Friday, May 8, 2020

Three Ways to Convert Video into Audio

Earlier this week I had a colleague ask me how she could extract the audio from a video that she had made. Some video editing tools, including iMovie and WeVideo, have an option to export just the audio from your video projects. But if the video was created by just filming with a smartphone or with a webcam integrated into a laptop, you'll need a third-party tool to convert the video into audio.

Online-Convert is a service that I've used for many years to convert files. One of the many file conversions that it can perform is MP4 into MP3. In the following short video I demonstrate how easy it is to convert a file with Online-Convert.

Convert Video to Audio in WeVideo
WeVideo includes an option to export just the audio from your video projects. You'll find this option when you click "Finish" in the WeVideo editor. You can upload any video that you own  into the WeVideo editor then export it as audio.

Convert Video to Audio in iMovie
Much like WeVideo, iMovie offers the option to share just audio from your video project. You'll find this option when you select "Share" in the "File" drop-down menu then choose "File" again. Like WeVideo, you can import any video that you own into iMovie then export just the audio.

Applications for Education
Converting a video into an MP3 can be a quick way to create a podcast from a video. If you've recorded a video of a guest speaker (virtual or in-person) and want to release just the audio, Online-Convert could be the tool for you to use.

On a related note, here's an overview of a quick way to produce and publish a podcast from a video.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Use Whiteboards in Google Meet Without Screensharing

On Monday I published a blog post about a new online whiteboard tool called Whiteboard Fi. At the end of that post I mentioned that it could be used in conjunction with Google Meet to give your students a prompt then have them reply on a whiteboard without having to fumble around with screensharing. In fact, with the combination of Google Meet and Whiteboard Fi you could see all of your students' whiteboards at the same time. In this new video I demonstrate how that process can work.

Here's an overview of how Whiteboard Fi works on its own.

Join Me and Rushton Hurley Tomorrow for Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff

Every Friday at 1pm ET/ 10am PT Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I host a free webinar called Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. It we do exactly what the title says, share cool things we've found and answer questions about all things related to education and technology. Register here to join us tomorrow!

Rushton hosts some other webinars during the week. You can find those, the recordings, and more on this Next Vista for Learning page.

Watch last week's episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff to get a sense of how these webinars work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Exploring and Visualizing Data Sets

Big data and how it can be used is one of the topics that my ninth grade students are exploring this month. To that end, this week I introduced them to Google's Public Data Explorer and Google's Dataset Search tools.

Public Data Explorer is a tool that has been around for more than a decade at this point. The tool itself hasn't had any updates in a while. However, the datasets within Public Data Explorer have been updated. This week I'm having my students use it to create visualizations of data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators dataset. After they make the visualizations they have to do a little research to investigate causes of disparities depicted by the visualizations.

Here's a video that I made a few years ago about how to use the Public Data Explorer.

Google's Dataset Search tool is only about eighteen months old. It helps users find datasets that they can then download as Excel and CSV files, Google Earth files, zip files of images, and or collections of documents. Right now I'm having my freshmen visit Dataset Search just to give them a sense of the type of data that researchers collect and how it's organized. Later this month I'll have them create visualizations in Google Sheets from an imported dataset.

On the topic of data, Everybody Lies is an interesting read. 

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.