Wednesday, August 19, 2020

13 Big Topics in the 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Earlier this week subscribers to my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter received notice that the 2020-21 version of my Practical Ed Tech Handbook is now available to download for free. This year's version of this annual publication contains 64 pages of information on a wide range of educational technology tools. The table of contents for the 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook is copied below. To get your copy, head to this page on PracticalEdTech.com.


1. Communication with students and parents - page 5

2. Creating Blogs & Websites - page 9

3. Web search strategies - page 17

4. Digital citizenship - page 24

5. Video creation and flipped lessons - page 26

6. Audio recording and publishing - page 37

7. Backchannels and informal assessment - page 39

8. Digital portfolios - page 42

9. Augmented and Virtual Reality - page 44

10. Intro to Programming and Makerspaces - page 47

11. Accessibility Tools - page 51

12. Ten Time-saving ways for teachers to use tech - page 57

13. Remote Instruction Tools and Strategies - page 59

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How to Use Grid View in Google Meet - No Chrome Extensions Required!

For months teachers have asked for a grid view option in Google Classroom without having to use a Chrome extension. That wish is starting to be granted. In Google Meet there is now an option to display all meeting participants in a grid view. The grid can be up to a 7x7 display.

Enabling the grid view in Google Meet is super easy. All you have to do is start your Google Meet then once people have joined you can open the "more options" menu in the bottom, right corner of your screen to change the layout. In the layout options you'll see a grid. Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how to use grid view in Google Meet.

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.