Friday, May 13, 2016

How to Create an Interactive Series of Videos

Earlier today people who are subscribed to my YouTube channel may have received a notification of a new video posted. If you watched it (all 12 seconds of it) you might have wondered, "what the heck is Richard doing?" I posted it during a presentation this morning. The presentation was about making videos with students. That particular video was a demonstration of how to post a video made on Stupeflix to a YouTube channel. Then I demonstrated how to add annotations to the video. Adding annotations to videos allows you to create an interactive series of videos. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create an interactive series through the use of YouTube annotations.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Six Alternatives to TechSmith's Snagit, Knowmia, and ScreenChomp

This morning TechSmith announced that they are closing down Knowmia, ScreenChomp, and Snagit for Chrome. In other words, half of their free products that teachers loved. Here are some alternatives to those tools.

Three Alternatives to Snagit for Chrome:
Nimbus Screenshot is a free extension that allows you to capture screen images and create screencast videos. Screencasts recorded with Nimbus Screenshot can be saved to your local drive or to an online Nimbus account. I chose to save to my local drive then upload to my YouTube channel. You could also save to your local drive then share to Google Drive or another online storage service.

Evernote's Chrome extension now includes a screenshot tool. Images are saved directly to your Evernote account where you can then annotate them with drawings and text.

CaptureCast is a great tool for creating screencasts on a Chromebook. CaptureCast is rather easy to install. Your recording length is unlimited. You can record your webcam while recording your screen which you cannot do with the Nimbus tool or Snagit. Set-up of CaptureCast is easy too. For folks who don't want to use YouTube to share recordings, CaptureCast lets you share directly to a Vimeo account.

Three Alternatives to Knowmia and ScreenChomp:
30hands is a freemium iPad app that makes it very easy to create a narrated slideshow and or whiteboard video. To create a basic narrated slideshow on 30hands all you need to do is import images from your iPad’s camera roll then press the record button below each image to record your narration. If you don’t have any pictures on your iPad you can take pictures using the 30hands app. 30hands also allows you to draw images instead of importing pictures. You can combine imported pictures with drawn images in your presentations. And you can draw on top of imported images. When your project is complete you can save it on your iPad or share it with the 30hands community.

Educreations is a free iPad app that turns your iPad into a whiteboard. You can use the app to illustrate concepts and narrate what you’re doing on the screen. You can draw images from scratch on the Educreations iPad app or you can upload images and draw on them. Your completed lesson can be shared directly to others or made public on the Educreations website.

ShowMe was the first whiteboard app that I ever tried and it is still good. ShowMe is an app for creating and sharing whiteboard-style lessons on your iPad. To support teachers, the Show Me website is building a gallery of lessons developed and shared by teachers. Each day there is a “Show Me of the Day” that is added to the gallery of lessons. Click here to download the app from iTunes.

TechSmith is Ending Support for Popular Free Products

Eighteen months after acquiring the popular Knowmia Teach platform, TechSmith has announced that they are shutting it down this summer. It was a great iPad app and online platform for creating and sharing flipped video lessons.

Knowmia isn't the only product that TechSmith is shuttering. They are also ending support for Snagit for Chrome and removing ScreenChomp from the App store this store. Snagit for Chrome provided a nice way to create screen capture images and videos on a Chromebook. ScreenChomp was a nice, free iPad app for creating screencast videos.

TechSmith says they're ending these popular services so that they can focus on Snagit for desktop and Camtasia which both cost a minimum of $23.66 even with an educational discount.

I'll be sharing a list of alternatives to TechSmith's products soon.

Update: I just heard from TechSmith that they are going to continue support for Screencast.com and Coach's Eye, and Jing. So they're closing half of their free products. 

How to Blend Images in Google Slides

Earlier this week I posted the image you see to the left as part of my blog post about CK-12's summer math program. That image was made by blending two images together in Google Slides. To make the final image I went to Pixabay and grabbed a public domain image of a beach and a public domain image of an abacus. Then in Google Slides I used the image editing tools to layer the images and adjust the transparency so that it looks like the abacus and beach are blended together. Watch the video embedded below to see how I did it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Add Voice Notes to Pictures in Google Keep

This morning I was frustrated trying to get the new annotations feature in Evernote for Android to work correctly so I went back to using Google Keep to annotate my pictures on my Android phone. As I was annotating a picture I noticed that I could add a voice comment to the same note that my picture was in.

To add a voice comment to a picture in Google Keep you simply open the app and tap the camera icon in the "take a note" field. Then after taking your picture (or importing from your camera roll) tap the "+" icon in the lower-left corner to add a note. You can choose to type a note or your can tap the microphone icon to record a note. Then just start speaking. The audio file will automatically be attached to the note containing your image.

Applications for Education
Sometimes a voice note more accurately conveys what a student wants to remember about than a text note does.  Adding voice notes to pictures in Google Keep could provide students with a relatively easy way to make notes for themselves about a diagram or math problem that you've shared with them.