Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Homeschool History - A Podcast Series for the Family

About eight years ago there was a BBC podcast series called A History of the World in 100 Objects. It was a good series that featured short lessons about objects in The British Museum. New episodes haven't been added in years, but the series is still available to listen to online. I mention that old series because it did make good companion material for world history lessons. Similarly, the BBC recently launched a new podcast series that offers good history lessons for kids.

Homeschool History is a new BBC podcast series that is made for the whole family to listen to and learn a little history lesson. Each Homeschool History episode is fifteen minutes long. Three episodes are currently available to listen to right here on the BBC Radio 4 website. Those episodes are Mary Queen of Scots, The Space Race, and The Restoration. A new episode about Charles Dickens will be released on Monday.

Applications for Education
This morning I listened to the The Space Race episode of Homeschool History. Even though I knew the content of the episode I still found it nice to listen to the episode.I think that I'd be able to get middle school and high school students to listen to at least five minutes of each episode of Homeschool History.

I'd add Homeschool History to my list of "learning at home" resources to recommend to parents of middle school and high school students.

How to Blur Faces and Objects in Your Videos

One of the topics that I frequently receive questions about is privacy when posting videos online. One option is to post your videos as unlisted or private videos on YouTube or Vimeo. Another option is to blur faces and objects in your videos. YouTube's free video editor makes it easy to selectively blur faces and objects in the videos that you upload to your YouTube account.

I published a video on this topic about five years ago. Since then the way that YouTube's free video editor works changed a bit. In this new video I demonstrate how to selectively blur faces and objects in YouTube videos.


Applications for Education
Many graduation and awards events are being held online this spring. While you can't use this feature to selectively blur during a livestream, you can use it to selectively blur when you publish the recording of a livestreamed event.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Loom - Create Screencasts on Your iPad

Loom is a good screencasting that I've written about a handful of times over the last couple of years. Amongst it's many features, Loom offers a Chrome extension that makes it easy to respond to an email with a video. Recently, Loom launched a new iPad app that you can use to create screencast videos.

Loom's free iPad app lets you create a screencast of anything that is on your iPad. You can even switch between apps while recording with the Loom iPad app. As you might expect, the app lets you record your voice while recording your iPad's screen. Your completed video is saved in your free Loom account.

Loom's new iPad app makes it easier than ever to create a screencast on your iPad. Previously, to create a good screencast to demonstrate apps on an iPad you would have to mirror your iPad to a computer then record the mirrored images. Tools like Air Server made that fairly easy, but it still required you to use two devices. Now you can create a good screencast video right on your iPad.

Applications for Education
Loom's new iPad app could be great for giving directions to students about how to use a particular app or series of apps on their iPads. For example, this could be great for showing students how to attach files to assignments in the Google Classroom iPad app.

How to Create Complete Sentence Requirements in Google Forms

This afternoon I held an informal webinar for a small group of people who were interested in learning some G Suite tips and tricks. Response validation in Google Forms was one of the things that I showed toward the end of that webinar. Response validation in Google Forms lets you specify a minimum number of characters that students have to enter in order for their responses to be accepted by your Google Form.

By using response validation in Google Forms you can encourage students to keep writing if they don't write a complete sentence in response to one or more of your questions. Response validation can't enforce a particular sentence structure but it can enforce a minimum sentence length.

In the following video I demonstrate how you can use response validation in Google Forms to encourage students to write complete sentences.

How to Quickly Map and Connect Spreadsheet Data

Earlier today a reader emailed me with a great question about Google Maps. She wanted to map a set of addresses and then quickly determine the shortest route between all of those places. My suggestion was to put all of the addresses into a Google Sheet, import that Google Sheet into Google's My Maps tool, and then use the directions function to connect all of the addresses with the shortest possible routing. In the following video I demonstrate how that whole process can be done.


Applications for Education
Students can use this process to quickly create a simple tour of landmarks that they studied in a geography lesson. It could also be used to create tours based on books. You can turn these into collaborative projects by having students share a Google Sheet and contribute to it.