Thursday, June 25, 2015

118 Practical Ed Tech Tips Videos

Six months ago I started to organize the screencast videos that I've made over the years. I called the list Practical Ed Tech Tips. Since I started that list I've made an effort to add one or two new screencasts to it every week. The Practical Ed Tech Tips playlist now contains 118 videos covering all kinds of resources. Some of the topics covered in the playlist include Gmail settings, creating backchannels, digital portfolios, blogging tips, and building educational games. In the playlist you will also find videos about tools for flipping your classroom, videos on managing workflow, social media tips, search strategies, and media production. The entire playlist is embedded below.

The Open Library - Borrow and Read Thousands of Ebooks

If you're looking for some new books to read this summer, take a look at the Open Library  which is a part of the Internet Archive. The Open Library is a collection of more than one million free ebook titles. The collection is cataloged by a community of volunteer online librarians. The ebooks in the Open Library can be read online, downloaded to your computer, read on Kindle and other ereader devices, and embedded into other sites. Some of the ebooks, like Treasure Island, can also be listened to through the Open Library.



Applications for Education
Much like Google Books, the Open Library can be a great place to find free copies of classic literature that you want to use in your classroom. The Open Library could also be a good place for students to find books that they want to read on their own. The audio option, while very electronic sounding, could be helpful if you cannot locate any other audio copies of the books you desire.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Create a Picture Book Online With Jellybean Writer

UPDATE 10/19/2018: This tool is no longer available. 

Over the weekend I published about five tools for creating picture books online. Two of the tools in that post were accompanied by tutorial videos. I'm putting together tutorial videos for the other tools in that list. First up is a tutorial on Jellybean Writer. The video is embedded below.

Jellybean Writer is a free tool for creating picture books. Students can import pictures from their computers then write captions for each image. All stories can be saved online or downloaded and printed. If picture books are too simple for your students, they can skip using pictures and select one of the text only templates for the pages in their books. As you will see in the video below, teacher can create and manage student accounts in Jellybean Scoop.

Three Helpful Gmail Settings for Students and Teachers

Yesterday's post about the new (to some users) Gmail setting called "Undo Send" prompted a few questions to appear in my inbox. To address those questions I recorded the following video containing an overview of three helpful Gmail settings for students and teachers. The video covers using Gmail offline, setting the "undo send" grace period, and setting the "reply v. reply all" default function.

Create Interactive Videos on Wideo

Wideo is a nice tool for creating Common Craft-style videos. You can create animated videos on Wideo by dragging and dropping clipart and text in storyboard frames. You set the position and animation sequence for each element in each storyboard frame. When you have completed your storyboards Wideo generates a video for you.

This week Wideo added a new feature that allows you to build interactive buttons into each frame of your video. The buttons can be hyperlinked to any webpage that you like. When people are watching your video they can click the buttons to be taken to the webpage you want them to land on. For example, clicking the buttons in the video embedded below will take you to the website of my favorite animal rescue organizations.




Applications for Education
Wideo can be a great tool for students to use to bring their creative short stories to life. Wideo could also be used by students to create animated explanations of historical events, to animate biographies, or to teach other short lessons. By adding interactive buttons to their videos students can direct people to websites where they can learn more about the subjects featured in their videos.

The free version of Wideo limits video length to 45 seconds. 45 seconds is long enough for a lot of video projects. Discounts are given to educators who want to purchase the capability to produce longer videos.