Friday, November 13, 2020

An Easy Way to Have PDFs Read Aloud

Yesterday, during Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff I answered a question about how to have PDFs read aloud. Specifically, the person asking the question wanted an option for having PDFs that are stored in Google Drive read aloud. Additionally, Read & Write for Chrome wasn't doing the trick. So my suggestion was to give Microsoft Edge a try. 

Microsoft Edge has built-in read-aloud function. You don't have to install any third-party extensions or software in order to have a PDF read aloud in Microsoft Edge. I made this short video to show how you can use the read-aloud function in Microsoft Edge to have PDFs read-aloud. It should be noted that while this video is specifically about PDFs, the read-aloud tool in Edge works the same way for webpages. 

Create Animated GIFs in PowerPoint

Years ago Common Craft made a fun little guide to understanding the World Cup. The guide featured a bunch of animated GIFs. It was a great example of using silent animations to explain a topic. In the years since then I've encouraged teachers to think about having students make animated GIFs to illustrate and explain concepts. For example, a few years ago I worked with a middle school science teacher who used Brush Ninja to have students make animated GIFs to explain forms of energy. 

Brush Ninja is a tool that was created specifically to make it easy for anyone to draw and create animated GIFs. There are lots of other tools that you and your students can use to create animated GIFs. One of those tools is PowerPoint. 

Mike Tholfsen recently published a new video overview of how to create animated GIFs in PowerPoint. If you're interested in learning how to do that, I encourage to watch his explanation on his YouTube channel or as embedded below.