Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Best Adobe Spark Alternative

In the last two weeks I've had a handful of people email me to ask for alternatives to Adobe Spark for creating videos. I'm taking that as a sign that Adobe didn't go a great job communicating that they simply rebranded Adobe Spark as Adobe Creative Cloud Express. It has all of the same tools that you used for creating videos in Adobe Spark. You can even use the same log-in credentials for it. 

If you haven't tried Adobe Creative Cloud Express to create a video, watch this tutorial video to see how easy it is to use it. 



Applications for Education
Some of the things that make Adobe Creative Cloud Express a good video creation tool for students are the built-in image search tools, the ease with which you can change color schemes, and the ability for students to remotely collaborate on the creation of a video.

How to Mirror an Android Phone to a PC or Mac

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I included a video in which I simultaneously displayed my Android phone's screen and iPad's screen on my Windows desktop. A few folks have emailed me to ask how I did that. If you're curious about the process I used, here it is. 

The Problem
My usual method of mirroring my phone screen to my computer is to use Airserver. However, I can only mirror one device at a time through Airserver. To make a video in which the screens of two devices were shown simultaneously, I needed to either do some laborious editing or figure out a way to mirror two devices that the same time. 

The Solution
In order to show the screens of two devices at the same time, I had to install a second screen mirroring program that could run at the same time as Airserver without causing a conflict. The solution was to use Vysor. 

Vysor is a program that I've used in the past to use an Android phone as a document camera. With Vysor lets you mirror a phone to a PC or Mac via USB cable. That means that it can run at the same time as Airserver and it doesn't conflict with it. 

Making the Video
To make the video I then mirrored my iPad's screen to my PC via Airserver and mirrored my Android phone's screen to my PC via Vysor. Then I recorded both screens in the same frame by using Screencast-o-matic on my desktop.