Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Week in Review

It was a busy week here in the land of Free Technology for Teachers. Between moving into a new house and traveling to speak at WLMA 2013, I wasn't able to get as many posts published as I typically do every week. I'll make up for it soon. If you had a busy week too and want to quickly see what other educators liked this week, take a look at this week's most popular posts listed below.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Animated Math Lessons for Kids
2. Five Mathematics Glossaries for Kids
3. JST Virtual Science Center
4. Try Word Hippo for Definitions, Antonyms, Translations, and More
5. 7 Free iPad Apps for Science Lessons

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Remind 101 offers a free tool for sending text message reminders to students.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is organizing two iPad summits this school year.
Metta is a great tool for creating multimedia presentations and quizzes.

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How to Create a Linked Series of YouTube Videos

In my previous post about PBS Math Club I mentioned that you could create similar videos by using the annotations tool in the YouTube video editor. If you would like to try this yourself, I have directions that will walk you through the process. Keep in mind that you can only annotate videos that you own and upload to your YouTube account.

PBS Math Club - Short Interactive Math Videos

PBS Math Club is a new YouTube channel in which students can watch and interact with math videos. Each of the videos contains a series of math lessons and challenge activities. To complete a challenge students click on the video to answer questions. If they answer correctly, they move on to the next question. If they answer incorrectly students are shown another video clip that explains the correct answer. Watch one of the videos below.


Applications for Education
PBS Math Club is just getting started. As more content is added to it, it could become a good source of flipped lesson materials. The videos utilize the YouTube annotations tool which you could also use to create your own series of interactive video lessons.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Create Audio Slideshows in YouTube

Twice in the last two days at the WLMA 2013 conference I demonstrated how to create audio slideshows on YouTube. Creating audio slideshows in YouTube is a good alternative to using Animoto.

Animoto is an excellent tool for creating audio slideshows. But there are some limitations to it that some teachers don't like. Most notable of those limitations is the time limit (30 seconds unless you get an Animoto for Education account), lack of space for text, and that students have to remember a username and password to use it. The YouTube slideshow tool provides a tool for creating audio slideshows without those three limitations of Animoto.

YouTube Photo Slideshows don't have a time limit other than the standard 15 minute limit applied to all new YouTube accounts (there are work-arounds for this). YouTube Photo Slideshows allow you to specify the length of time that each image is displayed for. After uploading your images you can use the annotations tool to add as much text as you like to each frame of your video. If you're working in a school that uses Google Apps for Education, your students can use their log-in credentials on YouTube so they don't have to create separate usernames and passwords.

The images below show you how to create a Photo Slideshow on YouTube. (Click the images to view them full size).

Step 1: Log into your YouTube account and click "upload" then click "Photo Slideshow."

Step 2: Select images from your Google Account or upload images from your computer.

Step 3: Drag and drop your images into the sequence in which you want them to appear.

Step 4: Choose a sound track and select the slide display duration and transition.

Step 5: Enter a title, description, and tags for your images. Select a thumbnail and privacy setting.

Step 6: Use the annotations tool to add text to each frame of your video. You can specify the length of time that each annotation is displayed for.

Watch my sample video below.

A Global Science Experiment - Testing Foods for Vitamin C

The Royal Society of Chemistry has launched a new global project for students. The project, simply called The Global Experiment, asks students to measure the level of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables. The Global Experiment includes a series of small activities for students to complete. The activities are comparing vitamin C content of foods based on where they were grown, the effects of aging on vitamin C levels, and the effects of cooking on vitamin C levels. After completing the activities students can share their results with the The Global Experiment to see the results from other students' experiments around the world.

Applications for Education
The Global Experiment includes detailed directions for teachers and students to use in carrying out each of the activities. Participating in The Global Experiment could be a good way for students to see if location effects the vitamin C content found in various fruits and vegetables around the world.