Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Complete Guide to Making Videos in Microsoft Photos

Windows Movie Maker is no longer available for download and Microsoft now recommends using the video creation tools that are built into Microsoft Photos. In Microsoft Photos you can create videos that feature your pictures or other pictures that you have permission to use (Creative Commons licensed or Public Domain).

At the most basic level the video creation option in Microsoft Photos lets you arrange a set of pictures in the sequence in which you want them to appear in a video and then add music to play in the background. That's exactly what the old Movie Maker program did too. But Microsoft Photos offers more video creation and editing features. You can set the duration of display for each image on an individual basis, add titles and text to each image, add narration, and even add 3D effects to your videos created in Microsoft Photos.

Microsoft News Centre UK recently published a helpful set of tutorial videos that can help you create videos in Microsoft Photos. I've embedded a couple of those tutorial videos below.

Getting Started


3D and Special Effects



Applications for Education
If your school uses Windows 10 or your students use Windows 10 on their personal computers, Microsoft Photos could be a great tool for students to use to create videos. The fine controls over timing make it a better choice than some automated audio slideshow video tools without introducing the complications of using full-fledged video editors.

How to Use Flipgrid to Publish Instructional Videos

In Sunday's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week I mentioned three ways to use Flipgrid now that all features are free for all users. One of those ways is to have students record and publish instructional videos. They can do this is a few ways. They can record themselves in front of a whiteboard, they can upload a video made with a tool like Screencast-o-matic, or they can record a video with the Flipgrid mobile app. In the following video I demonstrate how to publish an instructional video on Flipgrid.

How to Measure Distances in Google Earth

The addition of a measurement tool in the Chrome (browser) and Android versions of Google Earth was one of the many things that Google announced yesterday. I'm not sure what took them so long to add this because it was always a feature in the desktop version of Google Earth. In the following video I demonstrate how you can measure distances in the Chrome version and in the desktop version of Google Earth. The video also shows you how to change the units of measurement in both versions of Google Earth.

Beautiful AI - Create Better Slideshows

Beautiful.AI is a neat service that helps you design better PowerPoint presentations. Beautiful.AI provides more than fifty slideshow templates that automatically adjust when you type or add media to them. Beautiful.AI suggests color schemes, fonts, and media placement to make your slides easier to view. When your slideshow is complete you can share it online and or export it as a PowerPoint file to play from your desktop.


Applications for Education
Whether you want to make your own presentations look better or you want your students' presentations to look better, you should give Beautiful AI a try.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to Create a Virtual Tour That Includes Audio Narration

One of the many things that Google announced to coincide with the ISTE conference was the addition of an option to add audio to virtual reality tours created with Google's VR Tour Creator. This is an update to the VR Tour Creator that was launched just a couple of months ago. This update lets you add audio to each of the scenes and points of interest within your VR tours. Watch my new video to learn how you can create a VR tour that includes audio.


As is mentioned in the video, you need to record your audio in a program outside of the VR Tour Creator, save it as an MP3, and then import it into the tour. I used Vocaroo to record the audio used in the demonstration.

Applications for Education
Making their own VR tours could be a great way for students to show what they have learned about places they studied in a geography lesson. Think of making a VR tour as an alternative to a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Students can share their tours with their classmates to view in virtual reality viewers like Google Cardboard.