Saturday, May 5, 2018

Create a Video Lesson Completely In PowerPoint

One of the easier ways to get started making your own video lessons is found within a tool that some of us have been using for decades. That tool is PowerPoint.

There is a screen recorder built into the current Windows desktop version of PowerPoint. The screen recorder will capture anything that you display on your screen and will record you talking about what is displayed on your screen. You can specify how much of your screen you want to have recorded. This means that you could use the screen recorder to record yourself talking over the slides that you have in a PowerPoint presentation.

Follow these steps to create a simple video lesson in PowerPoint:

  1. Create your slides in PowerPoint or open an existing PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Create a blank slide then select "screen recording" from within the "insert" menu.
  3. Drag and drop the "select area" tool to select the amount of screen space you want to have recorded. If you want to record your full screen, just drag the "select area" to the edge of your screen. (The select area tool launches automatically when you select "screen recording" as directed in step 2).
  4. Make sure that you have turned on the audio recording option and that your computer's audio input is working.
  5. Click the record button. All actions on your screen will be recorded including transitions between slides.
  6. When you stop recording, the video will be saved in your PowerPoint presentation. When you share your PowerPoint presentation anyone who has the current version of PowerPoint will be able to view the video. 

This post was updated on May 7th to reflect that these steps only work for the current Windows version of PowerPoint. It doesn't work on PowerPoint for Mac. 

Headlines and Heroes - A New Resource from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress offers many excellent online resources for teachers and students. Even just following the LOC's Twitter account will provide you with fun history facts. In fact, it was through that Twitter account that I learned about a new Library of Congress blog called Headline and Heroes: Newspaper, Comics & More Fine Print.

Headlines and Heroes launched this week with the purpose of sharing stories and fun facts about some of the 145,000 comic books in the LOC's collection. It will also feature stories and interesting facts contained within some of the library's vast newspaper collections. The first blog post appeared yesterday and it was, fittingly, all about Star Wars comic books. Future entries on the Headlines and Heroes blog are scheduled to appear on Tuesdays.

Applications for Education
Headlines and Heroes has the potential to provide interesting stories that could spark some students' curiosity in history lessons. Students who currently enjoy comics and superhero movies may be intrigued by the stories from older versions of those that they now enjoy. I'd use that interest to prompt students to into the evolution of some other comics and stories.

Certificates, Quests, and Comics - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining, my lawn is turning green, and we're all going to play outside today. I have a couple of things to do before the kids wake up including finishing this blog post.

This week I spent a lot of time dealing with a change in my hosting provider for That site outgrew its hosting service and so it was time to switch. One thing that I learned in that process was that you should not attempt to publish new content or add new users in the middle of a migration. I did that and then had to recreate a bunch of things including the on-demand access for 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons. But now that its all working again, I can spend the weekend enjoying playing outside with my kids and dogs. I hope that you have an equally nice weekend.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Automatically Issue Certificates When Students Pass a Quiz in Google Forms
2. TodaysMeet Is Shutting Down - Six Alternatives to Try
3. Create Your Own Geography Game With Mission Map Quest
4. MOOO - Museum of Obsolete Objects
5. TED-Ed Lessons About Every Element on the Periodic Table
6. 300+ Printable Comic Templates
7. 17 Audacity Tutorials for Beginners

New Online PD Opportunity!
On Monday I'm launching a self-paced course about classroom video projects. The course will take you through five video projects in step-by-step detail. This new course is in addition to all of the other on-demand webinars and self-paced courses currently available on

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
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.
QuickKey provides an efficient way to conduct online and in-person formative assessments.

Friday, May 4, 2018

GeoGebra for PowerPoint - Access and Insert GeoGebra Within PowerPoint

GeoGebra is a favorite ed tech resource of math teachers all over the globe. PowerPoint is the default presentation tool on millions of computers in schools. You can use the two together through the GeoGebra PowerPoint Add-in.

The GeoGebra PowerPoint Add-in lets you access GeoGebra materials directly from your PowerPoint slides. You can also use the Add-in to create graphs, shapes, and spreadsheets within your slides.

The GeoGebra PowerPoint Add-in works in the desktop and online versions of PowerPoint.

Sourcera for Google Slides - Historical Images to Use In Your Slides

Sourcera is an Add-on for Google Slides that lets you search for historical images and insert them directly into your slides. Sourcera pulls images from eleven sources including Flickr's Commons, the British Library, and the Digital Public Library of America.

To find an image through Sourcera you need to highlight a word on a slide and then select "search" from the Sourcera menu. When you find an image that you like just click "insert" to add it to your slide. The image source information will be automatically added to the slide too.

Sourcera isn't a perfect tool, but it is adequate for finding historical images that are either in the public domain or licensed for re-use. There are a couple of quirks in Sourcera. First, it only lets you search through one source at a time. Second, you have to type a word on your slide then highlight it in order to conduct your search. It would be easier to use if Sourcera let you type a search directly into its search box.

Applications for Education
Sourcera is a little quirky to use, but it could be a good resource for high school students who are creating presentations for history courses.

Learn more about Google Slides in my online course, G Suite for Teachers

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