Sunday, October 27, 2013

Huzzaz - Embed Galleries of Educational Videos Into Your Blog

Huzzaz is a new site (still in private beta although you can request an invitation) for organizing and sharing collections of educational videos. I tried the site for the first time back in August. At that time I thought that it had some excellent features for creating and sharing collections of educational videos.

Today, I learned through this post on the Huzzaz Blog that the service a new sharing option. The new option allows you to embed your collections of educational videos into your blog or website. The difference between creating the collection on Huzzaz versus on YouTube is that Huzzaz collections can include YouTube and Vimeo videos whereas YouTube playlists only have YouTube videos.

The basic purpose of Huzzaz is to help you create and organize collections of videos. In your account you can make as many thematic collections as you like. To add a video from YouTube or Vimeo to your collections you can search within Huzzaz, use the Huzzaz browser bookmarklet, or copy and paste video URLs into your collections. Once you have some videos in a collection you can organize them by simply dragging and dropping them into a sequence. Your collections can be shared with others. Likewise, you can share individual videos.

When you share an individual video from a Huzzaz collection you can host real-time discussions about it. To do this simply click the "comments" icon while the video is playing to open a live chat box.

Applications for Education
Teachers that are using the flipped classroom model could find Huzzaz to be an excellent tool for organizing the videos that they plan to share with students.
Students may find Huzzaz's real-time chat feature to be useful for holding online review sessions that are based around the videos their teachers have shared with them.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week in Review - The Part Where I Become a Professional Athlete

Good morning from the Toronto International Airport. I'm currently on my way home from another great visit to the Grande Prairie, Alberta School Division. I've been to Alberta at least a half dozen times in the last year, but this trip was special because a Canadian customs agent flagged me for extra screening. While that was not what I wanted to go through at 1am after flying with a head cold, I did come out of the experience learning that I could be admitted under the same "performer" exemption used for musicians, professional athletes, and "internationally recognized experts." This is the closest that I'll ever come to being confused for a professional athlete.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Free iPad Apps for Science Lessons
2. 5 Free Apps and Sites for Creating Animations
3. PBS Math Club - Short Interactive Math Videos
4. How to Create a Linked Series of YouTube Videos
5. How to Create Audio Slideshows in YouTube
6. 5 Online Tools That Help You Align Lessons to Common Core Standards
7. A Search Engine for SMART Notebook Files

Would you like to have me visit your school this year?
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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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Friday, October 25, 2013

Figure This - Math Challenges for Families

Figure This is a website produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The site presents viewers with a series of math problems designed to spark discussion and collaboration between parents and their children. The problems are based around objects and situations with which most students will be familiar. For example, there are questions about how movies make money, how far a paper airplane can fly, and when to buy block ice instead of crushed ice.

Applications for Education
Figure This could be a good resource for mathematics problems that you can send home with your elementary school students to discuss with their parents. Some of the challenges include a physical element that could be used in a fun classroom lesson.

Create and Reserve Appointment Slots in Google Calendar

One of the advantages of using Google Apps for Education rather than a generic, commercial Google account is that GAFE users have access to some settings and features that others cannot access. One example of this is found in Google Calendar. In Google Calendar, Google Apps for Education users can create appointment slots. The appointment slots can be used to show people when you are available and allow them to sign-up to meet with you. The Google Guru video below provides an overview of the process.


Applications for Education
This is the time of year when a lot of schools start to schedule parent-teacher conferences. If you're using Google Calendar inside GAFE, the appointment slots option could be a great way to have parents register for meetings. Another use case is showing parents when there is a need for a "room parent" volunteer.

Add Voice Comments to Google Documents With Kaizena

Back in May I shared a handy tool for adding voice comments to Google Documents. That tool was called 121 Writing. Over the summer 121 Writing was renamed as Kaizena. Whatever you call it, it's a good tool for giving audio feedback to your students.

To use Kaizena you do have to authorize it to access your Google Account. With the authorization step completed you can open any document, highlight a selection of text, and record your comments for students to listen to. John Hardison offers a good overview of the process in the video below.


Applications for Education
I showed Kaizena to a group of teachers today. The conclusion that a few of us came to is that Kaizena may not save you time in giving feedback to students. However, for students who need audio support Kaizena could be an excellent way to provide that support to students while giving them feedback on their written work.