Saturday, August 13, 2016

Displaying YouTube Without Distractions

In my previous post I shared the idea of using extended display mode to choose what is and isn't displayed on the projector in your classroom. If one of the things that you want to display is a YouTube video, you'll want to make sure that you don't accidentally display the "related" videos that appear on YouTube. You can avoid displaying related videos by using one of the following free tools. None of these tools will bypass your school's filter nor will they let you download videos.

Watchkin is a service that allows you to watch and project YouTube videos without seeing the related sidebar content typically seen on YouTube.com. Watchkin can be used in a few ways. You can enter the direct URL of a video into Watchkin to have the sidebar content removed. You can search for videos through Watchkin and have family-friendly results displayed (if a video appears that is not family-friendly Watchkin has a mechanism for flagging it as inappropriate). Watchkin also offers a browser bookmarklet tool that you can click while on YouTube.com to have the related content disappear from the page.

View Pure is a simple little tool that strips way all of the distractions of related videos, comments, and promoted videos. To use View Pure just copy the link of a video into the "purifier," click purify, and your video will be displayed on a blank white background. You can also install the View Pure bookmarklet to accomplish the same goal.

Quietube is a handy little browser extension that removes all the clutter from YouTube allowing you to view only your selected video. Quietube removes all advertising, sidebar content, comments, and ratings. Installing Quietube requires nothing more than dragging the Quietube button to your toolbard. Then anytime that you're on YouTube click the Quietube button to remove all of the clutter and just watch your selected video. Quietube works for Viddler and Vimeo videos too.

SafeShare.tv makes it possible to view YouTube videos without displaying the related videos and associated comments. To use SafeShare.tv simply copy the url of a YouTube video and paste it into SafeShare.tv. SafeShare also offers browser bookmarklet that eliminates the need to copy and paste links.

Embedding YouTube videos into Google Slides, a blog post, or wiki page will also allow you to show videos without displaying the sidebar content that is typically found on a YouTube page.

Control What's Projected With Chromecast or Extended Display

Whether it is to quickly search for a video, find a bookmark on Pinterest, or dig-up a file in your Google Drive there are times when you'll find your computer hooked to a projector, but you don't want everything projected in front of your classroom. That's when using the "extended display" mode is handy. Extended display allows you to project one thing while looking at another on your computer's screen.

Let's say you want to find a in your Google Drive, but you don't want to project your entire Google Drive dashboard to your students. With extended display activated you could search within your Google Drive for your file then when you find it you can move its display from your computer's screen to your projector screen. Similarly, if you a Chromecast you can search in your web browser and or have multiple tabs open in your web browser then choose which specific tab to project.

How you extend your display varies slightly depending upon the operating system that you're using on your computer. Mac users can find directions here. Windows 7 users will want to follow these directions. Windows 8 users should follow these directions. Windows 10 users will find these directions helpful. Chromebook users can follow the directions here to connect and extend displays.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

HipHughes History Celebrates 300 Video Lessons

This week Keith Hughes celebrated the publication of the 300th video on his massively popular HipHughes History channel. His latest video is a short explanation of the flipped classroom model and how it uses it. That video is embedded below.


Along with his 300th video, this week Keith published a Google Document that lists all of the videos that he's published. Of course, you could also just go to HipHughes History and search for a video. If you're not sure how to search within a channel on YouTube, watch my short tutorial video on that topic.

Storyboard That Offers Four School Year Starter Projects

On Wednesday I published a post about using pictures to get students to tell stories about themselves to help you and their classmates get to know each other. Shortly after I published that post I received an email from Storyboard That about their back-to-school story ideas.

Storyboard That published a blog post featuring four ways to use their storyboarding tools to start the year. My favorite of the four suggestions is to use Storyboard That to have students create short summaries of the things that they love. Students can make their stories as simple or as detailed as they like. In the sample provided by Storyboard That the students simply inserted images and wrote one or two words about the image. You could also have students create a comic containing entire dialogue about a favorite hobby. 

The other back-to-school activities suggested in the Storyboard That blog post are summer reading summaries, stories about goals for the new school year, and stories summarizing summer vacation highlights. 

Learn about some of the great features of Storyboard That in my playlist of video tutorials. The playlist includes six short tutorials as well as one complete webinar recording featuring Storyboard That.



Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

How to Conduct an Online Poll and Gather Image Responses Instantly

PingPong is a free online polling system that lets you collect feedback in the form of multiple choice, text, or image-based responses. In the short video embedded below I demonstrate the teacher and student views of the free PingPong response system.


Applications for Education
All PingPong activities are single question/ single prompt activities. The single question nature of PingPong makes it good for conducting a quick survey of your students' knowledge of a single concept before or after a lesson. The drawing feature makes PingPong a good option for asking questions that aren't easily answered with a typed response. PingPong offers free Android and iPad apps which make it easier than using a mouse or touch pad for students when they sketch responses to your questions.