Wednesday, April 15, 2020

How to Share Your Videos in Google Classroom - With and Without YouTube

A lot of teachers are making their own instructional videos for the first time. Whether you make them using screencasting tools, by converting slides into videos, or by just using the camera on your Chromebook, you're going to need a way to share your videos with your students. In this post you'll see a few ways to share your videos in Google Classroom with and without using YouTube. All of those methods are outlined in the screenshots and video below.

Upload as an announcement in Google Classroom
In this method you simply create a new announcement in your Google Classroom then attach the video file that is stored on your computer to the announcement.

Share as an announcement via Google Drive
In this method you will upload a video to your Google Drive and then post it as an announcement in Google Classroom. This is a good option if you used your Chromebook or smartphone to make a video and saved it in your Google Drive. When you do this, the video will automatically change to "shared" in your Google Drive.

Post as a material in Google Classroom
This method has you sharing your video as a material in the classwork section of your Google Classroom. You can either upload the video directly or import from your Google Drive just as you can do in announcements.

Post as an assignment in Google Classroom
With this method you can post your video as part of an assignment in Google Classroom. This is a good option if you want to a copy of the video placed in each of your students' Google Drives. This is also a good option if you want to attach a question sheet to go along with your video.

Upload to YouTube as an "unlisted" video then share in Google Classroom
If you want to use YouTube to host your videos, but don't want every random person on the web to be able to find it, try using the "unlisted" option when you upload your videos to your YouTube account. You'll still be able to share a link to your video in Google Classroom as an announcement, as a material, or as an announcement. That method and the ones above are outlined in the video below.

Share from Screencastify directly to Google Classroom
Screencastify has an option to share your screencast videos directly to your Google Classroom account.

Lessons About Income Taxes

In most years today would be the deadline for Americans to file their income tax returns. This year that deadline has been extended to July 15th because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I already had these resources ready to go for this week so I'm going to share them now rather than wait until July.

What are tax brackets?
Tax brackets are not as straight-forward as they seem on paper or in political debates. Vox offers a concise explanation of what tax brackets are and how they work. Money Coach also provides a good explanation of tax brackets although that explanation is longer with a bit more nuance.

Do you need to file a tax return?
If you teach high school students like I do, some of them may be filing taxes (or having parents do it on their behalf) for the first time. Doing that can lead to all kinds of questions about why we have taxes, the way taxes are calculated, and types of taxes. Money Coach has two videos that do a good job of explaining why you have to file a tax return and how to do it.

The concept of an income tax.
Crash Course offers a video that explains the origins of income taxes and a general explanation of how money collected from income taxes is used.

Income tax lesson plans.
PBS Learning Media offers a free lesson plan through which students learn about reasons for taxes being withheld from paychecks, where the withholdings go, and why some people have more or less withheld than others. In addition to helping students understand taxes withheld from paychecks Taxes - Where Does Your Money Go? introduces students to concepts related to saving for retirements. To that end, the lesson plan includes a video about how a self-employed person handles budgeting for taxes and retirement.

Create Lessons With These Videos
EDpuzzle is my favorite tool for creating lessons with videos that I find on YouTube. In the video below I demonstrate how you can use EDpuzzle to create your own lessons with videos that you find on YouTube.

The Student View of Comments on Google Classroom Assignments

One of the things that I've always recommended doing when using a new-to-you web tool in your classroom is to look at the students' perspective as well as your own. Unfortunately, that's not always easy to do. In the case of Google Classroom this can be hard to do if you only have a teacher account and don't have access to a student account. That's probably why lately I have received a lot of questions about what assignments look like to students in Google Classroom. I made the following short video to demonstrate how Google Classroom assignments look to students.

In the video below I demonstrate how to give an assignment, how students view an assignment, how to give feedback on a student's assignment, and what that feedback looks like to a student. My example features a student uploading a picture of a math assignment completed on paper for his teacher to review. The concept in the example can be applied to PDFs and any other document that you have your students complete and return in Google Classroom.

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.