Thursday, September 3, 2020

Short Lessons on the History of Labor Day

This coming Monday is Labor Day in the U.S. For most of us it is a three day weekend. It is the traditional "end of summer" in the minds of many of us. If you're planning to answer questions about Labor Day or teach any lessons about it, here are some short videos to add to your list of resources.

Why Do Americans and Canadians Celebrate Labor Day? is a TED-Ed Lesson about the origins of Labor Day. In addition to learning about the origin of Labor Day students can learn a bit about changes in labor regulations over time.


History of the Holidays is a series of videos from History. Each installment explains a different holiday. The Labor Day video is embedded below.


PBS Kids offers a short animated overview of the history of Labor Day. It's not nearly as detailed as the two videos I've listed above, but it's probably adequate for elementary school kids.


For more resources for teaching about Labor Day, take a look at this list compiled by Larry Ferlazzo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Google Updates and Simplifies Finding Creative Commons Licensed Images

When looking for public domain and Creative Commons licensed images to use in multimedia projects I generally recommend going to sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Photos for Class instead of Google Images (my full list of recommendations is available here). The reason for that recommendation is that in the past Google Images hasn't been terribly clear about image licensing even when the "labeled for re-use" filter has been applied to image search results. Fortunately, Google is taking some steps to change that.

Google has simplified the "usage rights" menu in Google Image search results. The menu now has just three options. Those options are "all," "Creative Commons licenses," and "Commercial & other licenses." For most classroom projects you'll want your students to use the "Creative Commons license" option.

The other significant update to Google Image search results appears when you select an image from the search results. Now when you select an image you will see an option to get license details and a clearer link to the image source. Clicking on the "license details" link will take you a page on CreativeCommons.org where you'll be able to find more information about how you can or cannot use the image.

Applications for Education
Whenever it is possible it is best to use your own pictures in your slideshows, videos, and other multimedia projects. By doing that you know that you haven't accidentally infringed on anyone's copyright. That's why this blog post has a seemingly random picture of a leaf I took yesterday. It's not always possible to use your own pictures. That's when we'll turn to the Internet to find a picture that is in the public domain or has a Creative Commons license.

How to Use Flipgrid With Students Who Don't Have Email Addresses

Last week I shared a tutorial on how to get started using Flipgrid. That tutorial included the perspective of a teacher and a student. The student perspective that I showed featured a student who has an active email address. It's important to note that you can use Flipgrid with students who don't have active email addresses. That's exactly what I demonstrate in this new video.


Applications for Education
Having students record short videos in Flipgrid can be a good way to have them virtually introduce themselves to their new classmates. For more Flipgrid activity ideas, take a look at this list.

How to Change Google Drive Comment Notifications

On Monday I shared directions for using Google Drive to comment on shared videos. Yesterday, I received a follow-up question from a reader who wanted to know if students would receive a notification when he replies to his students' comments on a video. Provided that students haven't disabled notifications, they will receive a notification when replies to their comments are published. That raises the question, "how do you change comment notifications in Google Drive?"

You can change the default comment notifications for file across your Google Drive. You can also change the comment notification settings for individual files within your Google account. In the following video I demonstrate how to do both of those things.



If you're sharing a lot of files for commenting in Google Drive, you might want to change the default notifications so that you're inundated with email and or browser notifications. If you have a particularly important document and you want to make sure you never miss a notification, change the default notification setting for that document.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

How to Use Version History in Google Slides

Last week I received an email from a reader who wanted to know if there was a way to share a set of Google Slides with a group of students but restrict them to working on one or two slides within the slideshow. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to lock students into specific slides within a shared slideshow. Since you can't do that, the next best thing is to use version history in Google Slides to keep track of the changes made to a shared slideshow.

In the following video I demonstrate how to use version history in Google Slides to see the changes made to a shared slideshow. Within the version history you can see who made changes, when the changes were made, and give names to each version of the slideshow. Most importantly, the video shows you how to revert to a previous version of a Google Slides slideshow.


On a related note, here's how to selectively copy slides from one Google Slides presentation to another.