Thursday, June 6, 2019

How to Archive Google Classroom - How to Remove Google Classroom Materials from Drive

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently received an email from a reader who wanted to know what to do with Google Classroom classes and materials at the end of the school year. The first thing to do is to archive the class when you're certain that you won't be using it anymore. The second thing that you can do, but don't need to do, is remove the class folder and all associated materials from your Google Drive. Both of those processes are demonstrated in my video that is embedded below.

Moving Files From One Google Drive to Another

This week I received an email from a reader who asked about what how to move Google Drive items from a school account to a personal. That same reader also asked about how to handle Google Classroom materials at the end of the year (that's a question I'll address in my next post). In the following video I address how to move materials from a G Suite for Edu Google Drive to a personal Google Drive.



In short, you can either download your folders as ZIP files and then upload them to a different account or you can simply share the files between two accounts.

Veescope Live - A Free Green Screen App for Your iPad

Veescope Live is a free iPad app for creating green screen videos. Of the free iPad apps for making green screen videos that I've tried, including all of the most popular ones, Veescope Live is easiest to set-up and use even with the annoying quirk of menus not always closing on the first tap (and that might be a reflection of my iPad and not the app itself).

Even though it is a green screen video app, you can actually use the Veescope Live when recording against any flat, solid color backdrop. I was actually able to use it against the beige wall in my office, although it did work better when I used an actual green screen backdrop.

To get started with Veescope Live you do not need to create an account nor do you need to use an email address to use the app. Simply open the app and follow the clear directions to set-up the app for recording your green screen videos. Setting-up the app for recording is easier if you have your iPad standing up in a case or set in a tripod. That is because the app needs to take a steady image to set the color keying for your videos. The other part of the set-up that you should be prepared for is setting the white balance. Veescope Live will automatically set the white balance for you, but you do have to hold a blank white paper in front of the camera for a few seconds (tip: if you have white card stock, use that because it won't wiggle while you're holding it the way that standard paper does).

Once you have Veescope Live set-up on your iPad it's time to start recording. But before you hit the record button, select the background or backgrounds that you want to appear in front of. Veescope Live provides a gallery of background images and videos that you can use. The app will also let you import images and video clips to use as backgrounds (check out Pixabay or Pexels for free images and videos). After selecting your background you're ready to record your video. Recordings are automatically saved to your iPad's camera roll.

Veescope Live is free to use to record and to trim your videos. The free version of the app will put a watermark on your video (small, but noticeable). The paid version of the app ($2.99) removes the watermarking. Since all of the videos you record in Veescope Live are saved to your iPad's camera roll, you can quickly import them into iMovie to combine them with other media clips that you have on your iPad.

Applications for Education
Green screen apps like Veescope Live are great for students to use to create their own newscast videos or weather report videos. The app could also be used by students to create "world tour" videos in which they place themselves in front of landmarks and report on the places that viewers see in the video. 



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

5 Things You Can Teach Through Geocaching

Geocaching is one of the things that I spend a good bit of time talking about in both my workshop and in my webinar 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Learning. Geocaching is a great activity to do to get kids outside for hands-on learning experiences. Here are five things that you can teach through geocaching activities.

Geospatial Awareness
The core of geocaching activities is locating hidden caches. This can be done through the use of GPS (either on a phone, a smartwatch, or on a dedicated GPS unit) or in an "old school" method of using maps. Finding a cache can require students to have an understanding of the distance between two or more places.

Cardinal Direction
Do your students know in which direction to turn if you tell them to walk north? Teach them about cardinal direction through geocaching activities. You can set up geocaching activities in and around your school yard that don't require students to use any electronic devices. Simply make a map or make a list of clues that give students information about the directions and distances they need to go in order to find a series of caches.

Earth Science
Let students test use their knowledge of rock types or plant types as they seek geocaches. You can incorporate a little civic duty into the lesson by asking students to pick up litter they find while geocaching.

Citizenship
If you or your students use the official Geocaching website to find caches in your area, you may find some that border on private property. This is an opportunity to teach students about respecting the property of others. Another opportunity to teach a lesson about citizenship is found in playing by the rules of geocaching. For example, students shouldn't move caches they've found.

Digital Citizenship
As with any activity that incorporates an online, public-facing component participating in official Geocaching activities provides us with a good opportunity to review the basics of good digital citizenship. Students who are placing caches for inclusion on the public listings of Geocaches need to be mindful of not including personally identifying and other sensitive information in their descriptions and hints.

Bonus item: It's hard for me to talk about geocaching without thinking about a couple of classic "geography songs." Enjoy!


Try Mentimeter for Classroom Quiz Games

Mentimeter is one of the tools that I regularly feature when talking about gathering realtime, online feedback from students. It's a great platform for quick, informal polls. Mentimeter is also great for making fun quiz games to use for review activities in your classroom.

Mentimeter lets you create slides that then become the basis of your quiz game. You can have multiple choice and open-response quiz questions in your slides. The responses to each question can be displayed in a variety of ways including bar graphs, word clouds, and heat maps.

If you don't have time to build an entirely new quiz game from scratch, Mentimeter has a large gallery of pre-made games that you can import into your account. Once you have imported a game you can play it as written or modify it to suit your needs.

In the following video I provide an overview of how to use Mentimeter to create and play quiz games in your classroom.