Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kaizena Adds Support for Giving Audio Feedback on Google Presentations

This is news that I have been waiting to announce for days! Kaizena now supports adding audio feedback on Google Presentations. Kaizena is a tool that integrates with your Google Drive account. With Kaizena authorized to access your Google Drive account you can highlight portions of your students' work and add voice or text comments to it. Until today you could only leave voice comments on Google Documents, now you can leave voice comments on Google Presentations too.

To use Kaizena to leave voice comments for your students your student should share their Documents or Presentations with you. Once they have shared their Documents or Presentations with you, open the shared file through Kaizena. With the shared file open you can highlight a portion of a slide then click the microphone icon to record your voice comment. Your students will see the comments after you have saved them. Greg Kulowiec outlined the process in this post. You can also watch the video below to see how the new feature works.

Some Ideas and Examples for Using Google+ Hangouts in School

This morning I virtually dropped into my friend Eric Cole's workshop on Google+. Eric was demonstrating Google+ Hangouts to teachers in his school and I was happy to say hello and share some ideas for using Google+ Hangouts in education.

The first example that I shared was Kern Kelley and his students in Newport, Maine producing the Tech Sherpas show. Every week during the school year Kern and his students host a Google+ Hangout on Air in which they share technology tips for teachers and students. One of their recent episodes was all about forwarding domains.

Jenn Scheffer and her students at Burlington High School in Massachusetts produce a Google+ Hangout on Air show that is similar in nature to that of Tech Sherpas. The BHS show is slightly different in that they will interview people on the show. I have been on twice to talk about blogging. Jenn outlined the process of producing the show in this guest post last month.

Connected Classrooms is a program sponsored by Google for the purpose of bringing experts into classrooms through Google+ Hangouts. Connected Classrooms uses Google+ Hangouts On Air to take students on virtual field trips to museums and zoos. In these Google+ Hangouts On Air students may have the opportunity to ask questions of the museum and zoo experts that are leading the virtual field trips. You can find a complete schedule of virtual field trips on the Connected Classrooms website.

Google+ Hangouts can be useful for hosting peer editing sessions and peer tutoring sessions. In a Google+ Hangout you can pull in a Google Document, Presentation, or Spreadsheet to have a conversation about the content within it.

Free Course - Copyright for Educators & Librarians

Copyright can be one heck of a confusing topic. There seems to be an endless number of nuances and exceptions to copyright rules. To help educators gain a better understanding of copyright as it relates to schools, instructors from Duke, Emory, and UNC Chapel Hill have created a Coursera course titled Copyright for Educators & Librarians.

Copyright for Educators & Librarians is a four week course beginning on July 21st. It is free to register and participate in this online professional development course. Attendees who desire a "verified certificate" can register for that option for a $49 fee.

The course will feature four units of study:

  • A framework for thinking about copyright.
  • Authorship and rights.
  • Specific exceptions for teachers and librarians.
  • Understanding and using fair use.
If you're looking for a primer on copyright issues, take a look at this collection of resources for learning about and teaching about copyright

Going to ISTE? Don't Miss Hack Ed 14

Next week I am going back to ISTE's annual conference for the first time since 2010. (The last few years I missed because I was speaking at other events at the same time). The day before the ISTE conference begins, Audrey Watters and Steve Hargadon are hosting the Hack Ed 14 unconference. Hack Ed was previously known as EduBloggerCon. The unconference is a day of conversations that are organized that day by the attendees. Anyone can attend, even those who are not registered for ISTE can attend.

Hack Ed is the aspect of going to Atlanta that I am looking forward to the most. The time to connect with other people that are passionate about education and technology is what makes the event outstanding. If you're planning to go to Atlanta for ISTE, don't miss Hack Ed 14.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tackk Introduces Tackk Stream for Commenting on Digital Portfolios and Simple Webpages

Tackk is a nice service for creating simple webpages, announcement pages, and digital portfolios. I wrote a review of the service back in April. Today, Tackk added a new feature called Stream.

At its core Tackk Stream is a commenting system. But these are not your typical text-based comments. Tackk Stream allows you to include videos and images including animated GIFs in your comments. Tackk Stream can be made private or public. In the announcement of the new feature the Tackk team suggests using Stream for collaborating on the creation of task lists. Of course, you could simply use the service to gather feedback on something that you've written on your Tackk page.

Tackk from Tackk on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Tackk could be a good tool for students to use to quickly create a page to show off some of their digital photography, video creation projects, or audio files. If your students use the private option you could use Tackk Stream to give them feedback on elements of their digital portfolios.

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