Saturday, January 23, 2021

G Suite Audio, Accessibility, and Timelines - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we play outside even if it's cold and snowy. Sometimes that means doing traditional snow activities like skiing and sledding while other times it just means knocking some snow off the swings and having fun in our snowsuits. Whether the weather is hot or cold where you are, I hope that you also have some time for fun in the fresh air this weekend. 

The inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris was the story of the week. Larry Ferlazzo and Terri Eichholz each compiled excellent collections of resources about the inauguration and Amanda Gorman's poem. You can find Larry's collection here and Terri's collection here. On a related note, Larry is always incredibly fast at compiling resources for events in the news. His blog is where I go for resources about events in the news.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. My Favorite Chrome Extensions Right Now - And What They Do
2. Mote - An Easier Way to Add Audio to Google Slides
3. How to Check and Edit the Accessibility of Word Documents
4. How to Quickly Record Audio in Google Slides, Docs, and Classroom
5. How to Quickly Check and Improve the Accessibility of Your PowerPoint Slides
6. Six Good Tools for Making Multimedia Timelines
7. ReadWorks Adds an Offline Mode for Students

Professional Development Opportunities 
Through Practical Ed Tech I'm currently offering two on-demand learning opportunities:
Thank you for your support! 
  • More than 300 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech course in 2020. Those registrations help keep Free Technology for Teachers and Practical Ed Tech going. I couldn't do it without you!
  • BoomWriter is hosting a unique creative writing contest for kids. Check it out!
  • Pixton EDU is a great tool for creating comics and storyboards. 
Other Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 32,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for thirteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • And if you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.

My Big List of Padlet Tutorials

On Thursday morning I published a video about how to use Padlet to create multimedia timelines. As I mentioned in Thursday's blog post I've been using Padlet for more than a decade. In fact, when I started using it it was called Wall Wisher. Over the years I've made a lot of tutorial videos about how to use various aspects of Padlet and shared a lot of ideas for using it in variety of classroom settings. What follows isn't all of the tutorials that I've made, but it does include all of the most popular functions and some "hidden" features of Padlet. 

The Basics of How to Use Padlet

How to Remake and Reuse a Padlet Wall

How to Create a Multimedia Map in Padlet

How to Make a Video Playlist in Padlet

Nine Ways to Add Notes to Padlet Walls

How to use Padlet Reactions

How to enable commenting on Padlet

Sharing & Privacy in Padlet

How to Use Padlet Mini

How to Embed Padlet Walls Into Google Sites - Two Options

How to Create an Online Art Gallery With Padlet and Google Sites

How to Create a Backchannel on Padlet

Even more tutorials are available here on my YouTube channel

Friday, January 22, 2021

Type Studio - A Truly Unique Way to Edit Your Videos

Type Studio is a new video editing tool. When I used it for the first time yesterday I actually said aloud, "Whoa! That's Awesome!" What made me say that was using the editor to clip a section of video. With video editing tools you have to drag and select a section to delete it or enter time stamps of a section to delete it. In Type Studio I simply selected a few words from the transcript of my video and hit the delete key on my keyboard to remove a section of my video. 

After reading my first paragraph you might be saying, "that's great, but what if I don't have a transcript of my video?" Type Studio creates a transcript for you when you upload your video into their editor. Depending on the length of the video this can just a few minutes or can be quite a bit longer than that. Once the transcript is created it appears your Type Studio editor alongside your original video. Then to cut a section of your video all you have to do is select the words or sentences you want to remove and Type Studio will remove the corresponding section of the video itself. 

Type Studio currently supports fifteen languages. In addition to providing tools for clipping and cutting your videos, Type Studio provides a subtitling service. You could use Type Studio just to create subtitles and transcripts without having to actually do any editing of your video. 

Applications for Education
Type Studio isn't going to replace tools like WeVideo or iMovie, but that's not it's purpose. Where I think it fits into my toolbox is as a tool to quickly and accurately edit recordings of video lessons and recordings of things like lessons conducted in Zoom. It's a heck of a lot quicker and easier to delete a few words and have that section removed from my video than it is to go back into WeVideo or iMovie and try to find the exact right moments in the timeline to cut my video. 

Type Studio will also make it easy to quickly and accurately edit the transcripts and subtitles of the videos that I share with my students.  

I'm planning to make a video about how to use Type Studio later today. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when that video is published. 

What is a Map? - And a New Crash Course in Geography

For as long as I can remember I've enjoyed looking at maps. Whether it's a standard Mercator projection printed on paper or a digital map, looking at maps sparks curiosity in my brain. I'm certain that's why I always enjoyed teaching geography and why I spend so much time today teaching others how to use digital mapping tools. 

What is a map? And why are there so many variations of maps? Those questions and more are answered in the second lesson in a relatively new Crash Course on Geography

By watching What is a Map? students can learn how maps evolved over time, the political implications of maps, and how maps are used to represent data as well as locations. 

Applications for Education
Before showing this video to students ask them what they think the definition of a map is. 

A related activity that I used to do with my 9th grade geography students was to have them to create their own maps of their towns or states and then compare with their classmates' maps. I did that to illustrate the idea that there can be many interpretations of geographic information. That's a lesson the video above reinforces.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

How to Create a Multimedia Timeline With Padlet

Yesterday morning I published a list of my recommended tools for creating multimedia timelines. Padlet is one of the tools that I included in that list. The timeline templates are relatively new in Padlet so I decided to make a short video tutorial on how to use them. One of the things that I like about using Padlet to create multimedia timelines is that you can use any date format that you like. That gives it an advantage over some timeline creation tools that lock students into a particular date format. 

In the following video I demonstrate how to use Padlet to create a multimedia timeline that includes pictures, videos, and text. The video also includes a mention of using the Creative Commons filter in Google Image search.