Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Loom Adds Options for Grouping and Sharing Videos

Loom is a free tool for creating screencast videos in your web browser. Loom even has an option to create screencasts directly from your inbox to use as responses to emails. Today, Loom announced two beta features.

The first new feature allows you to organize your Loom screencast videos into groups. The second new feature will let you share an entire folder of videos with the person or people you want to watch the videos. These new features are in beta and are gradually rolling out to current Loom users.

If you haven't seen Loom in action, watch the following video to see how easy it is to create a screencast with Loom.

ChronoZoom is Closing Soon

ChronoZoom, a good tool for creating multilayer timelines, is shutting down on March 15th. Roland Saekow, ChronoZoom's co-founder, announced the closure through an email sent to ChronoZoom users. In the email Seakow announced that public projects will be archived and made available for download. Directions for making your projects public can be found in this Google Document.

ChronoZoom was a great tool for making timelines that displayed multiple layers so that viewers can see how events and eras overlap. If you're looking for another tool that can be used in that way, try Timeline JS.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Free Icons & Images for Google Docs and Slides

The Noun Project is a popular source of free icons and images. The Noun Project collections include thousands of public domain, Creative Commons, and royalty-free icons. Learn more about the Noun Project in the short video below.


The Noun Project now offers Add-ons for Google Docs and for Google Slides. Like other image search Add-ons, the Noun Project's Google Docs and Google Slides Add-ons let you search for images and insert them into your projects without having to open a new tab or browser window.

Applications for Education
If your students need simple images for illustrations, diagrams, or multimedia projects, the Noun Project is a good resource for them to browse through.

Wikispaces is Closing - Here Are Some Alternatives

Last week the team at Wikispaces announced that the service will be shutting down later this year. Part of that announcement included a link to directions for downloading your content from the service. Of course, if you want to build a new wiki moving forward, you'll need to explore other options. 

Google Sites is the first option that comes to my mind when thinking of an alternative to Wikispaces. G Suite for Education users can create websites on Google Sites. Whoever creates the site can invite other G Suite users to add content to the site. 

Weebly for Education is another option for collaboratively building a website. A free Weebly for Education account enables you to include up to 40 students in your account. You could have all students contribute to one site. 

One more option to consider is using Edublogs with a template that is designed to feature static content more than blog posts. Then you can invite your students to contribute to the site. The nice thing about Edublogs, like Weebly for Education, is that you can administer your students' accounts. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pixabay Now Has an Office Plug-in

Pixabay is one of my go-to sites for public domain images. If you need a picture to use in your slideshow, document, or other multimedia project, Pixabay is a great site to search. Recently, Pixabay started promoting a new Word and PowerPoint plug-in.

The new Pixabay Word and PowerPoint plug-in lets you search for public domain images without having to exit the document or slideshow that you are working on. Once you find an image through the plug-in you can add it to your doc or slideshow with just one click. Resizing, repositioning, and cropping images is done the same way it is with any other image that you upload to your document or presentation.

Applications for Education
The Pixabay plug-in for Word and PowerPoint could be a great resource for students and teachers in Microsoft-based environments. Being able to search for an image without having to open a new window could help keep students focused on the task of creating a presentation without getting distracted by a full web search. And since Pixabay images are in the public domain, you and your students don't have to worry about copyright infringement issues.