Monday, August 15, 2016

Six Audio Recording Tools That Work In Your Web Browser

As I have mentioned over the last couple of days, last week someone rightly pointed out to me that the Practical Ed Tech Tips playlist on my YouTube channel was getting a bit too long (it has more than 200 videos in it). To rectify that problem I've created some smaller playlists consisting of videos that I've published on various topics within my YouTube channel. One of those smaller playlists features six web-based audio recording tools. The playlist is embedded below. Descriptions of each tool are included below the embedded playlist.


Through TwistedWave you can create and edit spoken audio recordings from scratch. Your completed tracks can be exported to Google Drive and SoundCloud. If you have existing audio tracks in your SoundCloud or Google Drive account you can also import it into TwistedWave to edit those audio tracks. TwistedWave's audio editing tools include options for fade-in, fade-out, looping, sound normalization, and pitch adjustments. The editor also includes the typical track clipping tools that you would expect to see in an audio editing tool.

Mic Note is a free Chrome app that allows you to create voice recordings, text notes, and image-based notes on one concise notebook page. The notes that you record with your voice can be time-stamped by clicking on your Mic Note note page while you're recording. You can also take notes without recording any audio. All notes support inclusion of images and links. The best part of Mic Note is that you can sync all of your notes to your Google Drive or Dropbox account.

Vocaroo is a free service that you can use to create short audio recordings. Creating a recording on Vocaroo is a simple process that does not require you to create an account or have any special browser plugins. Just go to the site and click record to get started.

SoundCloud's Android and iOS apps no longer have the recording features that they used to have, but the browser based version still offers a good recording tool. After recording in your SoundCloud account you can grab the embed code for any of your recordings.

AudioPal is a free service that anyone can use to create short audio messages to embed into blog posts. AudioPal offers three way to create messages. You can record using the microphone connected to your computer. You can record by calling AudioPal's phone system. Or you can create a message by using AudioPal's text-to-speech function.

AudioBoom offers an easy way for teachers and students to create short audio recordings that are matched to images. Android and iOS apps are also available from AudioBoom.

GPlates Portal - Visualizations of Geophysical and Geological Data

GPlates Portal is a resource that teachers of geology and geography will want to spend some time exploring. GPlates Portal is produced by the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney. In the GPlates Portal you will find twelve interactive displays of geological and geophysical data.

Most of the interactive displays that you will find on GPlates Portal are too advanced for most high school settings. That said, there are two displays that are appropriate for middle school and high school settings. Those displays are the Rift Velocity map and the Paleo Map Maker.

The Rift Velocity map provides a visualization of continental drift over time. The map includes a timeline that you can play back to see a visualization of continental drift. The divisions between each continent are highlighted on the map. Click on the highlights to focus-in a specific drift rate.

The Paleo Map Maker is similar to the Rift Velocity map in that you can see a visualization of continental separation. Rather than playing the visualization as an animation, the Paleo Map Maker lets you see static visualization of continental positions at specific times.

Applications for Education
The Rift Velocity map and the Paleo Map Maker could be helpful when trying to help students understand the rate of continental drift. The visualizations could also be useful in showing students how the continents moved to their current positions.

H/T to Maps Mania.

Next Vista Launches New Selection of ELL Videos

Next Vista for Learning is a video sharing that I've featured dozens of times over the years. Next Vista for Learning is different from other educational video sharing sites because all videos are reviewed before publication and all videos have to teach some kind of short lesson. Students and teachers can submit videos for publication on Next Vista for Learning.

The latest project on Next Vista for Learning is dedicated to publishing videos for English language learners. The project is called the English Language Project. The goal of the project is to create the world's largest library of videos for ELL. Teachers and students can contribute to the English Language Project by choosing a topic and then creating a set of videos about the vocabulary words related to the topic. Take a look at the English Language Project videos to see some examples of what you and your students could add.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

16 Student Feedback Tools Tutorials

As I mentioned yesterday, last week someone rightly pointed out to me that the Practical Ed Tech Tips playlist on my YouTube channel was getting a bit too long (it has more than 200 videos in it). To rectify that problem I've created some smaller playlists consisting of videos that I've published on various topics within my YouTube channel. One of those smaller playlists features sixteen tutorials on student feedback tools including popular services like TodaysMeet and lesser-known services like PingPong. The playlist is embedded below.

PBS Election Central Offers Debate Kits for Classrooms

Earlier this year PBS launched a new version of Election Central. That website is dedicated to helping teachers help students understand the process of choosing the next President of the United States. Join the Debates is one of the features of Election Central that teachers should find useful as we head into the last couple of months leading to the election in November.

In Join the Debates teachers will find a free poster highlighting general rules of engagement for a classroom debate. More importantly, in Join the Debates teachers will find a thirteen page booklet of ideas and guidelines for classroom debates related to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The booklet includes a list of debate questions covering topics ranging from immigration to healthcare to foreign relations to energy and environmental policies.

Other useful resources available through PBS Election Central include videos about Electoral College, lesson plans about the role of media in an election, and lessons about public speaking and persuasion.

PBS Learning Central's interactive election map was previously featured here on Free Technology for Teachers. The interactive election map displays important and interesting facts about each state and each candidate for President. The map will show students where a candidate was most recently seen campaigning. Students can also use the map to find quotes from candidates about hot-button campaign topics like immigration, defense spending, and climate change.

Applications for Education
Facilitating a productive classroom debate can be tricky if you haven't done it often and or you haven't planned it well. Using the resources in the Join the Debates booklet should help you help your students get the most out of a classroom debate activity. While the booklet is designed for debates about topics related to this year's election, the concepts outlined in the booklet could be applied to many other topics.