Friday, February 12, 2021 - Create Online Whiteboards You Can Share and Monitor

Back in September I wrote a review of a new online whiteboard tool called I like it because it allows teachers to create whiteboards for their students. Teachers can then remotely monitor the whiteboards to see what their students are doing on those whiteboards. It's great for doing things like asking students to solve a math problem and then watch as students work out the solutions on their whiteboards.

Since my initial review of back in September, the folks behind the service have been steadily adding more features to the service. Some of those new features include:

  • More background choices including options for sheet music, lined paper, and graphing paper. 
  • New symbols and clipart including cute alphabet animals. 
  • Templates for flowcharts and mind maps. 
  • Virtual math manipulatives.
  • Recording audio and video notes to add to whiteboards.
  • Inclusion of Microsoft's Immersive Reader to provide read-aloud capabilities. 
Just as before, can be used by you and your students without having to register or sign into an account. You can learn more about how works, including the teacher and student views in my new video about the service. 

See my earlier review of in this video.

ClassTools Wikipedia Timeline Generator - Create and Edit Timelines

Russel Tarr, a history teacher and developer of, recently released a new template called the Wikipedia Timeline Generator. This free tool will take a Wikipedia article and generate a timeline based on that article. That's not all it does. You can edit the entries on the timeline to correct dates, to edit the information associated with the dates, delete entries on the timeline, and add new dates to the timeline. Timelines created with the Wikipedia Timeline Generator can be embedded into web pages and or shared with the unique URL assigned to your timeline.

In this short video I demonstrate how to use the Wikipedia Timeline Generator hosted by ClassTools. 

Applications for Education
The ClassTools Wikipedia Timeline Generator could be a good tool to use to create an easy-to-read summary of a biography or a historical event. I might consider having students use Wikipedia Timeline Generator as a starting point for an assignment in which I ask them to provide more details in each timeline entry or ask them to fact-check the entries in a timeline.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

How to Customize Video Playback in PowerPoint

Whether it's to illustrate a point, to tug at heart strings, or to provide comic relief a good video clip can help move a presentation along. But that's not the case if you have to spend time searching for a segment of a video in the middle of your presentation. That's why you should try to set a specific playback marker when inserting videos into your PowerPoint slides. 

You can customize video playback in PowerPoint when you use videos that are stored on your computer as well as when you use videos that are hosted on YouTube. When you use a video that is hosted on your computer you can specify a start and end time for the video clip. When you use a video that is hosted on YouTube you can specify a start time. If you have the choice between using a video clip that is stored on your computer or one that is hosted on YouTube, use the one that is stored on your computer. In this short video you can see why that matters. 

In this video I demonstrate how to insert videos into your PowerPoint slides and how to customize the playback of those videos. 

Wakelet Adds Reactions

Wakelet is a service that continues to add useful features for teachers and students. One of the ways that I like to use Wakelet is to have students share things that they've learned during the week. This week Wakelet added a new feature that let's you quickly give feedback to your students and for students to give feedback to each other. That new feature is called Reactions. With Wakelet Reactions you and your students can give feedback in the forms of thumbs-up emojis, smiles, similar positive reactions. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Wakelet's new Reactions feature. 

Applications for Education
Using reactions is a quick and easy way to provide some feedback to your students when they post in a Wakelet collection. In this blog post I outlined five ways that you can use Wakelet in your classroom.

Watch this video to learn how to start using Wakelet.

How to Create Animated Valentine's Day Cards

On Wednesday I shared a video about how to make edible glass candy hearts. That activity could get messy in your classroom or kitchen. If you're looking for a digital Valentine's Day activity, consider creating animated Valentine's Day cards. 

Canva offers free templates for creating greeting cards for all occasions including Valentine's Day. Many of those templates can be quickly turned into animated GIFs with just one click. In this short video I demonstrate how to create an animated Valentine's Day card by using Canva's free greeting card templates.