Thursday, June 4, 2020

Five Things You Should Know About Using Audio in Google Slides

Late last year Google added support for using audio in Google Slides. Since then a few changes have been made to how it works. Over the last six months I've fielded lots of questions about using audio in Google Slides. In the following video I cover five things that I'm frequently asked about using audio in Google Slides.

Five things you should know about using audio in Google Slides.
1. How to upload audio files.
2. How to loop audio.
3. How to hide audio icon.
4. How to adjust audio icon.
5. Sharing settings for audio files.

Get public domain audio at

Three quick ways to record audio to use in Google Slides.

The Practical Ed Tech guide to finding media for classroom projects.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Two New Google Docs Features in G Suite for Education

Back in February Google added Smart Compose and Autocorrect as new features in Google Docs. However, those features were only available in Google Docs in G Suite for Business accounts. Google has now announced that Smart Compose and Autocorrect will be available in Google Docs in G Suite for Education domains.

I've been using Smart Compose and Autocorrect in two of my Google accounts since February. I'm excited that it will finally be available in my G Suite for Education domain.

Smart Compose in Google Docs works just like the feature of the same name in Gmail. As you are typing Google Docs will try to predict what the next few words of your sentence are going to be. Those predictions appear in gray text. If the prediction is correct and you want to use it, just hit the tab key to add the predicted text to your document. If the prediction is not correct, just keep typing as you normally would.

Smart Compose and Autocorrect in Google Docs in G Suite for Education is appearing in some domains right now and will be rolled-out over the next month. Currently, there is not a domain admin control over this feature, but Google's announcement states that there will be one by the start of the 2020/21 school year.

Three Ways to Make Short Audio Recordings - No Accounts Required

Since late last year when Google finally added native support for audio in Google Slides I've fielded a steady stream of questions from readers looking for suggestions on the quickest and easiest ways for kids to record audio on their Chromebooks. There are three tools that I typically recommend to those who are looking to just record short spoken audio tracks and don't require additional editing functions. Those three tools are Vocaroo, Online Voice Recorder, and Twisted Wave.

All three of these tools don't require students to have email addresses or create any kind of account in order to make a short audio recording then download it as an MP3.

I've been using Vocaroo for more than a decade. It's incredibly simple to use. Just head to the site, click the record button, and start talking. When you're finished recording hit the stop button. You can listen to your recording before downloading it as an MP3. If you don't like your recording you can create a new one by just refreshing the homepage and starting again. Here's my recent demo of how to use Vocaroo.

Online Voice Recorder offers the same simplicity of Vocaroo plus a couple of features that I've always wished Vocaroo had. One of those features is the ability to pause a recording in progress and resume it when I want to. The other feature is the option to trim the dead air at the beginning and end of a recording. Watch my video to see those features in action.

Twisted Wave
Twisted Wave offers many more features than either of the tools mentioned above. But at it's most basic level you can still just head to the site, launch the recorder, start talking, and then export your recording as an MP3 all without creating an account on the site. For those who are looking for a way to save audio directly into Google Drive, Twisted Wave offers that capability. Watch my short video below to see how you can use Twisted Wave to make an audio recording and save it directly to your Google Drive.

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.