Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Loom Updates With Some Great Features for Teachers

The question that people email to me more than any other is some variation on "how do you get that circle in your YouTube videos?" There are two tools that I typically recommend for that. One is Screencast-o-matic and the other is Loom. Loom recently announced a bunch of updates including some that will be of particular interest to teachers like you and me.

Before addressing the updates that Loom announced, it's important to note that Loom's education product is free to teachers who have verifiable education email accounts (generally, .edu or .k12.state.us). Loom for Education gives teachers all of the features of Loom's pro (paid) account. 

The recent updates to Loom that teachers should note are viewer insights, shared libraries, and new screenshot options. The viewer insights will let you see how much a video was watched and let viewers respond with emojis to your videos. The shared libraries function lets you share videos with some, but not all viewers (this is in addition to password-protecting videos). And the Loom desktop app for Windows and Mac now lets you capture and share screenshots with just a couple of clicks. 

The screenshot below contains Loom's complete list of features available for free to teachers who register for Loom for Education. 

Applications for Education
Loom's viewer insights is a great middle ground between just making a video for students to watch and making a video with a whole bunch of attached questions to answer. In other words, it's somewhere between Flipgrid and EDpuzzle. 

I also love using Loom as a tool to help colleagues. Rather than writing directions to solve their tech problems I can use Loom's Chrome and Gmail add-on to record and send a screencast directly from my inbox. Here's a little video on how that works. 

To learn more about making and teaching with video, enroll in my Practical Ed Tech course titled A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video.

Monday, October 19, 2020

How to Create Self-grading, Timed Quizzes in Google Classroom

This morning my freshmen students took a quiz that I created and distributed through Google Forms. The quiz was self-grading because I used the answer key option in Google Forms. The quiz was also a timed activity because I used assignment scheduling combined with Form Limiter. With that combination I was able to give my students exactly 35 minutes to complete the quiz. On the short answer questions, I used data validation to require that students write complete sentences. If you'd like to do a similar thing, watch the following two videos that demonstrate the process I used in making my quiz. 

How to Create Self-grading, Timed Quizzes in Google Classroom

How to Require Complete Sentences in Google Forms

How to Specify Video Playback Settings in Google Slides

Last week Google announced a small, but potentially annoying change to the default video playback settings in Google Slides. Fortunately, you can override the default playback setting for the videos that you use in Google Slides. This applies to videos that you add from YouTube as well as videos that you insert from your Google Drive account. 

In the following video I demonstrate how to change the video playback settings in Google Slides. This video also includes information on how to specify which part of a video that you want to show in your slide. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

How to Change Google Classroom Mobile Notifications

It's the weekend and your phone is blowing up with notifications from Google Classroom while you're playing with your kids, watching Netflix with your spouse, or finally finishing that house project. It doesn't have to be this way. 

You can take a break from "teacher mode." In fact, it's good for you and your students if you do take a break from "teacher mode" during the weekend. One of the best ways to do this is to turn off the school-related notifications on your phone. In the following videos I demonstrate how to change the Google Classroom notifications that you receive on your phone. 

Here's how to change the Google Classroom notifications on an Android phone


Here's how to change the Google Classroom notifications on an iPhone or iPad

Activities Across Grade Levels - Free Weekly Webinars

Every week I mention the free webinars that I do with Rushton Hurley on Thursday afternoons. But that's not the only free webinar that Rushton facilitates through Next Vista for Learning. He also runs a series called Activities Across Grade Levels

Activities Across Grade Levels is a weekly webinar series that Rushton Hurley and Susan Stewart offer for free to anyone who wants to join them on Thursday evening/ afternoon. In these half-hour webinars they cover a different activity or topic every week. This week's topic is Gamified Learning. Some of the past topics include digital citizenship, arts & culture, fake news, protocols, and time-savers. 

Last week's Activities Across Grade Levels topic was service to others. Watch the recording here or check out all of the previous episodes here. You can register for this week's webinar right here