Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Create a Webpage in Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark has received a lot of attention in the last year for the great video creation tool that it contains. But it also contains an excellent tool for creating simple webpages. Within Adobe Spark you can create webpages that contain images, text, and videos. Those pages can then be published as stand-alone sites or they can be embedded into a blog post as I have done below.

Watch the following short video to learn how to create a webpage in Adobe Spark.



Life With Dogs

How to Create Webpages In Canva

Canva is known for its great graphic design tools. You've always been able to download your Canva graphics and upload them to your website. A few months ago Canva introduced the option to publish your graphics as webpages and or embed them into existing webpages. As I wrote earlier this week, using the publishing option in Canva is a great way to create simple storytelling websites. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create and publish a simple webpage through Canva.


Life With Dogs by richardbyrne

How to Use Zero Noise Classroom

Last week I wrote a post about a neat timer and sound meter called Zero Noise Classroom. It's a free Chrome App that lets you simultaneously display a countdown timer and a noise meter to your students. The directions about how to use Zero Noise Classroom are kind of hidden in the app so I made the following short video to demonstrate how to adjust the settings in the app.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Thunkable - Design and Publish Your Own Apps

Thunkable is a free platform for designing, testing, and publishing your own Android apps (support for iOS apps is coming soon). Through Thunkable you can create your apps even if you don't know how to write code. That is possible because Thunkable uses a drag-and-drop design framework. That framework, based on the MIT App Inventor, shows you jigsaw-like pieces that have commands labeled on them. Your job is to put the pieces together to make your apps work.

Thunkable offers detailed written tutorials and video tutorials. A playlist of tutorials for beginning app designers is embedded below.


Applications for Education
A service like Thunkable and MIT App Inventor could help your students become the next great app inventor. Both services let students test, develop, and publish their own apps. Your students might make an app that helps them study better like George Burgess who developed Gojimo did.

5 Ways to Show YouTube Videos Without Related Content

Anyone who has ever opened YouTube in front of a classroom knows the feeling of dread that comes with hoping that the "related" content in the sidebar really is related content. Likewise, you hope that the "related" videos at the end of the one you're showing are appropriate for your classroom. Here are five ways that you can avoid showing related content when you show YouTube videos in your classroom.

1. Put the video into a Google Slide and show it in full screen mode. This will remove all of the sidebar content. To prevent suggested videos from showing at the end of a video that you put into a webpage you will need disable the "show suggested videos" option in the embed code provided by YouTube. See my screenshot below for directions on how to do that.
Click image to view in full size.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.