Thursday, August 18, 2016

Create Beautiful Presentations in Haiku Deck Classroom

Disclosure: Haiku Deck is an advertiser on

Haiku Deck is a great visual storytelling tool that I have raved about since the first time that I tried it back in the fall of 2012. The features that won me over way back then were the integrated search for Creative Commons licensed videos and the automatic controls on font size and quantity. The font controls forced students to think about how they use images and words in presentations. Those core features still remain and more features have been steadily added over the years.

Last fall Haiku Deck introduced an option to share visual stories in Google Classroom. This fall they're taking things one step further with the introduction of Haiku Deck Classroom. Haiku Deck Classroom offers an online gallery that you and your students can use to showcase visual stories in private setting managed by teachers. Speaking of management, Haiku Deck Classroom offers teachers the ability to import users from Google Classroom. Students can sign-in using Haiku Deck accounts or Google Accounts without an email address. An overview of Haiku Deck Classroom can be seen in the Haiku Deck presentation embedded below.

Introducing Haiku Deck Classroom - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

If your school can't get Haiku Deck Classroom right now, there are still plenty of features available to you for free. The integrated Creative Commons image search, automatic font controls, and the ability to create and present from just about any platform have made Haiku Deck popular everywhere that I've shown it.

My friend Ken Shelton used Haiku Deck to demonstrate how make effective use of visuals in slide presentations. That demonstration is embedded below.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Disclosure: Haiku Deck is advertising on this month.

How to Use Images as Answer Choices in Google Forms

In addition to the exciting updates to Google Classroom that were released yesterday, Google also released a great update to Google Forms. You can now use images as answer choices to questions created in Google Forms. You can also use images as question prompts in Google Forms. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use images as answer choices in Google Forms.

Check out my other Google Forms tutorial videos in the playlist embedded below.

Wild Music - Songs and Sounds of Wildlife

Wild Music is a fun and educational website on which students can learn about sounds commonly heard in nature. On Wild Music students can listen to the sounds of nature and explore what creates those sounds. Some of the activities students will find include a game of animal audio memory in which students hear sounds and have to match them to each other. Students can find activities such as The Mosquito in which they compare their hearing to the hearing of various animals.

Applications for Education
Wild Music is a resource that could be used by both science teachers and music teachers. Science teachers can use Wild Music as an exploration of the sounds animals make and why they make those sounds. Music teachers can use Wild Music to explore how the sounds of nature influence musicians.

Try Lucidpress for Editing a School Newspaper

On Wednesday afternoon I received the following question from a reader:

One thing I struggle with is a user friendly online newspaper/magazine creator that kids can build throughout the school year. We are a Google Doc school and using Pages is cumbersome with the saving, uploading, downloading..... Any ideas?

My immediate response was to suggest trying Lucidpress. I've often described Lucidpress as a mix of the best of Apple's Pages with the best of Google Docs. Through Lucidpress you and your students can collaboratively create documents that incorporate videos and images.

The process of creating a document on Lucidpress can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. To get started you might stick with the basics of moving text and pictures around on the document by just dragging and dropping. There are options for layering images with differing amounts of transparency, image cropping tools, and font customization options in each Lucidpress template. As mentioned above, you can also add videos into your projects (obviously they only play when viewed online).

Lucidpress has a Google Classroom integration that makes it easy to have all of your students start using the Lucidpress platform. Watch the video below to learn more about that feature.

According to their pricing page (scroll to the bottom of the page), Lucidpress is offered for free to education users.

YouTube Live Will Replace Google Hangouts On Air

Teachers and students who have been using Google+ Hangouts on Air to host tutoring sessions or to host virtual guests in their classrooms will want to make note of the end of Google Hangouts on Air. Starting on September 12th Google will no longer offer Hangouts on Air.

Hangouts on Air will be replaced by YouTube Live. YouTube Live will let you create public, private, and unlisted broadcasts. Broadcasts will be automatically stored in your YouTube account. The most significant change for many users will be the removal of the Q&A feature that was in Google Hangouts on Air. Now to host a Q&A you will have to share Google Slides and use the Q&A feature integrated into the presenter mode in Google Slides.

Just to clarify, there will still be a video chat feature in Google+, this change only applies to Google+ Hangouts on Air.

H/T to The Next Web.

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