Tuesday, February 18, 2020

5 Google Slides Features New Users Should Know - Updated

One of the things that I've been reminded of a few times in the last month is to revisit the basics even if you're working with people who have had access to G Suite for a long time. On that note, here are five Google Slides features that all users should know how to use.

How to Add Images to Google Slides

How to Add Videos to Google Slides

How to Import PowerPoint Slides Into Google Slides

How to Insert Audio Into Google Slides

How to Print Google Slides

Write Faster With These Two New Google Docs Features

Two new Google Docs features are rolling out to all G Suite users beginning today. Today, Google announced the addition of Smart Compose in Google Docs for G Suite users. Earlier today, Google also announced that autocorrect is being added to Google Docs for all users.

Smart Compose in Google Docs works much like Smart Compose in Gmail. As you type, suggests for completing your sentences appear in light gray text. If you like the suggestion, just hit the tab key to accept the suggestion and continue typing your next sentence. Smart Compose in Google Docs is available only to G Suite users and not to those using personal Google accounts.

Autocorrect in Google Docs is available in G Suite accounts and personal Google accounts. Autocorrect in Google Docs works like that in Gmail. Suggested changes to your spelling are made as you type.

Both of these new features should make it possible to accurately create documents more quickly than before. Smart Compose and Autocorrect in Google Docs is appearing in accounts now and will be rolled out to users over the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode 32 - Back from the Flu

Last week I had the flu and lost my voice so I wasn't able to record the Practical Ed Tech Podcast. But after a week I'm back to full strength and have a new episode of the Practical Ed Tech Podcast.

In this episode of the podcast I shared a neat new stop motion video tool and a handy update to Wakelet. I also explained a new tool called PayGrade.io that I'm trying with my freshmen. And in the Q&A I answered a tricky Creative Commons license question.

You can listen to episode 32 of the Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast network. The complete show notes can be read here.

Listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks:

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Animate Anything With Cloud Stop Motion

Cloud Stop Motion by ZU3D is a new stop motion animation tool that I recently learned about from Danny Nicholson's The Whiteboard Blog. Cloud Stop Motion is a browser-based tool for creating short stop motion videos. I gave it a try this afternoon and found it quite easy to use.

You can try Cloud Stop Motion without creating an account. That said, I'd recommend creating a free account because without one your video has to be so short that you really can't get a sense for how all of the tools work.

Once you've created your Cloud Stop Motion account you should enable your webcam so that you can use it to capture pictures of objects that you place in front of it. Taking a series of pictures is as simple as clicking the camera icon in the Cloud Stop Motion editor. Your pictures are automatically added to the editor in the sequence in which you took them. You can also connect an external camera to capture and import images into your project.

After adding images to your Cloud Stop Motion project you can upload sounds, record sounds, or select sounds from the gallery provided by Cloud Stop Motion. You can also add text and title screens to your project.

When all of the media for your Cloud Stop Motion project are in place you can preview your video by hitting the play button. If you don't like any element of the video, you can go back and edit it out. Adjusting the frames per second is a simple edit that you can make in the Cloud Stop Motion editor.

Applications for Education
Cloud Stop Motion offers free accounts for schools. The free school accounts provide 2GB of storage for every student. The school accounts also provide tools for administrators to manage student accounts.

Cloud Stop Motion could be a great tool for students to use to create short videos to animate stories they've written by using toys or clay models. Making a stop motion video is also a good way for students to demonstrate the steps of a long process in a short window of time.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where it is a crisp -9F! Unfortunately, the forecast indicates that it's not going to get much warmer than 0F and it will be windy. In other words, it might be a day for bowling instead of playing outside. My youngest daughter recently discovered that she loves bowling! Well as much as you can call it bowling when you're two years old. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have time for something fun no matter what the weather holds.

As it is a frigid day here in Maine it's only natural to remind myself that spring isn't too far away. And my spring will be busy as I get ready for Dirty Kanza 200 and then the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Tickets for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp are on sale now! Fill out the form on this page to get a discount code.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Fifteen Digital Citizenship Resources for K-12
2. The Electoral College Explained by Common Craft
3. Headliner - A Good Alternative to Adobe Spark Video
4. Three Neat Things You Can Do With Google Sheets
5. PayGrade - A Classroom Economy Simulation You Can Use All Year
6. Three Easy Steps to Encourage Technology Integration
7. Four Tips for Facilitating Classroom Arduino Projects

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more about how we can work together. This year I'm offering an opportunity to bring me to your school for free! Ask me for details.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com 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 FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 17,000 people are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • The Practical Ed Tech Podcast is where I answer questions from readers, share news and notes, and occasionally talk to interesting people in education. 
  • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.

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