Friday, June 21, 2019

How to Automatically Caption and Translate PowerPoint Presentations

Late last year Microsoft introduced real-time captioning and translation of PowerPoint presentations. At that time it wasn't available in all versions of PowerPoint. That changed this week when Mike Tholfsen, product manager for Microsoft EDU, Tweeted that real-time captioning and translation is now available in all versions of PowerPoint for Windows, Mac, and Web. Watch the following video to learn how to enable real-time translation and captioning of your presentations.


Applications for Education
Real-time captioning and translation could be a great feature to turn on when giving presentations to groups of parents whose first language isn't English. The automatic captioning function will also be useful in making presentations accessible to students who have hearing impairments.

How to Make Your Font Stand Out on Canva Graphics

Canva is a great tool for creating all kinds of graphics for social media, for videos, for newsletters, for infographics, or for just about anything else that needs a nice graphic. Even if you don't have any graphic design skills (like me) you can still create nice graphics by using one of Canva's free templates. There are a lot of obvious design customization elements that every Canva user can use. Then there are some that are a little less obvious. In the following video I demonstrate how to use one of those "hidden" design tools in Canva.

5 New SeeSaw Features for Teachers and Students Creating Digital Portfolios

SeeSaw is a digital portfolio tool that I have used and recommended since shortly after its launch in 2014. After initially launching as an iPad app it quickly evolved to become tool that can be used on Android devices, on laptops, on desktops, and on Chromebooks. This week SeeSaw added more features designed with Chromebook users in mind, but will also be beneficial to those who use iPads, laptops, and Android tablets.

1. Import Google Classroom Rosters
Teachers have always been able to manually create class rosters in SeeSaw. Now there's an easier way to create a roster in SeeSaw. That way is connecting your Google account and importing your Google Classroom rosters into your SeeSaw account.

2. Chromebook, touchscreen optimized user interface.
In speaking with Carl Sjogreen, co-founder of SeeSaw, I learned that one of the things they get a lot of requests for was to make the Student Journal tools easier to use on small screens like those found in Chromebooks. To meet that request SeeSaw updated the Student Journal tools to make them easier to find and use on smaller screens.

3. Drag and Drop Collage Creation
In their SeeSaw journals students can now add multiple images into one entry. Those images can be dragged and dropped into any arrangement on the screen. Students can use the text tools to caption or label images. Students can also add digital stickers to their collages.

4. Math Manipulatives & Graph Paper
Now when students choose the drawing option in their SeeSaw student journals they can change the background to a graph paper background. That could be great for drawing solutions to math problems. Now there is also a collection of math manipulatives that students can add to their drawings in their journals.

5. Draw and Talk
Students have always been able to make video and audio recordings in SeeSaw. Now they can make whiteboard videos in which they talk while drawing and highlighting on a blank canvas or while drawing and highlighting over an image or document.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Interactive Maps of Migrations and Changes of Seasons

Over the years I've featured Project Noah and the USA Phenology Network's maps as platforms through which students can track the changes of seasons in North America. Recently, through the Maps Mania blog I learned about another good site that students can use to track the changes in seasons. That site is called Journey North.

Journey North is a crowd-sourced created by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. On Journey North you will find interactive maps that represent the first appearances of migratory birds across North America in the spring and in the fall. You'll also find maps of other signs of the changes of seasons. Those include maps of changes in daylight, the first appearances of changes of leaves on trees, and the first appearances of hibernating animals.

Applications for Education
Journey North provides interactive maps of the current year as well as maps going back to 1997. Those could be used by students to explore changes in migratory patterns over time. Students could also use the 22 years of maps to explore changes in the timing of other signs of spring and fall in North America.

Journey North has a page of teaching resources. Within that page you'll find this 28 page PDF (link opens the PDF) that contains many suggestions for helping students develop skills to ask good inquiry questions, record observations, and make conclusions based on facts.

More Immersive Reader News - Thinglink Integrates Immersive Reader

Earlier I shared the news that Microsoft is adding their popular accessibility too, Immersive Reader, to Microsoft Forms. Shortly after I received that news from Mike Tholfsen I got an email from Thinglink informing me that they're also adding Immersive Reader to their excellent image and video annotation tools.

Thinglink is a service that I have used for many years to add interactive markers to pictures and videos. Those markers can be used to annotate images and videos with text, video links, links to web pages, and other images. I have a handful of tutorials on how to use Thinglink here on my YouTube channel.


Thinglink + Immersive Reader
Thinglink's integration of Immersive Reader will provide students with the ability to hear the contents of Thinglink image and video annotations read aloud. It will also enable students to access annotations in multiple languages regardless of the language in which the image and video annotations were written. Thinglink has a great run-down of six ways that students and teachers can use Immersive Reader in Thinglink. Thinglink's overview includes demonstration videos.