Friday, November 18, 2016

A Video About Making Screencast Videos

The questions that I answer in my email more frequently than any other are about making screencast videos. Most people want to know what tool I use for creating screencasts and or how to create a screencast on a Chromebook. In the video embedded below I explain and show the three tools that I use to create nearly all of the tutorial videos that appear in my YouTube channel.

The tools featured in this video are Blue Snowball microphone,, and Nimbus Screenshot.

Protagonist vs. Antagonist - A Student Video

Throughout the year Next Vista for Learning hosts student video contests. All of the contests ask students to create short lessons about a wide variety of topics. The latest contest winner was announced earlier this week. The winning video was Protagonist vs. Antagonist. The 86 second video provides students with a clear explanation of the roles of protagonists and antagonists in a story. Watch the video as embedded below or see it on Next Vista where you can download a Creative Commons licensed copy of the video.

Applications for Education
As a follow-up to this video you could have your students create videos to explain other elements necessary for the creation of a compelling fiction story. Ask your students to use examples from their favorite books or movies.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

G Suite for Education Has a New Templates Option

On Wednesday Google announced some changes to the Google Docs, Slides, Forms, and Sheets templates galleries. The old version of the templates gallery found at will be going away at the end of the year. It will be replaced by the templates that you currently see when you go to,,, or These template galleries can be enhanced by G Suite for Education users. 

Beginning today and rolling out over the next couple of weeks there is a new option for G Suite for Education users to share templates to a domain-wide gallery. G Suite administrators should already see an option to submit templates to a domain-wide gallery (admins, you must enable the feature if you had disabled the old template gallery option). Beginning later this week and throughout the next couple of weeks end-users (teachers and students) will be able to submit templates to your domain gallery. Those templates will be available to anyone in the domain when they go to create a new document, forms, spreadsheet, or slide presentation. 

Applications for Education
Creating and distributing templates is a great option for teachers who want their students to follow a prescribed format for things like lab reports or research outlines. 

You can learn more about creating and using templates in my online course Getting Going With G Suite.

EDpuzzle Offers an Android App for Students

Thanks to David Kapuler I have just learned that EDpuzzle now offers an Android app for students. The EDpuzzle Android app lets students join your EDpuzzle classroom, find assignments, watch videos, and answer the questions that you have added into videos in your EDpuzzle classroom. Students who have more than one teacher using EDpuzzle can join and receive updates from multiple courses within the app.

At this time the EDpuzzle Android app is only available in a student version. According to their description on the Google Play Store, a version for teachers is on its way.

For folks who are not familiar with EDpuzzle it is a service that lets you create video-based lessons by adding multiple choice, true/false, and open response questions to videos that you have created as well as to videos you find on YouTube. One of the great features of EDpuzzle is that you can require students to answer a question in a video before being allowed to proceed to the next part of the video. In the videos embedded below I demonstrate how to use the main features of EDpuzzle including how to integrate EDpuzzle into your Google Classroom.

EDpuzzle also offers an iOS app and a Chrome app.

C-SPAN StudentCam 2017 - Student Messages for Washington

C-SPAN's StudentCam contest is an annual event that invites students to produce short videos about current issues related to United States government. The 2016-17 version of the contest asks students to deliver a message to Washington about the most urgent issues for the new President and Congress to address.

The StudentCam contest is open to U.S. students in grades six through twelve. The contest deadline is January 20, 2017. Students' videos should be five to seven minutes long. Students can work individually or in teams of two or three. All videos must include some C-SPAN footage. This year more than $100,000 will be awarded. There are separate judging categories for middle school and high school submissions. Complete contest rules can be found on the C-SPAN StudentCam homepage.

Applications for Education
Even if your students don't enter the contest, the topic of the contest does make for great discussion topic in a social studies lesson. You could use the topic, "what is the most urgent issue for the new President and Congress," to host your small video contest in your school or school district.