Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Sharing Videos Through Google Drive

One of the things that people sometimes forget about Google Drive is that you can use to share just about any kind of file that you have stored on your computer. This includes video files. In fact, using Google Drive can be a good way to share a video with students or colleagues without having to use YouTube. When you share a video through Google Drive the person you share it with can view it right in his or her Google Drive account without having to download it.

A few years ago I recorded a video about how share videos through Google Drive and it is still one of the most frequently watched videos on my YouTube channel. The video is embedded below.



In September I am releasing an on-demand course that will be full of practical ways to use all aspects of G Suite for Education in your classroom. Register here to be notified when the course is available. 

Join Me on Friday for Practical Ed Tech Live!

This Friday at 9am ET I'm bringing back my Practical Ed Tech Live series in which I answer batches of questions that readers like you send to me throughout the week. I'll be broadcasting this live on my YouTube channel (subscribe to my channel to be notified when I go live). You can ask me questions during the broadcast or submit them in advance to ensure that I'll see your question. You can submit questions through the form that is embedded below.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How to Add and Edit Alt Text in PowerPoint Presentations

A few weeks ago I published a video about how to add alt text to pictures in Google Slides. That video was prompted by a friend's request for help. This morning a reader asked me about using alt text in PowerPoint. So I recorded the following short video to demonstrate how you can add alt text and edit alt text in PowerPoint. The video includes instructions for the browser version  of PowerPoint and for the desktop version of PowerPoint (thankfully, the two versions are getting more similar all the time).


Applications for Education
After I published my last video about alt text I had a few people ask what purpose it served. The purpose of alt text is to convey the purpose of an image in a presentation or online document. This is done to help students who use screen readers access the full content and purpose of the presentation.

For more information about the purpose of alt text and what alt text should entail, read How to Write Alt Text and Image Descriptions for the Visually Impaired published by the Perkins School for the Blind eLearning.

Unsplash for Education - Free Photos for Your Lessons

Unsplash is one of my go-to recommendations for finding public domain pictures for classroom projects. Thanks to Rushton Hurley's latest Next Vista for Education newsletter I just learned that Unsplash now has an Unsplash for Education section.

Unsplash for Education is comprised of ten curated collections of images for teachers and students to use in their projects. Those ten collections are math & science, art, space, politics & current events, geography, health, history, tech, nature, and a catch-all education collection.

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a dedicated search tool for the Unsplash for Education collections so you just have to browse through them to find pictures that you like. When you do find a picture that you like you can download it for free without having to register on the Unsplash site. And while Unsplash does encourage giving attribution for images, it clearly states that you don't have to give attribution for the images.

On a related note, Unsplash offers a free Google Slides add-on that makes it easy to find and use public domain images in your slides without ever leaving your Google Slides editor. Watch the video embedded below to learn how to use the Unsplash Google Slides add-on.


Image credit: Javier Quesada

A New Crowdsourcing Project from the Library of Congress

Last year the Library of Congress introduced a new online project called Crowd. The project invites teachers, students, and anyone interested in history to contribute to the transcription of primary source documents. The documents are arranged in thematic collections that the LOC calls "campaigns."

This week the Library of Congress added a new campaign to Crowd. The latest campaign is called Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote. As of this morning the campaign has nearly 24,000 documents that need to be transcribed. Included amongst those 24,000 documents are letters, journals, and never-before-published works from Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Anna E. Dickinson.

Applications for Education
As I've written before, participating in one of the LOC's Crowd campaigns could be a good opportunity for high school students and some middle school students to learn through primary source documents while contributing to a national project. Getting started on a Crowd campaign is fairly easy. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to participate in a Crowd campaign.