Friday, March 23, 2018

Video - An Overview of How to Find & Keep Track of Free Audio Files

Over the last couple weeks I've published a series of posts featuring free sources of audio files that you can download for re-use in your multimedia projects. In the following video I provide an overview of three places to find free audio files. In the video I show how to find files on each of the services. I also included a demonstration on how to keep track of the attribution information that you need to publish when you re-use the files.

How to Share Kahoot Challenges Through Remind

This week Kahoot announced an integration with the Remind messaging service. This integration lets you send your Kahoot Challenges (games for students to play at home) to your students and their parents through the Remind messaging service. In the following video I demonstrate how to send your Kahoot Challenges through the Remind messaging service.

Use a Whiteboard in Skype Interviews

Skype Interviews is a free Microsoft service that was developed for employers to use to interview potential employees. It was specifically designed with coders and programmers in mind as there is a code editor component that lets candidates display their skills in realtime. Yesterday, Microsoft added a whiteboard to Skype Interviews.

The whiteboard in Skype Interviews allows you to draw on and share a virtual whiteboard while in your call. You can also type on the whiteboard. A few pre-made shapes are also available to add to your whiteboard to create a flowchart.

Applications for Education
Skype Interviews was obviously designed for use in a business setting, but it is open to anyone who wants to use it (you do need a Skype account). I could see it being a great option for remote tutoring.

To clarify, Skype Interviews is a different product than the Skype you may be familiar with. Skype Interviews launches in your Chrome or Edge web browser. You have to give people a link to join your call as opposed to calling you directly via Skype contacts. The other person or people joining your Skype Interview call don't need to have Skype accounts because they can just click the link that you send to them and then sign-in as a guest.

Longer and Better Searches - Strategies Students Need to Know

Too often our students don’t get beyond the first few pages of search results before declaring, “Google has nothing about this!” Why? Because the average time spent on a search is just 1 minute! And the average search term only has three words!*

Next week I am hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar that will help you help your students become better web researchers. In Ten Search Strategies Students Need To Know you will learn why informational searches are the hardest types of Internet searches for students to conduct. You will learn how to help students break-down complex search topics into manageable pieces and then put the whole picture together. You’ll learn how to help your students save students tons of time by thinking before searching. And you’ll learn how to develop instructional search challenge activities to use with students of any age.

Thursday, March 29th at 4pm Eastern Time. The webinar will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live session. Your $20 registration includes the live webinar, unlimited access to the recording, handouts, and a PD certificate.

This webinar sold out every time it was offered last year!

Click here to register today!

*Source: Moz – The State of Searcher Behavior.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

5 Online Collaborative Whiteboard Services

An online, collaborative, whiteboard can be a great tool for hosting a quick review session for your students. Your students can also use these tools to conduct online study sessions with each other. Yes,  this could be done with something like Skype, but having a built-in whiteboard is particularly useful when having a review session on a topic in math or science. Here are five free online whiteboard tools to try.

WebRoom is a free service for hosting online meetings. WebRoom doesn't require you to download any software and you don't need to register in order to use it. WebRoom lets you use your webcam if you want people to see your face during the meeting. A whiteboard space is provided. You can draw on the whiteboard or upload a file to share and discuss on the whiteboard. A text chat space is provided in each WebRoom meeting. It is possible to share your screen with other meeting participants. However, to share your screen you will need to install the WebRoom Chrome extension.

Know Lounge is a free platform that will let you create a live broadcast from your laptop. Know Lounge includes a whiteboard that you can draw on and share with your audience. Students can ask you question by writing them into a chat box. Additionally, you can allow students to use their webcams to ask you questions during your broadcast. Update 2/9/2019: This tool is no longer online.

Stoodle is a free online collaborative whiteboard tool hosted by CK12. On Stoodle you can create a whiteboard space and invite others to use it with you. Registration is not required in order to use Stoodle. Stoodle has voice and text chat options, but it does not have a video chat option. In the video embedded below I demonstrate the features of Stoodle. Update 2/9/2019: this tool is no longer online.

Draw Chat is a free service that allows anyone to create a video chat over a whiteboard, PDF, image, or map. To use Draw Chat you just have to visit the site and click "Start New Whiteboard." Once your whiteboard launches you will have the option to enable access to your webcam and microphone. You can have people join your whiteboard video conference by sending them the link assigned to your whiteboard.Draw Chat allows you to draw or type on a shared whiteboard. Additionally, you can upload a PDF or an image to annotate on the whiteboard. A fourth option for drawing on Draw Chat is to import the URL for a Google Map and draw on that map.

Scratchwork is an online whiteboard and video conferencing tool designed with math students in mind. The platform works like many similar services as it provides you with a whiteboard on which you can draw, type, and import images to annotate. Scratchwork is a little different than other services because it includes a Latex editor for writing equations. Scratchwork also offers an option to draw on a tablet and import those drawings. The collaboration aspect of Scratchwork comes into the picture when you activate the video conferencing component built into Scratchwork. Scratchwork's free plan has a limit of four boards and three collaborators.