Thursday, February 7, 2019

Anchor Has Been Acquired by Spotify

Anchor, one of the best new podcast creation tools to emerge in the last few years, has been acquired by Spotify. In an email sent to users and in this blog post Anchor's founders announced the acquisition. According to Anchor's announcement the acquisition by Spotify won't change how you can use Anchor to record, edit, and publish podcasts through Anchor's apps and browser tools. That is good news because Anchor provides one of the two best ways for students to create podcasts. Watch my video to learn how you and your students can create a podcast with Anchor's free tools.



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

How to Use Location-based Reminders

I started this year with a goal of improving my fitness. As I wrote on January 2nd, I use Google Keep to set reminders to do things that will help me reach my goals. I use Google Keep to get reminders on my phone at various points in my day. Those reminders are time-based. But there is another way to get reminder notifications in Google Keep. That way is through location services.

When you create a location-based reminder in Google Keep, you get a notification when you arrive at a location of your choosing. For example, you could have a reminder pop-up as soon as you arrive at school in the morning. The example I use in the following video is a reminder when I get near my local post office to put a bill in mailbox.


On a related note, check out Ed Tech Fitness to see my fitness progress and to join in on some fitness challenges.

Building Image-based Search Challenges

On Monday I wrote about a couple of image-based search challenges that I do with students. I use those challenges as a way to get students to think about all of the search tools and search strategies that they have at their disposal. To solve the challenges students need to combine strategies and tools.

I received a handful of emails from readers who were seeking more explanation of the image-based search challenges that I shared on Monday. I made the following video to, hopefully, explain them better.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Couple of Free Online Alternatives to Audacity

On Monday someone Tweeted at me a request for an alternative to Audacity that his students could use online to record and edit audio tracks. My first thought was to try SoundTrap, but they no longer offer a free version of their product. So my next suggestion was to try Twisted Wave. This morning I started searching my archives and recalled another online alternative to Audacity. That tool is Beautiful Audio Editor.

Twisted Wave is a browser-based audio recording and editing tool that functions in a manner similar to GarageBand. Through TwistedWave you can create and edit spoken audio recordings from scratch. Your completed tracks can be exported to Google Drive and SoundCloud.If you have existing audio tracks in your SoundCloud or Google Drive account you can also import it into TwistedWave to edit those audio tracks. TwistedWave's audio editing tools include options for fade-in, fade-out, looping, sound normalization, and pitch adjustments. The editor also includes the typical track clipping tools that you would expect to see in an audio editing tool.

Beautiful Audio Editor is a free audio editor that you can use in the Chrome and Firefox web browsers. Beautiful Audio Editor lets you record spoken audio directly and or import audio that you have previously recorded in MP3 and WAV formats. You can edit and blend multiple tracks in the Beautiful Audio Editor. When your audio editing project is complete you can download it as an MP3 file, download it as a WAV file, or you can save it in Google Drive.

Tracing the Evolution of Phones - A Google Scholar Practice Activity

Google Scholar can be an excellent place to find articles from academic journals. Articles from academic journals aren’t the only things that students can search for on Google Scholar. Google Scholar provides search tools for locating court decisions and tools for locating patent filings. A good way for students to practice using the patent search feature in Google Scholar is to trace the evolution of telephones through patent filings. For example, The patent search option in Google Scholar can be used to help us find out how many subsequent, related patents have been filed since Alexander Graham Bell's 1876 patent.

In the following video I demonstrate how your students can use Google Scholar to trace product development through patent research.



Applications for Education
Using the patent search function in Google Scholar can be a good way for students to attempt to trace product developments over time. In this case the challenge for students would be to find the major, subsequent innovations in telephone technology. Of course, the concept can be applied to almost any product that has been patented at some point in time. Read more about the strategy and application here.