Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Google Slides Now Has Native Support for Audio! Finally!

For years Google Slides users have wanted to be able to add audio to their slides. There have been Chrome extensions that would do it and there are some other hacks that do work, but they always felt like trying to play a cassette tape on CD player. Finally, Google has listened to users and is adding native support for audio to Google Slides.

As was announced by Google earlier today, beginning this month Google Slides will support audio files. The catch is that your audio file will have to be stored in your Google Drive account before you can insert it into a slide. But once that is done you'll be able to re-use the audio file in as many presentations as you want by simply going to the "Insert" drop-down menu then selecting "Audio."

Once you have an audio file added to a slide in a Google Slides presentation you have control over the timing of the audio playback, looping, and location of the audio icon on your slide. You can even hide the audio icon on your slide and still have the audio play as soon as you transition onto a slide.

The new option to add audio to your Google Slides is starting to roll-out now to G Suite users who are on the "rapid release" track. Other users may have to wait until April 18th or later to see the new option to add audio to their slides.

Poetry Comics from Make Beliefs Comix

April is National Poetry Month. Last week, I shared a couple of Read Write Think resources for helping students create theme poems and shape poems. Those are good resources if your classroom is 1:1. If not, you might want to take a look at the printable templates from Make Beliefs Comix.

Make Beliefs Comix offers more than 700 writing prompt pages. All of the pages are designed to be printed and given to students to write on. Within that collection you will find a small collection of poetry pages. All the the printable poetry prompt pages include artwork designed to spark a student's imagination. Some of the artwork is in color and some is in black and white. A bonus of the black and white artwork is that you're essentially getting a coloring page and a poetry prompt in one package.

Applications for Education
The Make Beliefs Comix printables section is a resource that elementary school teachers should keep bookmarked. Whether you need some new writing prompts to use with your whole class or you want to let kids pick a favorite, the Make Beliefs Comix printables section has something for every elementary school classroom.

How to Use BoClips to Find and Share Great Educational Videos

Back in January I discovered BoClips while walking around the BETT Show in London. It's an educational video hosting site that has quickly become one of my go-to resources. In fact, I like it so much that I now include it in my Best of the Web presentation.

BoClips offers more than two million videos from producers that you're probably familiar with through their YouTube channels. Two of the producers that many people notice right away are Crash Course and TED-Ed. BoClips is different from a lot of the sites that simply hide the "related content" and ads found on YouTube, but really just use YouTube videos for their content. The videos that you find on BoClips are actually hosted on BoClips with the permission of the video producers.

If you want to give BoClips a try, watch the following short video to learn how you can find and share videos from the site.

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