Friday, January 27, 2023

How to Create a YouTube Channel

If you're looking for a little weekend project, starting a YouTube channel could be a good one for you. Whether you make a YouTube channel simply to share instructional videos with your students or you make a YouTube channel with the hopes of becoming rich and famous, the process of getting started is the same. In the short video that is embedded below I demonstrate how you can start your YouTube channel in five minutes or less. 

Video - How to Create a YouTube Channel



After you've started your YouTube channel you'll probably want to take advantage of some of the editing tools available to you in your YouTube Studio. Here are three YouTube Studio settings you should know how to use.

Video - Three YouTube Studio Settings You Should Know How to Use



To grab the attention of potential viewers you will want to create custom thumbnails for your videos. Here's a tutorial on how to do that.

Video - How to Create a Custom YouTube Thumbnail

Create Writing Prompts With Spinner Wheel

In reviewing my Google Analytics earlier this week I noticed that "writing prompts" was one of the most frequently searched terms on FreeTech4Teachers.com in the last month. That was the inspiration for a new video about how to create a random writing prompt generator. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to use Spinner Wheel to create random writing prompts. In the first part of the video I use Spinner Wheel to simply select a writing prompt from a list that I've given it. In the second part of the video I use Spinner Wheel to randomly select a noun, a verb, and an adjective to use in the creation of a writing prompt. 

Video - Create Writing Prompts With Spinner Wheel


Applications for Education
When it comes to creative writing assignments, the hardest step for many students is coming up with things to write about. Using a Spinner Wheel to randomly select a noun, a verb, and an adjective could give students some fun combinations of words to get them started on a creative story.

How to Add Checkboxes to Tables in Google Docs

Earlier this week when I was looking back at The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators I noticed that Google Docs was still a beta product back when that book was written. Google Docs has come a long way since then. Today, Google Docs is packed with some many handy little features that it's hard to keep track of them all. One way that you could try to keep of them is to make a table with checkboxes inside it. That's what I demonstrate in this new video

Video - How to Add Checkboxes to Tables in Google Docs



Applications for Education
I recently used this combination of checkboxes in a table to create a document in which I keep track of who is present for the ski lessons that I teach and the skills each student is working on developing.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

How to Find the Source for Images in Google Slides

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about using the explore function in Google Slides to find images to use in presentations. Since then I've had a few people ask for clarification about how to use the image source when using the other image search option in Google Slides. The process of finding the image source is the same whether you use the Explore function or you use the Insert Image option in Google Slides. Watch this video to see how that process works. 

Video - How to Find the Image Source in Google Slides

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

AI Writing Check

AI Writing Check is a free tool created by the collaborative efforts of the non-profits Quill.org and CommonLit. AI Writing Check is a tool that was created to help teachers try to recognize writing created through the use of artificial intelligence. 

To use AI Writing Check you simply have to copy a passage of text of 100 or more words and paste it into AI Writing Check. The tool will then tell you the likelihood that the writing has or has not been created by artificial intelligence. That's all there is to it. 

AI Writing Check isn't foolproof and as is pointed out on the site, students can still develop ways to get around tools designed to detect AI-generated writing. It's also worth noting that it can't handle more than 400 words at a time. 

Applications for Education
A couple of weeks ago my Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week was to get to know AI writing tools before your students use them to turn in an essay. In that newsletter I explained and demonstrated two AI writing tools. The first was ChatGPT and the second was Canva's Magic Write tool. In response to that newsletter I got at least two dozen notes from teachers who were concerned about students using those tools to "cheat." If that's one of your concerns about AI, you may want to take a look at AI Writing Check