Monday, March 5, 2018

How to Include Podcast Episodes In Your Blog Posts

The folks at Edublogs were kind enough to share my list of ten classroom podcast ideas with participants in their Better Blogging With Students course as well as with all of their Twitter followers. This morning I asked the Edublogs folks if they were allowing the embedding of Anchor episodes into blog posts (Edublogs hasn't always allowed every embed code source). It turns out that they are. I made the following video to demonstrate how to embed Anchor.fm podcast episodes into your Edublogs blog posts. (This process will also work in Blogger).


Applications for Education
If you already have a classroom blog running and have people following it, include your students' podcast episodes within blog posts to make it easier for people to listen to what your students are producing. That is probably easier than trying to get parents and other blog followers to remember to visit another web address to listen to the podcast.

How to Add Voice Comments to PDFs and Word Documents

People who subscribe to the weekly Practical Ed Tech newsletter got this tip yesterday. But this is too good not to share with everyone. Kaizena, originally just a tool for voice commenting on Google Docs, can also be used to add voice comments to PDFs and Word documents. The process of using Kaizena for voice commenting on PDFs and Word documents isn't quite as streamlined as it is for Google Docs, but it's still fairly easy to do. Watch my video that is embedded below to learn how to add voice comments to PDFs and Word documents.


Applications for Education
Adding voice comments to your students' documents can be an efficient way to give them feedback on their work. Voice commenting allows you to give full, customized explanations to your students. It also helps to have students literally hear the comments in your voice as opposed to trying to interpret the tone of your written comment.

My Top 5 Choices for Making Multimedia Quizzes

Over the years I have tried and written reviews of dozens of tools that teachers can use to create multimedia quizzes. But at the end of the day there is just a handful of tools that I consistently think of when it is time to make a quiz myself. Those tools are included in the following chart. Links to video tutorials for each tool are included in the chart.


Click here if you cannot see the embedded chart.

A few points about the items in the chart:
  • Formative supports embedding media from third parties. That means that you could include an embedded audio file from a source like Vocaroo or Anchor.fm. 
  • Vizia responses land in a spreadsheet or CSV file of your choosing. 
  • If you're wondering why I didn't include Kahoot or programs like it, I put Kahoot in the category of "game" and not something I would use for an assessment that would go into my gradebook. 

Quit Social Media - Do Deep Work

Last night I watched Dr. Cal Newport's TEDx Talk titled Quit Social Media. In this thought-provoking talk Dr. Newport presents the case for quitting social media. He presents the case from the standpoint that social media fragments our attention and prevents us from doing deep work. To help people come to grips with the idea of quitting social media Dr. Newport gives rebuttals to the three most common reasons for not quitting social media. 



Applications for Education
This video could be a fantastic discussion starter in a middle school or high school classroom. And as Monique Bakken stated on Facebook, ironically, the video was a good example for her students of a professional oral essay.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Making Maple Syrup - A Science and Math Lesson

The days are getting warmer here in Maine, the sun is shining a bit longer each day, and the snow is starting to melt. That means that two of a Mainer's favorite seasons are starting; mud season and maple syrup season. My friend Gardner Waldeier AKA Bus Huxley on YouTube collects maple sap to make maple syrup. He does it the old fashioned way and he made a video about the process.

Gardner's video shows viewers how he collects maple sap and turns it into maple syrup. In the video explains why maple sap is collected at this time of year, how much sap he'll collect from a large tree, and just how much sap it takes to make a gallon of maple syrup. You also get a nice tour of Gardner's woodlot and plenty of images of his helpful dog.


Applications for Education
I don't think that Gardner deliberately edited the video to have the ideal length and pacing for a flipped classroom lesson, but that's how it turned out. Try EDpuzzle or Vizia to make a flipped lesson with Making Maple Syrup by Bus Huxley.