Thursday, September 15, 2022

Display Note Broadcast Adds Helpful Features to Improve Screen Sharing

Display Note Broadcast is a tool that I started using last spring as a means for broadcasting my screen to the screens of other people in the room. It provides a simple system in which you click a sharing button, display a join code for your audience, and then they enter it on their computers to see your screen. Display Note Broadcast also has a Google Classroom integration that makes screen sharing as simple asking your students to click a link in Google Classroom to see your screen. Here's my video overview of how it works

This week Display Note Broadcast announced the launch of some new features that will improve your experience and your students' experiences when you share your screen with them. Those new features include microphone and camera sharing, reduction of the "infinite mirroring" effect, and improved annotation tools. 

Display Note Broadcast now lets you share your camera and microphone. This means that students who can't see you well or aren't even in the room with you can now see you on their screens when you have your camera turned on (think of it like Zoom on-demand). This also means that students who have difficulty hearing you, can listen to you on their computers at a volume that works for them. Watch this video for a brief overview of these new settings in action. 

Live Draw is Display Note Broadcast's annotation feature. With this feature enabled you can draw on your screen and students see your drawings and annotations on their screens. This could be great for giving quick visual instructions to your students. Here's a brief video overview of the Live Draw feature

Finally, if you have ever started a screen sharing session and seen your screen mirrored 1,000 times, you've experienced "infinite mirroring." This happens with lots of screen sharing tools and not just with Display Note Broadcast. Display Note Broadcast has taken a step to cure this problem by adding an overlay effect to remove the appearance of infinite mirroring when you look at your shared screen on your own computer. 

Synth is Shutting Down to Focus on Focusable - Other Audio Recording Tools to Try

Synth is a podcasting tool that I've used and shared with countless teachers since 2018. Unfortunately, as the title of this post states, the owners of Synth are shutting it down to focus on their new service called Focusable (a cool service that I'll be writing more about in the next issue of the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter). According to the email sent to users last night, Synth will be shutting down on October 13th. 

If you find yourself now looking for some alternatives to Synth, here are my suggestions for tools to try. 

Simple Audio Recording Tools

I've been using Vocaroo for more than a decade. It's incredibly simple to use. Just head to the site, click the record button, and start talking. When you're finished recording hit the stop button. You can listen to your recording before downloading it as an MP3. If you don't like your recording you can create a new one by just refreshing the homepage and starting again.

Online Voice Recorder offers the same simplicity of Vocaroo plus a couple of features that I've always wished Vocaroo had. One of those features is the ability to pause a recording in progress and resume it when I want to. The other feature is the option to trim the dead air at the beginning and end of a recording.

Twisted Wave
Twisted Wave offers many more features than either of the tools mentioned above. But at it's most basic level you can still just head to the site, launch the recorder, start talking, and then export your recording as an MP3 all without creating an account on the site. For those who are looking for a way to save audio directly into Google Drive, Twisted Wave offers that capability. 

Watch this video for a short overview of all three of the services mentioned above. 


Anchor is a simple and free platform for recording, editing, and distributing podcasts. Recording on Anchor can be as simple as just holding down the record button on your phone or on your laptop and then releasing it when you're done talking. Anchor lets you upload external audio files to include in your podcast. Finally, if you want to distribute your podcast to Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Podcasts, Spotify (Anchor’s parent company) or any other large podcast networks, Anchor simplifies that process for you. Watch the video here to learn how to publish a podcast through Anchor.

Asynchronous Audio Conversations
Microsoft Flip made its name as a service for teachers and students to use to record and share short videos with each other. But there were some teachers and students who preferred not to appear on camera. To remedy that, for a few years I would recommend that people just cover the webcam when recording. But now Flip has an audio-only recording option. You'll find that option in the "options" menu that appears when you launch the recorder that is built into Flip. See the screenshot below to locate the audio-only option in Microsoft Flip.

Disclosure: The owner of Synth and Focusable is an advertiser on this site. 

Popular Posts