Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Week in Review - Originality, Audio, and Clocks

Good afternoon from rainy South Paris, Maine. Even though the weather was less than ideal for a bike ride I went out for ride to exercise this morning. Along the way I saw a red leaf on a maple tree. In this part of the world, the appearance of red leaves on maple trees is a reminder that the new school year will be here soon. If you've already started school, I hope it's off to a great start. And if you still have some vacation left, I hope you get outside to enjoy it.

This week I hosted a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled Intro to Animation and Green Screen Videos. More than 50 of you attended that webinar, thank you! This week I'm hosting Search Strategies Students Need to Know Now. And coming up in September I'm launching an on-demand version of my popular Getting Going With G Suite course.

The Most Popular Posts of the Week:
1. Google is Adding an Originality Checker to Google Classroom
2. Two Important Changes Coming to Google Classroom
3. Unsplash for Education - Free Photos for Your Lessons
4. How to Add Video and Audio Comments to Google Docs
5. Three Ways to Create Shortened URLs People Can Actually Spell
6. How to Add an Animated Clock to PowerPoint Slides
7. How to Extract Audio from a Video

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Click here to learn more about my professional development services.

Thank You for Your Support!
  • More than 350 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech webinar this year. Thank you!
  • Pixton is a fantastic tool for students to use to create digital stories. Get started by using their free "Truth or Lie" lesson plan. 
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County has been supporting this blog for many years.
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
  • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 15,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • Facebook - The Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. 

New! The Practical Ed Tech Podcast

Last spring a reader named Tiffany asked me if I would ever consider publishing my Practical Ed Tech Live episodes as podcasts instead of just on my YouTube channel. It was a good idea. Thanks to Tiffany's suggestion I am now publishing the audio of my Practical Ed Tech live episodes as a podcast.

I'm using the platform to publish the podcast. As of right now you can get the episodes through the Anchor app, here on the Anchor website, and through Spotify. The Practical Ed Tech Podcast will soon be available through other podcast distribution networks.

I've never done something quite like this so it's a bit of a work in progress. I hope you enjoy the first episode and if not, I hope you'll be patient and give the next couple of episodes a try as I work out the kinks.

An Easy-to-Search Index of Teachers on Twitter

Twitter can be a good place to connect with other educators to exchange ideas and resources. The trouble is that it is not always easy to filter through all of the accounts that Twitter automatically suggests to find the people that you really want to connect with. Thanks to a Tweet from Mark Anderson yesterday I learned about a new way easy-to-search index of teachers on Twitter.

EduTwitter is a site developed by Tristan Kirkpatrick. The site provides a searchable index of educators on Twitter. You can search by name or browse according to speciality area. You can sort search results display users who have the most or the least followers (a great way to discover new voices). Take a look at EduTwitter and see if you can find someone new to follow. And if you don't see your Twitter account on EduTwitter, you can submit your name for inclusion.

Friday, August 16, 2019

How to Extract Audio from a Video

One of the questions that I answered during today's Practical Ed Tech Live episode was, "is there a way that I can just take the audio out of the videos to publish it as a podcast?" There are a few ways that you can extract the audio from a video. One of the easier ways to do that is found in GarageBand. In the following video I demonstrate how to extract the audio from a video file that you have stored on your computer.

As I mentioned at the end of the video, you should only do this with videos that you created or videos that you have received permission to edit.

If you're looking for an easy way to publish a podcast, take a look at using Anchor makes it easy to publish your MP3 recordings as podcast episodes that get distributed through all of the major podcast platforms.

ICYMI - Practical Ed Tech Live Recording

This morning I hosted a new episode of Practical Ed Tech Live on my YouTube channel. I hadn't held one of these sessions since the last school year ended. For the new school year I'm adding a new element to the broadcast. That element is a recap of some of the bigger stories in the world of educational technology. Of course, I'm still answering questions from readers and viewers like you. The recording of today's episode of Practical Ed Tech Live is now available to view as embedded below and on my YouTube channel.

Here's an outline of what was covered in the broadcast. The outline includes links for many of the things that I mentioned in the video.

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