Sunday, January 2, 2022

Add Audio to Almost Anything in Google Workspace

One of my absolute favorite new tools in 2021 was a Chrome extension called Mote. With Mote installed you can add audio comments to Google Docs, Google Classroom, and Google Slides. You can also use Mote to add audio to Google Forms and insert audio into Google Slides with just one click. Mote also lets you record audio messages to share directly in Gmail and or via QR codes. All of those things are featured in this Mote compilation video that I put together earlier this week. 

Applications for Education
As I've been saying since the first day that I tried Mote, the thing that I like the best about it is ability to give students feedback in your own voice. There's a comfort in hearing feedback instead of just reading it that a lot of students benefit from. That's especially true when the feedback is being provided to students who might struggle to understand your feedback when they're just reading it instead of hearing it. 

All About American Buffalo

I read Steven Rinella's American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon last week. It's a fascinating book about the history of humans' relationship with American buffalo (bison) in North America. The telling of the history is intermixed with Rinella's own stories of finding a buffalo skull in Montana, visiting historic buffalo jumps, and hunting for buffalo in Alaska. 

Even as someone who has read a fair bit about buffalo in the past, I found some fun new facts in American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon. For example, George Washington once considered raising a herd of buffalo for their coats (shearing them like sheep would have been quite the challenge). 

Reading Rinella's book reminded me of some excellent videos about bison that I've shared in the past. Meet the American Bison does a fine job of showing younger students basic facts about bison. If you look carefully, you'll also notice that it does a great job of modeling how to cite the sources of images used in a video.

Older students who want to learn about bison should turn to the resources available on the Yellowstone National Park website. Those resources include the following video about the challenges of bison conservation.