Monday, June 1, 2020

5 Ways to Edit Images in Google Slides

A decade+ ago when I started using Google Slides it was a rather bare bones alternative to PowerPoint. That is no longer the case. Today, there are tons neat little features that you can use in Google Slides to improve the appearance of your presentations. Some of those things are found in the image formatting and editing functions that are built into Google Slides.

In the following video I demonstrate five ways that you can edit your images in Google Slides. Take a look and see if there is a feature you've been overlooking when creating presentations in Google Slides.

Five Ways to Edit Images in Google Slides
1. Cropping images.
2. Adding custom borders to images.
3. Drop shadows.
4. Edit image transparency and contrast.
5. Adding Instagram-like filters.

How to Collaborate on a YouTube Channel

Like many other schools, this spring my school held our awards ceremonies virtually. A colleague and I managed the distribution of the recordings of those ceremonies. We did this by collaborating on one YouTube channel.

You can enable collaboration on a YouTube channel through the permissions settings in YouTube Studio. In the permissions you'll find options for inviting channel editors and managers. Simply enter the email address of the person you want to invite and he/she will get a notification with a link to join the channel with their assigned role.

It's important to note that if you are doing this in a G Suite for Education domain, the people that you invite as co-managers or editors on your YouTube channel should have email addresses within the same domain.

On a related note, when you are posting long videos like recordings of awards ceremonies it can be helpful to include timestamps in your video. Here's how to do that.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Month in Review - The Most Popular Posts

It's the end of May and sure was a month I'll remember for a while for a few reasons. First, we had snow on the ground as late as Mother's Day and then we temperatures in the 90s a couple of days ago. Second, as the weather improved it became quite trying to keep my students engaged in online activities for class. Third, I started the month with a modest goal for registrations for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp and the level of interest in the event far surpassed my expectations.

As I do at the end of every month, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the month. Take a look and see if there's anything interesting that you missed.

These were the most popular posts of the month:
1. Use Whiteboards in Google Meet Without Screensharing
2. How to Use Kahoot in Google Classroom
3. Quickly Create Online Whiteboards for Your Students
4. Another Whiteboard Option for Google Meet Users
5. How to Create Complete Sentence Requirements in Google Forms
6. Seven Ideas for Flipgrid Activities
7. How to Convert a PDF Into a Google Document
8. Move Items from One Google Account to Another
9. How to Create a Green Screen Video Without a Green Screen
10. 5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting

Online Summer PD Opportunities
This summer I'm hosting two online professional development courses. I'm hosting the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp three times. The June session is almost full so register soon if you want in on that session. The July sessions have more seats available.

In June and July I am hosting Teaching History With Technology. This is a five part course designed to help you develop new ways to create engaging history lessons and projects. Register now and use the discount code THWT2020.

This summer I'm working with a handful of schools and organizations to develop online professional development for teachers. If you'd like to work with me, please send me a note at richardbyrne (at) to learn more about how we can work together.

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 23,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 Google tools tutorials.  
  • 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.

How to Make Whiteboard Videos on Your Chromebook - Updated

About two months ago I published a post featuring three ways to make a whiteboard video on a Chromebook. Since then I've created a couple more tutorials on that same topic. Here's an updated set of tutorials on how to make whiteboard videos with browser-based tools that work on Chromebooks.

#1 - Make a Whiteboard Video in Flipgrid
Last fall Flipgrid added an option for creating whiteboard videos. That feature lets you start video using just your webcam then transition into using a built-in whiteboard function to teach a lesson. This feature has also been integrated into the Flipgrid video tools that are available in Wakelet. Watch my videos below to see how you can make whiteboard videos in Flipgrid.

#2 - Make a Whiteboard Video in Seesaw
Seesaw offers a recording tool that you can use to draw and talk at the same time. To do this just create a new announcement or assignment then select the "draw" option when attaching an item. In "draw" you'll find a microphone icon that you can click to start recording while drawing. The recording and drawing will sync together. Students can watch the recording in their Seesaw accounts.

#3 - Use the Drawing Tools in Screencastify
Screencastify had already made most of their features free to teachers before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they offer all of them for free. To record a whiteboard style video with Screencastify first open a blank white Google Slide then start recording. While recording use Screencastify's built-in drawing tools to draw over that slide while you're recording your video.

#4 - Use the Drawing Tools in Zoom
You can host a Zoom meeting without anyone attending. In fact, this is a good way to record a video as Zoom will create a video file for you. Enable the screenshare option in Zoom then choose "whiteboard" to record yourself talking while drawing on a virtual whiteboard.

Three Webinar Recordings You Can Watch Right Now

In May I hosted or co-hosted a handful of free webinars. The recordings of some them are now available to watch at your leisure. Those webinars are Intro to Teaching History With Technology, A Framework for Using Educational Technology, and Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff.

Intro to Teaching History With Technology is, as the name implies, and introduction to the big concepts in my Practical Ed Tech course Teaching History With Technology. That course begins on Monday and there is still time to register.

A Framework for Using Educational is a webinar that I hosted twice in May. The purpose of this webinar was to provide some clarity on how to pick the best educational technology tools to use in your classroom.

Every Friday Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I host Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. You can find all of the episodes and related handouts here. The recording of the latest episode is embedded below.

Rushton also hosts a series of webinars called Activities Across Grade Levels that you should also check out.

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