Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How to Make a Good Explanatory Video - Research, Planning, Editing

MinuteEarth is a popular YouTube channel whose videos I've featured a handful of times on this blog. Their short videos provide explanations of interesting science topics like why rivers curve and why it is hot underground. Last week MinuteEarth published a video about the process their team uses to produce their videos.


Applications for Education
This video could be helpful in showing students the process of creating a good, concise explanatory video. In particular, it is notable that the visual components are the last things added to the video.

How to Create a Google Spaces Community

On Monday morning Google introduced their latest attempt at building a social network. The new product is called Spaces.

Google Spaces is a platform on which you can create small communities of friends and colleagues in which you share links, notes, and pictures. A Google Spaces Chrome extension makes it easy to share links with people in your Space. I created a couple of communities this morning. You can learn how to create a Google Spaces community by watching my video embedded below.


Applications for Education
Google Spaces could be a good tool to use to create a small community of friends and colleagues to build discussions around shared resources. I can also see potential for using Google Spaces as a place in which you host online discussions for high school and college students taking one of your courses.

How to Use JoeZoo Express - A Google Docs Add-on for Grading Writing

JoeZoo Express is a powerful Google Docs Add-on that can help you more efficiently comment on your students' writing in Google Documents. JoeZoo enables you to give feedback on students' Google Documents by simply highlighting text then selecting feedback statements from a huge menu of feedback statements. You can use standard feedback statements provided by JoeZoo or set your own statements to re-use throughout your documents. It can take some time to understand all of the nuances of JoeZoo Express. The following playlist of videos will walk you through the set-up and use of JoeZoo Express.


Applications for Education
JoeZoo Express could save you a lot of time when you're giving feedback and grading students' work in Google Documents. Teachers who want to use rubrics to give feedback and grades can do so within JoeZoo Express. JoeZoo offers a free rubric builder tool. You can customize the rubric to meet your specific needs. The rubrics that you create can be saved and inserted into students' documents when you are grading their work.

JoeZoo Express does integrate with Google Classroom. You can import your Google Classroom rosters into JoeZoo to streamline the process of returning work to your students.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Great Tools for Creating Screencasts - A PDF Handout

Over the last few weeks I have shared my favorite tools for creating screencast videos on Chromebooks, on Windows and Mac computers, on iPads, and on Android tablets. Many people who read this blog work in BYOD environments or otherwise need tools for creating screencasts on a variety of devices. Therefore, this morning I put together a PDF featuring my favorite screencasting tools and methods. You can view the document as embedded below or you can grab a Google Docs copy here.

Access LitCharts on Your iPhone or Android Phone

Last week I published a blog post about LitCharts. Shortly after that post went live my friend Denise texted me to say how much she loves the LitCharts iPhone app. Until then I wasn't aware that LitCharts offered an iOS app. It turns out that LitCharts is also available as a free Android app.

The LitCharts iOS and Android apps offer the same great literature guides that are found on the LitCharts website. The apps are free and advertisement-free. Besides the guides themselves, the best aspect of the apps is that they can be used offline. Students can choose which guides that they want to use offline.

LitCharts features background information on a book's author, a color-coded list of themes in the book, a plot summary, a character list and summary, and a theme-tracker. The theme-tracker helps students keep track of literary themes with examples throughout a book.