Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where it is a great day for a walk in the woods. On a walk earlier this week the signs of spring were all around us as we saw frozen streams starting to melt and more birds than we've seen in months including a Great Horned Owl. Here's a little video that I made on our walk. Of course, the next day we had two inches of fresh snow fall. That's life in Maine and I wouldn't have it any other way. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that it's a great one for you.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Add Music to Google Slides
2. Hone Geography Skills With These Fun Games
3. Madmagz - Collaboratively Create Online Magazines
4. Yes, You Can Restrict Messages in G Suite
5. Use Socrative to Create Quiz Games That Accept Short Answers
6. YouTube Is Removing Annotations Option - Try This Instead
7. Three Audio Slideshow Projects for Teaching Basic Video Production

Join me this summer for the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp or the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp. Early registration and group discounts are available.


Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

How to Add Interactive End Screens to YouTube Videos

Last week YouTube announced that the popular annotations option in the YouTube editor is going to be removed at the end of April. While annotations will be missed by many, it was a great tool for creating a "choose your own adventure" series, there is still a similar option available. End screens in the YouTube editor will let you link the end of one of your videos to the beginning of another video or playlist. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create interactive end screens in your YouTube videos.


Applications for Education
If you're making a bunch of tutorial videos for your students, using end screens can help you direct them to watch your series of videos in the proper sequence.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kupiter - Asteroids Meets Review Game

Readers of a certain age may be reminded of the Atari game called Asteroids when they look at a new review game called Kupiter. Kupiter is a game in which students answer questions by moving and shooting a laser at letters in order to spell the correct answers to quiz questions. Points are awarded for speed and accuracy. Watch the short video below for a demonstration of how the game is played.


You can create your own game on Kupiter by writing questions from scratch or by importing them from Quizlet or an Excel spreadsheet. Game links can be shared via social media and Google Classroom.
Applications for Education
Playing Kupiter will appeal to some, but not all students. It's another option to add to your list of fun review activities for students. You could have students create their own Kupiter games to share with classmates.

Create and Track ACT & SAT Prep Activities in PrepFactory

PrepFactory offers students a great selection of free SAT and ACT preparation activities. PrepFactory focuses on helping students develop good test-taking strategies while also not boring them with dozens of continuous rote exercises. For example, the Pattern Matcher game in PrepFactory has students look at questions and choose the best answering strategy rather than just answering the question before them.

Recently, PrepFactory introduced some new features for teachers. Now when you register as a teacher and create your classroom you can also create specific assignments for your students on an individual or class-wide basis. Then once your students have started on their assignments you can track their progress, see where they need to improve, and suggest more appropriate review activities.


Learn more about PrepFactory in the following video.



Disclosure: PrepFactory is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

3 Online Alternatives to Audacity

Earlier today I received this question on Twitter:


My suggestions were to try SoundTrap, BandLab, or Soundation.

Soundtrap is a fantastic tool for creating music online. The cool thing about Soundtrap is that students can use virtual instruments to create music or they can record themselves playing music on an instrument and then use that recording in conjunction with the virtual instruments in the Soundtrap environment. What makes Soundtrap stand-out from the crowd is its collaboration options. Click the "collaborate" tab in the Soundtrap editor to invite others to create music with you. Soundtrap will work in the Chrome web browser on a laptop, iPad, Chromebook, and Android tablet. In my workshops I often describe Soundtrap as Google Docs for music.

BandLab is a free service that enables you to create music in your web browser or through free Android and iOS apps. In BandLab's you can create soundtracks using any of the virtual instruments that are provided. You can also speak or sing to record a track. Within the BandLab editor you can mix your tracks together to create a song. If you have existing audio files on your computer, you can upload those to incorporate into your BandLab creations.

Soundation is a service that allows anyone to create and remix sound tracks online. If you have used Apple's Garage Band, Soundation will look familiar to you. Soundation provides tracks on which you can place music clips and sound effects to mix together. To create your original work you can select from Soundation's gallery of 400 free sounds, upload your own sounds, or record new sounds using the instruments and keyboard built into Soundation. When you've created a product you like, you can download it or share it in Soundation's gallery.