Friday, January 17, 2020

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode 29 - Video & Standardized Chargers

There were a bunch of neat things related to ed tech that were released this week. And a bunch more will be out next week in conjunction with the BETT Show in London. In this week's episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast I shared a new video tool, an awesome update to a popular video tool, and a new video contest for students and teachers. In the episode I also shared an interesting idea coming out of Europe regarding the standardization of chargers.

As I always do, in the episode I answered some interesting questions from readers and listeners. You'll also want to listen for my personal professional learning highlight of the week that came courtesy of Amarillo College.

Listen to episode 29 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast platform.

Listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks:

The Origins of the English Language

This morning I had a student ask me "what does 'the' mean?" It's was one of those classic teenager moments of trying to distract me/ waste time at the start of class. I indulged him for a minute then got on with the plan for the day. The interaction did remind me that there was a TED-Ed lesson years released years ago about the origins of the English language. A little search through my archives and I found that lesson along with another lesson from The Open University on the same topic.

Where Did English Come From? The TED-Ed lesson focuses on the evolution of language and similarities to other languages. The TED-Ed video is embedded below.

The History of English from Open University is embedded below. As with many Open University lessons you should screen them to judge their suitability for your high school students.

How to Publish a Google Calendar Without Showing All Event Details

Yesterday, I received a question on an old YouTube video of mine in which I demonstrated how to embed a Google Calendar into Blogger. The video is seven years old and Google Calendar has changed a bit since then, but the question was still a good one. The question was, "instead of showing all the details how do you set so that the public only sees an event as busy?"

When you make one of your Google Calendars public you have the option to either "show all event details" or "see only free/busy." You'll find this option by opening your calendar's "settings and sharing" menu then scrolling down to "Access permissions." See my screenshots below for details.

Step 1:

Step 2:

On a related note, here's how you can display the same event on multiple calendars.

Chrome Media Hub - Manage Background Video and Audio

Like a lot of people, I have a habit of leaving a bunch of Chrome tabs open even if I'm not actively using them. It's not the best habit because it does unnecessarily use resources. It can also contribute to the annoyance of having a video or audio file start playing in the background. Google has released a solution for the annoyance of music or videos playing in background tabs.

Media Hub is a new feature of the Chrome web browser. It lets you manage playback of audio and video on websites that you have open on background tabs that you're not actively using. You'll find the Media Hub in the upper, right corner of Chrome between the end of the address bar and before any extensions that you have installed. To use the Media Hub just click on it to open a simple control menu that will let you stop, pause, or play any media that is loaded on any of your open tabs.

Applications for Education
Media Hub has been available on Chromebooks for a while. It's now available on Windows and Mac too. Where I see this being useful in a classroom is to quickly stop or start background audio like that from a countdown timer like those found at or the simply "set timer X minutes" function that is built into Chrome.

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