Friday, August 10, 2018

SeeSaw's Android App Has New Features for Students and Teachers

SeeSaw is one of my favorite tools for creating and maintaining digital portfolios. In fact, I featured it in a workshop that I facilitated yesterday. This week SeeSaw added some new options to their free Android app. Students can now use the app to respond to activity prompts that their teachers have shared. Students can also use the app to add labels to the pictures and drawings that they add to their portfolios. Teachers can use the updated SeeSaw Android app to view the public SeeSaw Activity Library.

Earlier this summer SeeSaw added some features that teachers can use on the web and in the mobile apps. The highlight of those new features being an expanded activity library that contains more than 1500 activities created, used, and submitted by SeeSaw's teacher ambassadors. The library is arranged by grade and subject. Watch my video to learn more about SeeSaw's expanded activity library.

56 Examples of Using Scratch Across the Curriculum

Scratch is one of the ed tech tools that I always mention in my Built to Last presentation. That presentation is an overview of ed tech tools that have stood the test of time. As I shared a couple of weeks ago, Scratch 3.0 is now available in a public beta. Scratch is a free program through which students learn to program. Despite being a flexible tool that can be used in all subject areas, many people think of it only for computer science classes.

The ScratchED team at Harvard Graduate School of Education wants you to see the potential for using Scratch in all subject areas. To that end they have published a couple of resources to bookmark. First, their Creative Computing Curriculum Guide (link opens PDF) is a 32 page guide that includes a nice template for planning a mini Scratch project, prompts for thinking about remixing projects, and guidelines for assessment. Second, Scratch Projects Across the Curriculum is a listing of 56 sample projects for math, ELA, science, social studies, world languages, music, and visual and media arts. Click on the link for any of the projects in the list to find details on how it was made and instructions for your own use.

How to Record Audio in Google Slides

The Audio Player for Slides Chrome extension was recently updated with some features that teachers have wanted for years! First, you can now use the extension to have music play continuously throughout a presentation even when you change slides. Second, you can now make audio recordings directly in your slides. In the following video I demonstrate how you can record audio directly in Google Slides.


Applications for Education
If you have ever wanted your students to record their own narration for their Google Slides presentations, this new feature in Audio Player for Slides is one that you will want to try.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Add Music to Play Continuously in a Google Slides Presentation

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about how to use the Audio Player for Google Slides Chrome extension. That extension was updated this week.

The updated version of Audio Player for Google Slides gives you the option to have your music play continuously through your slideshow. The previous version of the extension only let you add music to one slide at a time and if you needed that music to play throughout the presentation, you would have to add it to each slide. The update to Audio Player for Google Slides will let you have your music played without interruption throughout your presentation regardless of how quickly or slowly you advance your slides.


Find Some Flipgrid Pals for Your Classroom #GridPals

In addition to the new features in the mobile app, the Flipgrid website has a new feature for teachers. That feature is the #GridPals tab in your teacher dashboard. Under the #GridPals tab you will find an option to make your teacher profile public for other teachers to find so that you can connect your classrooms to participate in each other's Flipgrid topics. In other words, you can become virtual "penpals" or, in this context, "videopals."

Applications for Education
#GridPals could be a great way to connect your classroom with another. You could connect to talk about topics in the news or just to talk about what life is like in a different part of the world.