Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Monet Was Here - Take a Google Earth Tour of Monet's Works

Monet Was Here is a new exhibit on Google Arts & Culture. The exhibit coincides with the opening of a new Monet exhibit at the National Gallery London. The Monet Was Here online exhibit features works that are on display at National Gallery London and other museums around the world.

Monet Was Here includes a Google Earth tour that you can view right now in the browser-based version of Google Earth. The tour has eight stops in it. Each stop displays one of Monet's works next to a current view of the location that inspired the work.

How to Quickly Create a Livestream on YouTube

YouTube used to have a built-in option for creating a video with the webcam built into your laptop. That feature went away a couple of years ago. Now it's back in a new form. You can now create a livestream on YouTube right from your laptop just like you can on a mobile phone.

Here are the steps to create a livestream on YouTube:
  • Sign into your YouTube account (Google account).  
  • Go to to launch a livestream. 
  • You can make your livestream public or unlisted. 
  • You can allow live comments from the audience or disable that feature. 
  • When you have completed your livestream it will be saved in your YouTube account. 
  • Go to the Creator Studio in your YouTube account to edit your recorded livestream by trimming the beginning and end, enhancing the audio, or enhancing the lighting in your video. 

If you have never used your YouTube account before, you will need to verify your account through either an email or text message before you can use the new livestreaming option.

Applications for Education
YouTube's updated livestreaming option could be used to easily broadcast and record live review sessions for your students much like my pal, Tom Richey, does for his AP students.

5 Alternatives to Padlet

For the last 24 hours the Twittersphere has been buzzing about the recent changes to Padlet. While none of the following tools have as many features as Padlet, they all provide the core element of a digital wall to which you apply digital sticky notes. Here are five alternatives to Padlet. These are in the order in which I prefer them right now.

Lino, sometime referred to as Lino.It, provides digital walls or corkboards to which you can add sticky notes that contain text, images, videos, or document attachments. Notes containing video links will play the video within your Lino wall. Images can be uploaded to your notes. And you can attach document files to your notes for other people to view. Like Padlet, Lino lets you change the background color scheme for your walls.

The best feature of Lino is the option to create private groups. You can invite people to join your group via email. Once they have joined you can create private Lino walls to which all members can make contributions.

Wakelet is the newest entry into this market. It offers a clean and easy-to-use user interface. On Wakelet you can create what they call collections. A collection is a set notes that you create. Your notes can include text, videos, links, and pictures. The options for adding pictures are linking to an online image, uploading an image, or using Wakelet's Unsplash integration. Like Lino, Wakelet requires you to email invitations to your potential collaborators.

Dotstorming was built for people to share ideas in the form of digital sticky notes and then vote for their favorite ideas. It works well for that purpose. Students do not need to have email addresses in order to vote on notes posted on Dotstorming. A free account allows you to have three topic boards at a time. The paid account ($5/month) gives you unlimited access. There is also a school-wide pricing plan. Watch my video embedded below to learn how to use Dotstorming.

Scrumblr is a site that provides an online space to create and share sticky notes with a group. Scrumblr can be used by anyone to quickly create an online space for sharing stickies. To get started just enter a name for your space. The name you choose will be a part of the URL for your sticky note space. To add notes just click the "+" symbol in the bottom left corner of the screen. Double click to edit your existing notes.

Pinside is a free online sticky note service. Pinside can be used to create boards of notes for yourself or boards to share with others. You can create a mix of private and shared notes within one account. Sticky notes on shared Pinside boards are designed for creating to-do lists. As each item on the the notes is completed you and or your collaborators can delete completed items.

Padlet Makes a Big Change to Free Plan

Padlet is a tool that I have used and recommended for many years. In the last year the folks at Padlet have introduced a slew of great new features including built-in video and audio recording. As anyone who runs an online service can tell you, with popularity comes increasing overhead to keep the service running. And that seems to be the case with Padlet as they have announced a big change to their pricing structure.

Moving forward, Padlet's basic (free) plan will allow new users to have three Padlet walls. If you already have an active Padlet account, you will be able to have three more than whatever you currently have in your account. For example, I have 154 walls in my account so my new limit is 157. Padlet reached out to me to clarify that if I delete some walls my limit will still be 157. But that 157 limit only applies to my account. If you have 47 walls in your free account, your new limit will be 50.

Padlet's paid plans are $8.95/ month or $99/ year. The paid plans will give you unlimited Padlet walls in your account. It's also worth noting that the free plan will display advertising.

I recorded the following short video yesterday afternoon to share some of my thoughts about Padlet's changes and the freemium business model in general.

And a big thanks to Danny Nicholson for bringing the Padlet news to my attention via a post on The Whiteboard Blog Facebook page.