Monday, December 13, 2021

The Easiest Way to Add Narration to Google Slides

When Google finally added native support for audio in Google Slides people were excited until they found out how clunky the process is. You have to first record the audio outside of Google Slides, then upload it your Google Drive, and then insert it into your slides. Fortunately, the Mote Chrome extension streamlines that whole process for you. 

With Mote installed in Chrome you can simply click the Mote icon while editing your Google Slides to record and insert narration into your slides with just one click. Watch this demo to see how quick and easy it is to add audio to Google Slides through the use of Mote. 

Thanks to Ellen, a loyal reader of my blog, over the weekend I learned that Mote is making some changes to their pricing model in 2022. The free version of Mote will be limited to twenty recordings per month beginning in January. That should still be plenty of recording time for students to use to add narration to Google Slides. Here's more information about the change to Mote's free and paid plans.

Use Google Drive to Add Questions and Comments to PDFs

In my previous post I shared directions for using Formative to add questions to PDFs. Another option is to use Google Drive to add questions and comments to PDFs. 

Adding comments to PDFs in Google Drive is one of those little features that is quite handy but is often overlooked. To add a comment to a PDF in Google Drive simply open the PDF in Drive (after you've uploaded it) and the click on the comment icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Anyone that you share the file with will be able to see your comments and respond to them (provided you allow commenting). Watch this short video to see how you can use Google Drive to add questions and comments to PDFs. 

Applications for Education
In the video above I used the commenting feature to add a question to a PDF copy of a primary source document (a letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams). I did that as a means to spark discussion and research by students. Of course, you could also just use the commenting feature to give feedback on a PDF that students share with you.

Use Formative to Build Questions Into Primary Source Documents

Formative is a great tool for creating all kinds of online activities from simple multiple choice quizzes to in-depth examinations for documents. One of the ways that I like to use it is to upload a document and then build questions into the document for students to answer while reading. In this new video I demonstrate using a PDF of a primary source document (a letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams) in Formative. 

Applications for Education
Using Formative to add questions into a primary source document can be a good way to conduct some quick comprehension checks as students are reading. If you change the nature of the questions to something like, "what's a tricky part of this passage?" or "what's something you don't understand about this passage" then Formative becomes a tool for gathering information about what parts of the document are difficult for your students.

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