Friday, January 18, 2019

5 Good Tools for Creating Timelines

The video I posted earlier this week that demonstrated how to use Canva to create timelines sparked a couple of reader emails about other options for making timelines. Specifically, one reader was looking for tools that would support video playback and one was looking for a tool that didn't require students to have email accounts. Here are free tools to address both of those needs.

Tools for Creating Timelines That Include Video
I couldn't create this post without mentioning Timeline JS. Timeline JS has been my go-to recommendation for years. With Timeline JS students can create timelines that include pictures, videos, maps, audio files, text, and hyperlinks. And because the creation work is done inside of Google Sheets, Timeline JS can be used as a collaborative timeline creation tool. Watch my video to see how it works.


If Timeline JS seems a bit too complicated for your students, Flippity.net offers another way to create a multimedia timeline through a Google Spreadsheet. Simply fill in the blanks in Flippity's template to create a multimedia timeline. In the following video I demonstrate how it works.


Google Slides and PowerPoint both offer templates for making timelines. Using those templates you can create a timeline that includes text, links, images, and video. One of my most-watched videos in the last year is this one about making timelines in Google Slides.



No Registration Required Timeline Creation Tool
If your students don't have email addresses or you simply don't want to have yet another account name and password for them to keep track of, consider using Read Write Think's free timeline creation tool. It doesn't support the inclusion of video, but it is easy to use and saves in a variety of formats. Watch this video to see how it works.


In Case You Missed It
At the beginning of this post I mentioned my video about using Canva to create timelines. Here's that video.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Picture Yourself in Front of Any Landmark With Remove.BG and Google Slides

Last weekend I published a video about Remove.bg and it has certainly been a hit with many readers. I've received a lot of comments and questions about it in my email, Facebook pages, and on Twitter. This morning a reader named Marni sent me a question that was typical of what I've been seeing this week.

I love the remove.bg site. I can see my teachers using this for creative projects with students. My question is, do you have any suggestions regarding how to add new backgrounds to the modified pics? Is there a program I can share with teachers that allows students to, in essence, “relocate” themselves?

What I suggested to Marni and have suggested to others is to use Google Slides or PowerPoint to create a slide in which you layer the Remove.bg file over a background on the slide. Then export the slide as a PNG or JPEG. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Remove.bg, Google Slides, and Pixabay to put yourself in front of any world landmark.


Thanks again to Tony Vincent for sharing Remove.bg on Twitter last week.

Recap is Shutting Down in June

Back in October Swivl, the parent company of Recap, announced that they would be discontinuing the Recap service at the end of January. In response to feedback from teachers Swivl has now extended the deadline for the Recap shutdown. According to this announcement from Swivl, Recap will continue to operate as normal until June 30th of this year.

This is good news for teachers who had started the year with plans to use Recap throughout the school year. Kudos to Swivl for listening to teachers' feedback and continuing support of Recap until the completion of the 2018-19 school year.

New Features Added to Synth - Simple Podcasting for Students

Synth is one of my favorite new ed tech tools of the 2018-19 school year. If you're familiar with what Synth does, it provides a simple way to create short podcasts that people can reply to with their own audio comments. Think of it kind of like Flipgrid for audio. You can experience a Synth podcast by listening to this overview of the service. This week Synth announced a few updates to their service that teachers and students will like.

You can now include sound effects at the beginning of a recording and or between recordings that have been connected. There are default effects that you can use and you can upload your own sounds for further customization of recordings (check out Sound Bible for free sound effects to upload to Synth).

Some of the other updates to Synth include automatic titling of recordings, improved transcription services, and students can now create podcasts independent of a teacher's account (previously, students had to make the podcasts as a part of a teacher account).



Listen to my first recording as embedded below or click here to listen and reply to it.

The WWII Museum Announces D-Day Electronic Field Trip

This year is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This spring the WWII Museum (a must-see for anyone visiting New Orleans) is hosting a virtual field trip all about D-Day. The field trip will take students to the coast of southern England and the invasion sites in Normandy, France. Live Q&A is a part of this virtual field trip experience. It is free to participate, but advanced registration is required. Learn more and register here. Accompanying lesson plan materials are available to download from the registration page.