Thursday, February 1, 2018

How to Add Audio, Video, and Picture Notes to Padlet Walls

Padlet has a new audio recording option that allows you to record for up to fifteen minutes at a time. This is a great addition to the video and picture note options that Padlet already offered. In my video embedded below I demonstrate how to create audio, video, and picture notes on Padlet.

Applications for Education
The new audio recording option could be used by students to create simple podcasts. You could also have your students use the audio recording option to record their reflections on a lesson or to record their responses to a discussion prompt.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing the news about Padlet's new audio recording feature.

Ranked Responses - New Microsoft Forms Question Types

Microsoft recently added a couple of new response formats to Microsoft Forms. The new response formats are "ranking" and "Likert." These new response types can be used when making a quiz or a survey in Microsoft Forms.

The new ranking response format is exactly what you would guess that it is. You can build a question that requires your students to put items into a correct sequence.

The new Likert response format allows you to build questions or prompts that your students respond to on a scale of 1-5 options. See my screenshot below for an example. (Click image to view in full size).

Applications for Education
The new ranked responses option in Microsoft Forms is a good one to use in a history class in which you want students to identify an order of events. It's also a good option for questions about things like order of operations to solve a mathematics problem.

The Likert response format could be useful in getting students to perform a self-assessment of their skills or knowledge on a particular topic.

Three Ways to Add Audio to Google Slides

One of the questions that new Google Slides users often ask me is, "how do I add music to the slides?" In the early days of Google Slides that wasn't possible at all. Today, there are three methods that you can use to add music to Google Slides.

AudioPlayer for Google Slides is a free Add-on that will let you add music to the background of a presentation created with Google Slides. The music that you add through the Add-on can loop in the background throughout the course of your presentation. Watch my video to learn how to use AudioPlayer for Google Slides.

The only problem with the AudioPlayer for Google Slides Add-on is that your music plays over all of the slides. If you want audio to only play on specific slides, you'll want to use the methods that I've outlined in the videos below.

To add music to Google Slides you should find a YouTube video that contains music that is Creative Commons licensed. The best option, is to use a video that you own and that has music you have the rights to use. Once you've found a video then you can insert it into your Google Slides. Shrink the video to the smallest possible size so that it's hard for viewers to see. Finally, use the video options menu in Google Slides to have the music video automatically start playing when you advance the slide. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to add music to Google Slides.

You can use the same basic process as is outlined above to add spoken audio to your Google Slides. That process is explained in my following video.

Learn more about Google Slides in lesson 3 of G Suite for Teachers

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Math, Rocks, and Overlooked Features - The Month in Review

Good evening from Maine where the sun is setting on the first month of the year. It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year. How are you doing on your New Year's resolution? I'm 50/50 on the follow-through for the two resolutions that I made.

As I do at the end of every month, I have compiled a list of the posts that were visited the most in previous 30 days. Take a look and see if you missed anything new and interesting in January.

Here are January's most popular posts on
1. Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features
2. Gamifying Writing Instruction
3. Google Calendar is Changing Whether You Like It or Not
4. 10 Free Apps for Elementary School Math Lessons
5. 12 Free Lessons About Rocks, Minerals, and Landforms
6. Ten Overlooked Google Slides Features
7. 10 Good Resources for Math Teachers and Students
8. How to Create an Interactive Diagram in Google Slides
9. Automatically Issue Certificates When Students Pass a Quiz in Google Forms
10. Free Music to Use In Google Slides Presentations

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Add Live Polls and Q&A to Your PowerPoint Slides

Glisser is a live polling and online Q&A platform that offers a free PowerPoint add-in. Glisser's free PowerPoint add-in will sync your slides to Glisser's online service. With Glisser activated you can ask multiple choice poll questions or let your audience submit their own questions much like the Q&A feature for Google Slides.

To use Glisser's free PowerPoint add-in just create your slides as you normally would. Then with the add-in activated select "sync" followed by "go live" in your PowerPoint deck. While presenting live you can use a Glisser's keyboard shortcuts to toggle between your slides and your polls.

Applications for Education
If you're in the habit of using PowerPoint to deliver lessons to your students, Glisser's free PowerPoint add-in could provide you with a way for students to submit questions and then vote for the questions that they want you to answer first. You could also use Glisser's PowerPoint add-in to build questions to use as quick warm-up quizzes at the start of a lesson.