Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How to Create Split Screen Videos in Flipgrid

A couple of weeks ago Flipgrid introduced some new features and product changes for the 2020-21 school year. One of those changes was a slight relocation of the whiteboard recording tool. At the same time a new whiteboard option was added. That option is to have a split screen while recording your whiteboard videos in Flipgrid. This option allows you to display your webcam on half of your screen while the other half is used as a whiteboard. But it doesn't have to be a 50/50 split. You can choose how you want to divide your screen. You can see how that's done by watching my short video embedded below.


Applications for Education
Keeping your face in the video is one of the things that I always recommend to teachers who are making instructional videos for their students. Putting your face in the video helps students connect to you which in turn can get them to pay attention to your video just a little bit longer. Using the split screen option in Flipgrid is one convenient way to keep your face in your whiteboard instructional videos.


Monday, August 17, 2020

ICYMI - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff

Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff is a weekly webinar series that I do with Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning. As the name implies, in the 30 minute webinar we answer your questions (you can email them in advance or ask them live) and we share a few cool or interesting free resources that we've found. If you miss an episode, you can watch the replay right here on the Next Vista site.

The next episode will be this Thursday at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT. You can register here to join us for this fun and free webinar.

Five Current Google Meet Features to Note

Last week Google announced a bunch of additional features that will be coming to Google Meet later this fall. Before those appear in your Google account, here are five other features of Google Meet that you should how to use.

Meeting Nicknames:
This feature allows you to choose a nickname for your meeting in place of using the default code that Google assigns to it. An obvious benefit of using a meeting nickname is that it’s easier to spell, remember, and share than a default meeting code. Another benefit is that you can give out the nickname to your students but they can’t join the meeting until you start it at meetings.google.com Learn more about meeting nicknames and all features of Google Meet in this recorded webinar.

Captions:
You and or your students can turn on captions at any point during a Google Meet session. Simply click the captions button and all spoken words will appear below the camera view in the meeting.

Classroom Link: 
Within the class settings for every Google Classroom there is an option to enable a permanent Google Meet link. That link can be re-used for all meetings held for that class. You can choose to display that link to your students or keep it hidden. Either way, the link is always the same for meetings directly associated with that Classroom. Here's a video that shows you how to use this feature.


Calendar Integration: 
In addition to using the Google Classroom integration and going directly to meet.google.com there is a third option for scheduling meetings. When you create an event in a Google Calendar that you own or have edit access on, you can have Google Calendar create a Google Meet link for you.

Recording: 
Your G Suite for Education domain administrator has to enable the recording option for you. After September 30, 2020 the native recording feature will only be available to G Suite for Education Enterprise Edition users. In other words, after September 30th it will only be available to those who have the paid version of G Suite. A possible work-around for this is to record your calls with a desktop recording tool like Screencast-o-matic or Camtasia.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

How to Create, Share, and Collaborate on YouTube Playlists

As the school year begins you might find yourself looking through a lot of YouTube videos that you'll share with your students throughout the coming months. Creating playlists on is a great way to organize those videos and share them with your students. Once you've created a playlist you can continue to update it to share more videos with your students. You can also invite a colleague to collaborate and contribute your playlist. All of those functions are demonstrated in the following short video.


The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where our recent heatwave has broken and it's going to be a great weekend to enjoy the great outdoors. I'm planning to have a little backyard camping adventure with my toddlers. I hope that you also have something fun on your weekend schedule.

This week I hosted Get Organized With Google Classroom, Meet, and Calendar. That was the first of a few webinars that I'm running this month to help people develop new skills and brush-up on old ones as we embark on the new school year (mine begins in nine days). The next one is Monday at 4pm ET and it's a crash course on making and teaching with videos. You can register here.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. New Google Classroom and Google Meet Updates to Note
2. How to Make a Whiteboard Video in Flipgrid
3. All About Zoom Breakout Rooms
4. Seven Zoom Tutorials to Watch Before School Starts
5. Two Ways to Quickly Create Transcripts of YouTube Videos
6. What You Need to Know About the Latest Version of Flipgrid
7. DIY Smithsonian Mini Exhibits

Online Back to School PD Opportunities
As mentioned above, this week I hosted Get Organized With Google Classroom, Meet, and Calendar. You can access the recording an associated materials here. On Monday I'm hosting A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video. Register here.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com 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 FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - more than 27,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 400 Google tools tutorials.  
  • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has more than 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last thirteen years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.