Wednesday, February 27, 2019

VoicePods Adds a Multiple Voice Option

VoicePods is a text-to-speech service that I started using last fall. It's a service that will create an MP3 file from any text that you enter or from a web address that you enter. You can listen to your recordings online or download them for offline use. When you listen the recordings online you can also read along while each word is highlighted in sync with the recording. This week VoicePods added a new feature that could be great for listening to dialogues.

VoicePods has a new multiple voice feature. This feature lets you select more than one voice to be used in the creation of a recording. For example, if you enter the transcript of a dialogue you can have a different voice for each character in the dialogue. Watch my tutorial to see how to use multiple voices in VoicePods.

Flowcharts Explained by Common Craft - And How to Make Them

Common Craft has released a new explanatory video all about flowcharts. The new video explains what a flowchart is, why they are used, what they can be used for, and the structure of a basic flowchart.



Applications for Education
After your students learn what flowcharts are and what they are used for, have them try making their own flowcharts. They can make flowcharts on paper or use a digital tool. The benefit of using a digital tool to make a flowchart is that students can invite collaborators to work on make the flowchart as good and accurate as possible. Here's an overview of how to make a flowchart in Google Drawings. An overview of how to make a flowchart with Padlet can be watched here.



Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to Use Your Own VR Tours in Google Expeditions

Google's VR Tour Creator is probably my favorite new tool of the last year. I love being able to make my own virtual reality tours and share them with others. Recently, Google added support for VR Tour Creator tours to the Android version of Google Expeditions. This means that you can create your own VR tour then play it back and share it in Google Expeditions. You can even lead other people on your tour through Google Expeditions. In the following video I demonstrate how to use your VR Tour Creator tours in Google Expeditions.


To learn how to use the VR Tour Creator, watch this video.


Watch this video for an overview of how to lead students in Google Expeditions.

What Makes It Windy? - Lessons for Kids

The wind has been howling here in Maine for the last two days. As my daughter says, "it's soooo windy." She asked me this morning why it was so windy outside. That's a hard concept for a two year old to grasp, but I tried my best to explain it to her. If you have kids who are a little bit older than mine, the following videos do a good job of explaining what creates wind.

Crash Course Kids covered the question "what makes the wind?" in a video released a few years ago. The video uses the backdrop of a beach to illustrate the roles of temperature and air pressure in creating windy conditions.


Met Office is a YouTube channel that produces weekly videos about meteorology. They covered the question of "what causes wind to blow?" in the following short video. The video does not have any narration, just subtitles. I prefer the visuals in the Met Office video to the ones in the Crash Course Kids video.


Applications for Education
Both videos are suitable for elementary school or middle school science lessons. Try using a tool like ClassHook's Pause Prompts or EDpuzzle to build questions into the videos.

Only Two Days Left! - Super-early Registration Discount for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

It is bitterly cold here in Maine today. But summer will be here eventually and it will be glorious! The sun will rise early and stay up late, the warm breeze will blow, and the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will happen. If you're interested in joining us for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp, register by the end of February for the lowest rate.

Learn more about the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp by watching the following video or reading the details here.