Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Burning Vocabulary - A Chrome Extension for Expanding Your Vocabulary

Burning Vocabulary is a new Chrome extension that is designed to help users learn new words while browsing the web. Users of the Burning Vocabulary Chrome extension can mark and save any words on a page that are new to them. Definitions of saved words are provided by Burning Vocabulary too. Whenever a word saved in a user's Burning Vocabulary list appears on subsequent pages the saved words will be highlighted on the page. The idea is that users will learn the meanings of their saved words by seeing them in a variety of natural contexts.

Burning Vocabulary offers some additional features in a paid version. The paid version includes the option to print word lists and an option for a vocabulary review calendar.

Applications for Education
Burning Vocabulary could be a good tool for students to use to identify words that are new to them and then learn how those words are used in context. Burning Vocabulary would be a little better if it provided an option to export words to a flashcard or quiz service like Quizlet.

Now You Can Customize Anchor Podcast Pages

Anchor is the service that I am using and have been recommending to anyone who wants to quickly start a podcast. Anchor does all of the work of submitting your podcast's feed to all of the major podcast distribution networks including Google Play and Apple Podcasts. My simple method of producing a podcast with Anchor is outlined here.

One of my few complaints about Anchor was addressed last week when Anchor added the option to customize the landing page for your podcast. Previously, you were stuck with whatever color scheme Anchor gave you for your podcast's landing page. Now you can customize that color scheme. You can use any color hex code you like on your page.

Applications for Education
This doesn't change how Anchor works when it comes to producing a podcast. It's just a nice little improvement that students who use Anchor might appreciate as it gives them a bit of control over how their podcast landing pages appear to visitors.

Monday, December 23, 2019

How to Add Alt Text to Images in Google Documents

In this week's Practical Ed Tech newsletter I included a seven page handout containing tips and tutorials for improving the accessibility of documents, slides, websites, and videos. In that handout was a note about adding alt text to images in Google Documents. It's an easy thing to do that can make your documents more accessible to those who use screen readers. In the following video I demonstrate how to add alt text to the images that you include in Google Documents.

Two Easy Ways to Share Google Forms Without Google Classroom

The school that I am teaching in this year draws students from multiple school districts who come to us for technical/ vocational classes, but take their traditional academic classes in their home school districts. It is because of that arrangement that I have one class in which I can't use Google Classroom because not all of the students have the same email domain and I can't force them all to get a consumer Gmail address. Therefore, when I want to share something like a Google Form with them I will either use a QR code generated with QR Droid or share a shortened URL generated by Yellkey. In the following video I demonstrate how both of those tools work with Google Forms.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

How to Add & Edit Google Sites Image Carousels

One of the better features added to Google Sites in 2019 is the image carousel option. Image carousels let you display a large collection of images in a gallery that site visitors can scroll through. As you'll see in the video that is embedded below, your image carousel can occupy as much or as little of page as you like.


Applications for Education
Image carousels are great for displaying a set of pictures from a school event like a holiday concert or a field trip. Image carousels can also be great for students to use on their own sites to share pictures to document the process of building something for a class project. Student can caption in the images to help explain the significance of each picture. Google Sites includes an option for easily captioning the images in the carousel. That caption option is demonstrated in the video above.