Tuesday, April 14, 2020

How to Quickly Create a Narrated Video from PowerPoint or Google Slides

Last week I published a short post about a neat new service called Video Puppet. Video Puppet will take your PowerPoint slides and convert them into a narrated video for you. If you're a Google Slides user you can download your slides as a PowerPoint file to then use in Video Puppet.

You can use Video Puppet for free without registering on the site. The limitation on the free plan is that your slideshow can have a maximum of twenty slides. That should be more than adequate for most classroom applications. Anything longer than that and students will probably tune out anyway. You're probably better off making two videos that have ten slides than one video that has twenty slides.

In the following video I demonstrate how you can use Video Puppet to quickly create a video from your PowerPoint slides.

Three Ways to Use Audio With Google Slides

"How can I use audio in Google Slides?" is one of the perennial FAQs that I receive. In fact, just yesterday I had two people send me emails with variations on that question.

There are three methods that I typically recommend to people who want to use audio with Google Slides. All three of those methods are demonstrated in the video in this post.

Method 1:
Use the built-in "insert audio" function in Google Slides. This requires you to have audio files stored in your Google Drive account. You have to insert audio into each slide in your presentation. There is not a native recording function in Google Slides so you will have to record any narration that you want to use in a third-party tool. In the video I demonstrated using Online Voice Recorder, but any audio recording tool that generates an MP3 will work.

Method 2: 
Use a screencasting tool like Screencastify to record yourself talking while presenting your slides. This method will generate a video file that you can then share with your students. In the video below I demonstrated using Screencastify.

Method 3:
Insert a music video into your slides then shrink it down to the smallest possible size so as to "hide" it on the slide. Then use the formatting options in Google Slides to have the music video automatically play when presenting.

Monday, April 13, 2020

How to Use Google Hangouts Meet in Google Classroom

Last week Google introduced a new way to incorporate Google Meet (AKA Google Hangouts Meet) into Google Classroom. The old method still works as well. In fact, I had already scheduled some meetings with the old method so that's what I used with my students this morning. Moving forward I'll be using the new method. Both methods for scheduling and hosting Google Hangouts Meet events are featured in my new video that is embedded below.

Answers to FAQs about Google Meet in Google Classroom:
  • With the new permanent Google Meet link your students cannot join before you (if you're using G Suite for Edu). 
  • You can reset the link if you need to. 
  • Students can't rejoin after you close the meeting. 
  • Yes, you can re-use the links within the same classroom. 
  • No, it is not the same link for all Classrooms within your G Suite for Edu account. 
    • If you have five Classrooms, you'll have five links. 

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.