Monday, April 13, 2020

How to Post Videos in Google Sites so Everyone Can See Them

Last week someone emailed me asking why her students couldn't see the videos that she was posting on Google Sites. This isn't an uncommon problem. The issue almost always is found with the settings on the video itself and not on Google Sites.

When posting a video on Google Sites you need to make sure that the video itself is set for public viewing. If you are including a video that you have in your Google Drive account, you need to change its privacy to "anyone with the link can view" or else it won't be visible to anyone but you. Similarly, when you insert a video from your YouTube account into Google Sites, you need to make sure that video isn't set to private. I explain and demonstrate how to use Google Drive videos in Google Sites in the following video.

Watch this video for an overview of using YouTube, Google Drive, and Vimeo videos in Google Sites.

When Two Ed Tech Guys Become Three Ed Tech Folks

Last Friday I was supposed to be on a webinar with Rushton Hurley to talk about some cool ed tech tools and answer questions from viewers and readers like you. Unfortunately, mother nature had another plan for me and a snowstorm knocked out the power at my house. Fortunately, Rushton was able to scramble and quickly get two awesome ed tech people to fill-in for me. Those people were Jesse Lubinsky and Holly Clark. I wish I could have been on with them. They did a great job.

Two Ed Tech Guys Become Three Ed Tech Folks is now available to view right here on the Next Vista for Learning site or as embedded below. I encourage you to go to the Next Vista page because you'll find a bunch of other archived webinars there.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Screencastify Submit Looks Promising - Easy Way for Students to Make Videos

Thanks to John Padula this morning I learned about a new Screencastify feature called Screencastify Submit. This feature is currently in beta and you have to apply to get access to it, but it does look promising. I've applied and I hope to get access to it soon.

Screencastify Submit will let you create an assignment for your students to complete by making videos with Screencastify. The neat thing about it is you can post the assignment link in Google Classroom or any other LMS and when students click the link they can instantly start recording. Students don't need to have the Screencastify extension installed in order to record videos via Screencastify Submit. Students also don't need a Screencastify account. After students have finished recording their videos are automatically uploaded to your Google Drive for you to review.

Watch this short video to see how Screencastify Submit works.

Applications for Education
As I wrote in an email to John, I think that Screencastify Submit could be a great tool to use with my Comp Sci students. This will make it easier for them to record videos for the assignments I give them to demonstrate and explain pieces of code that they develop. Additionally, I like that Screencastify Submit will organize students' submissions in my Google Drive.

In the past I've had students use Screencastify and Brush Ninja together to create science videos. You can read about that here.

If You're Inclined To Do So...

This little blog of mine that I started back in 2007 has seen a resurgence in traffic lately. In fact, visits are up nearly 300% over the last month. I'm also getting more help requests and answering more help requests than ever before.

A few people have suggested to me after I helped them via email that I should have a donate button on my site. While I appreciate the sentiment, I'm not inclined to add a donate button. That said, if you're so inclined I do have a little Tee Spring store where you can buy a coffee mug (I might add other stuff in the future). I also have a series of on-demand professional development webinars available on Practical Ed Tech.

As always, there's no obligation and you're welcome to read this blog and my newsletters for free for as long as you like.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me over the years by participating in my Practical Ed Tech webinars, inviting me to speak at your conferences, or hiring me to lead workshops at your school.

The Week in Review - It Was a Rough One

Good morning from Maine where the ground is once again blanketed with six inches of heavy, wet snow. We had a big storm on Thursday night that knocked out the power to more than a third of the homes, including mine, in my county. So in the midst of remote learning we had a snow day.

Earlier in the week we were notified that we are not going back to school this year. That wasn't a complete surprise, but it was somber confirmation of what we all kind of thought would happen even though we didn't want it to happen. It's a weird incomplete feeling to have the typical "last day of school" activities replaced by the "have a nice weekend" that we said to each other on March 13th. I wonder how many of you feel the same way.

I've been going like a man with his hair on fire for a month now. My school inbox and my personal inbox have been a non-stop stream of help requests. Some of those requests end up being addressed in blog posts, but most are addressed directly (even if it takes a few days). I explained how I'm handling those inboxes in the free webinar I hosted on Thursday. That said, I'm taking the weekend off from my inbox. I'm going to play outside with my kids, hide Easter eggs on Sunday morning, and try to relax. I hope that you can have a relaxing weekend too. If reading about educational technology is relaxing for you, take a look at these week's most popular posts.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. An Option for Making Sure Students Know They Have Google Classroom Assignments
2. Three Ways to Share Docs in Google Classroom - When to Use Each
3. 5 Google Classroom Tips for Teachers - Things You Might Have Overlooked or Forgotten
4. Now You Can Use Flipgrid to Make Screencast Videos
5. Video Puppet Turns Your PowerPoint Presentations Into Narrated Videos
6. How to Use PDFs in Google Classroom
7. Three Ways to Make Whiteboard Videos on Your Chromebook

Online PD With Me!
I've been hosting professional development webinars for a decade.

  • My most popular webinars are available on-demand right here
  • If you prefer live webinars, I am planning to host some more later this month and in May so stay tuned for more information about those soon. 
  • I'm always available to schedule custom, online PD for your school.

Thank You for Your Support!

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 it includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 20,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 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 Facebook page has more than 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last thirteen years at
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.