map.

If you would like to create a similar map of your own, you can do so through Google's My Maps tool. In the following three videos I demonstrate how to use the features of Google's My Maps.



How to Add Music to Google Slides

In my previous post I shared some information about the AudioPlayer for Google Slides Chrome extension. If you need some help getting started with that extension, please watch the following video tutorial that I created.


It should be noted that the first time you use the extension it could take ten to fifteen minutes for your Google Drive audio files to sync and become available through the extension. Be patient with the first time you use it. After the initial use it is much faster.

Add Music to Your Google Slides With the AudioPlayer Chrome Extension

Earlier this year I excitedly shared the Google Slides Add-on called AudioPlayer for Google Slides. The video tutorial that I made for about it has proven to be popular too. Recently, I've received comments from viewers of that video who said that they can't find the Add-on. It turns out that the developer of the Add-on has turned it into a Chrome extension.

AudioPlayer for Slides is a Chrome extension that will let you add music or spoken audio to your Google Slides presentations. With the extension installed you can simply right-click on a slide in your presentation and then select an audio file from your Google Drive to play on that slide. Unfortunately, the audio file will only play on the selected slide and not over all of the slides throughout the presentation. It should also be noted that you can only play audio files that you have stored in your Google Drive.

Applications for Education
AudioPlayer for Slides could be useful to students who would like to add a little bit of background music to presentations. Students could also use this extension to add spoken audio to their slides. They will have to record the spoken audio in a separate tool (Vocaroo is easy to use for that purpose) and then add the audio recording to their slides.

It's important to note that your students will need to have audio files stored in their Google Drive accounts before using AudioPlayer for Slides.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Formatically Offers a New Instant Citation Tool

Formatically is a service that was designed by college students to help other students create properly formatted works cited pages. Last year I published a tutorial about how to use it. This week Formatically introduced a new instant citation tool. The instant citation tool can be used by anyone to format an APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard citation for a book or web page.

To use Formatically's instant citation tool just paste the URL of the page that you want to cite into the instant citation tool. Once pasted into the tool you can choose the format that you want to use for your citation. If there is an error in the citation, you can correct it by clicking the edit icon at the end of the written citation. The system works the same way for books except that rather than entering a web page URL you enter a book title. Watch the video embedded below to learn more about Formatically's instant citation tool.