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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Best of 2018 - Create a Video Lesson Completely in PowerPoint

This week is a vacation week for the vast majority of readers of this blog. As I do at this time every year, I'm going to republish some of the most popular posts of 2018. Here's one from May.

One of the easier ways to get started making your own video lessons is found within a tool that some of us have been using for decades. That tool is PowerPoint.

There is a screen recorder built into the current Windows desktop version of PowerPoint. The screen recorder will capture anything that you display on your screen and will record you talking about what is displayed on your screen. You can specify how much of your screen you want to have recorded. This means that you could use the screen recorder to record yourself talking over the slides that you have in a PowerPoint presentation.

Follow these steps to create a simple video lesson in PowerPoint:
  1. Create your slides in PowerPoint or open an existing PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Create a blank slide then select "screen recording" from within the "insert" menu.
  3. Drag and drop the "select area" tool to select the amount of screen space you want to have recorded. If you want to record your full screen, just drag the "select area" to the edge of your screen. (The select area tool launches automatically when you select "screen recording" as directed in step 2).
  4. Make sure that you have turned on the audio recording option and that your computer's audio input is working.
  5. Click the record button. All actions on your screen will be recorded including transitions between slides.
  6. When you stop recording, the video will be saved in your PowerPoint presentation. When you share your PowerPoint presentation anyone who has the current version of PowerPoint will be able to view the video. 
This post was updated on May 7th to reflect that these steps only work for the current Windows version of PowerPoint. It doesn't work on PowerPoint for Mac. 

Drawings, Emojis, and Passwords - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where Santa is about to visit my daughters, again. We spent actual Christmas day traveling back from Florida where we visited grandma and uncles. So this morning my girls are having a second visit from Santa. (Santa's reindeer take a long time to go from Florida to Maine, if you ask my toddler). I hope that all of you have something equally fun planned for the weekend. Before my daughters toddle out of bed, I have this week's list of the most-read posts of the week.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Best of 2018 - Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features
2. Best of 2018 - Ten Free Apps for Elementary School Math Lessons
3. Best of 2018 - Interactive Periodic Table of Elements
4. Canvas - A Good Alternative to Google Drawings for Tablet Users
5. How to Make Your Own Emojis - And How to Use Them in a Lesson
6. Terrible Passwords, Password Security, and Protecting Your Online Account
7. Best of 2018 - Free Hands-on STEM Lesson Plans

Three Online PD Courses Starting in January
I'm offering three professional development courses to start 2019. Discounted early registration is now open for:
Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

Best of 2018 - New Ways to Customize Google Forms

This week is a vacation week for the vast majority of readers of this blog. As I do at this time every year, I'm going to republish some of the most popular posts of 2018. Here's one from June.

For years and years people have asked me if there is way to customize the fonts in Google Forms. And for years and years I've had to say no. That is finally going to change! Yesterday, Google announced the addition of new Google Forms customization options.

Choose Your Font Style
You can now choose from a selection of fonts to use in your form's title and in the questions in your form.

Mix and Match Theme and Background Colors
For many years you've been able to choose a form theme and even upload your own images to use in your form's theme. However, you couldn't customize the form's appearance much more than that. Soon you'll be able to change the background color of your form independently from the the color of the header. You'll still be able to upload an image to use in your header too.

You can find the new customization options by clicking on the palette icon in a Google Forms header. (That's the same icon you use to change the header color now).

The new Google Forms customization options will be rolling out over the next fifteen days. If you don't see them in your account today, don't worry, you'll get them soon.


Learn more about Google Forms in on my on-demand training, Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners.