Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Google Docs & Sheets Features for Mobile Users

If you frequently use Google Docs and Sheets on your phone or tablet, you may be happy the next time you update the Docs and Sheets apps. As announced this morning, Google Docs for Android will now let you drag and drop to edit images, insert headers and footers, and drag and drop text. The latest version of Docs for iOS will also let you insert headers and footers.

The latest version of Docs for iOS allows you to add page numbers to your documents and change the page orientation of your documents. The updated Sheets app for iOS now offers the option to edit cell border appearance.

Applications for Education
These new features bring the mobile versions of Google Docs closer to the browser version. That should ease some of the frustration that students experience when they transition between the computers they use at school at the mobile devices that they use away from school.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Text2VoiceOver - Type to Create Video Voice Over Files

Text2VoiceOver is a service that will let you type the words that you want to hear spoken over a video. You can use Text2VoiceOver to create a voice over for a video that you have found on YouTube. Text2VoiceOver can also be used to create a voice over for a video that you have stored on your computer.

The process of creating a voice over on Text2VoiceOver is fairly straight-forward. You start by either linking to a YouTube video or uploading a video that you have stored on your computer. Then you set the beginning point for your voice over and start typing the words that you want to hear spoken over the video. You can choose from a variety of languages and voices to use in your voice over track. Learn more about the Text2VoiceOver process in the video embedded below.

Applications for Education
Text2VoiceOver could be a good tool for students who want to create videos, but don't want to use their own voices in their videos.

Use Google Maps to Tell a Story Within a Story

Google's My Maps platform lets anyone who has a Google Account create their own multimedia maps. One of my favorite features within the My Maps platform is the option to create a slideshow of images and videos within a placemark. By using that feature you can tell a story within a story.

In My Maps you can create maps that contain placemarks to identify landmarks, to indicate the locations of a series of events, and to show the start and end points of journey. Within all of those placemarks you can include text descriptions, images, and videos. Students can include pictures they've taken and videos they have made. Students can also use the search tools integrated into My Maps to find images and videos to use within their placemarks.

Applications for Education
You can apply this concept of using My Maps to tell a story to a variety of subject areas. You might have students create placemarks about the locations mentioned in a favorite story. Students could map the locations and tell the story of events within a political revolution. Or you might have students map the locations of interesting geological formations then explain within those placemarks how those formations were made.

I'll be covering this idea and many others in more detail during To Geography and Beyond With Google Maps

How to Record Video Notes With MoocNote

MoocNote is a free tool for taking notes while watching a YouTube or Vimeo video. All of your notes are timestamped and all of your notes can be shared with other MoocNote users. In the short video embedded below I demonstrate how to take notes while watching videos through MoocNote.

Applications for Education
MoocNote can be a good tool to use to create informal flipped video lessons. You can create a group that your students join then share a video with them that they take notes on while watching it. You might consider making multiple groups within a class then have each group watch a similar, but different video on a topic. Then have your students compare notes on that topic.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Fun of Remembering Something Important

This is a guest post from Ruston Hurley. Rushton is the founder of Next Vista for Learning.

Can explaining something abstract be interesting and fun? Can students more easily memorize something through a clever video?

Whatever you need a student to remember, students may have a fun take on how to make it happen!

In this very short example, two students explain how to remember FOIL for multiplying binomials. Even if the term "binomial" has passed into the mists of your past, you'll probably enjoy the clever job these two did to share the idea with their classmates:

What ideas might your students come up with to help others remember something important?