Thursday, July 25, 2013

Collaboratively Create Music In a Google+ Hangout

One of Kevin Hodgson's posts last week prompted me to revisit Soundation. Soundation is an online music creation tool that I tried a few years ago. Soundation provides five tracks on which you can place music clips and sound effects to mix together. To create your original work you can select from Soundation's gallery of free sounds, upload your own sounds, or record new sounds using the instruments and keyboard built into Soundation. When you've created something that you like, you can download it or share it in Soundation's gallery.

Soundation has a beta Google+ Hangout app. The Soundation Google+ Hangout app allows you to collaboratively create sound loops with your friends. The difference between using the Soundation Google+ Hangout app and using the Soundation website is that you cannot upload your own sounds to Soundation through Google+ Hangouts, you'll have to work with the sounds available through Soundation.

Applications for Education
One of the best ways to avoid any confusion or worry regarding copyright when your students create multimedia projects, is to have them create their own original works. Soundation could be a great tool for students to use to create sounds for podcasts, videos, and other multimedia works.

5 Handy Google Drive Shortcuts

This evening when I attempted to access my Google Drive dashboard the way that I have been doing it for years by typing "" a brand new Google Document instead. This caused me to try "" to see if a new presentation would open, it did. Apparently, these shortcuts have worked for some people for a while. The shortcuts just started working with my Google Drive account this evening. Altogether I found five shortcuts that will allow you to skip the step of opening your Google Drive dashboard before creating a new document, slideshow, form, spreadsheet, or drawing.

These are the five shortcuts to note. 

1. To create a new Google Document: 
2. To create a new Google Slides Presentation:
3. To create a new Google Form:
4. To create a new Google Spreadsheet:
5. To create a new Google Drawing:

How to Disable Tabs in the New Gmail Layout

One of the constants of using free services like Gmail is that changes to the service can occur whether you like them or not. One of the recent changes to Gmail is the new tabs layout. Some people like this layout and others do not. If you fall into the camp of people who don't like, here's a quick video about how to disable it.

If you're subscribed to this blog or others via email and haven't received an email in a while, you may find that the emails are being filtered into the "social" or "promotions" tab in the new Gmail layout.

H/T to Chris Brogan

How to Quickly Create Simple Online Quizzes

QuizPoo is a free online quiz creation tool. Quizzes created on QuizPoo have a simple format based on an "either or framework." When you create a QuizPoo quiz all of your questions have only two answer choices. For example, I created a four question quiz about my dogs. Each of the questions only had Max and Morrison as answer choices. See my sample quiz here. I did not include pictures in my quiz, but that is an option.

Applications for Education
I almost didn't write about QuizPoo because I thought that it was too basic. But then I realized that the QuizPoo format could be good for creating quizzes about characters or story lines in a book. For example, if I could create a quiz about two characters from The Odyssey and have the questions be about a particular characteristic or action of the characters.