Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Add Voice Notes to Your Email With Mote

Last month I featured a new Chrome extension called Mote. Mote lets you add voice comments to Google Classroom, Slides, and Docs. As of yesterday it lets you add voice comments to Gmail messages. 

If you already have Mote installed in your Chrome web browser you should already have access to using Mote in your Gmail. (You might have to relaunch Chrome and approve Mote for it appear in Gmail). When you compose an email in Gmail you should see the Mote icon appear in the menu next to the "send" button. Click the Mote icon to record a message and have it automatically inserted into the email you're composing. 

Mote recordings in Gmail can be played by anyone who receives your email. Recipients don't need the Mote extension in order to hear your message. Recipients who do have Mote installed will be able to reply to your voice message with voice messages of their own. 


Applications for Education
For some people recording a voice note might be a quicker way to respond to students' email messages. I like the voice option because it provides an easy way to use inflection and tone when giving students feedback on their work or when responding to their questions. 

A Tour of Google Arts and Culture for Teachers

Last week Google introduced Learn With Google Arts and Culture. Learn With Google Arts and Culture is a collection of lesson plans, Street View imagery, and virtual tours based around the content found in Google Arts and Culture

Other than the collection of lesson plans, there isn't anything in Learn With Google Arts and Culture that you couldn't find on your own by just going to the main Google Arts and Culture website. In fact, in some cases I found it easier to find what I was looking for by just going to the main site instead of going through the learning page. 

The lesson plans are what make Learn With Google Arts and Culture worth bookmarking. There are two dozen detailed lesson plans available through Learn With Google Arts and Culture. The lesson plans are very detailed and include links for students and teachers to follow. Much of each lesson plan that I reviewed could be completed by students working independently. 

In this new video I provide an overview of Learn With Google Arts and Culture. The overview includes:

  • How to access the lesson plans. 
  • How to share specific portions of Google Arts and Culture in your Google Classroom. 
  • How to create collections of artifacts from Google Arts and Culture to share with your students. 

How to Install Firefox Add-ons

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I outlined the things that I look for when I am considering installing a new browser extension or add-on. At the end of the newsletter I included directions for installing and removing extensions in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Those directions were provided as a series of screencast videos. The one about installing and removing Firefox add-ons is available to view here and as embedded below.  

Monday, February 22, 2021

What's New in G Suite for Education - It's Not Called That Anymore!

Last week was a vacation week for my school and many others in New England. If you were on vacation or you just don't obsessively follow all things Google like I do, you may have missed that Google has changed the name of G Suite for Education to Google Workspaces for Education. For the most part, the name change doesn't have an impact on the day-to-day use of Google products by teachers like you and me. 

If you're curious about what's new with Google Workspaces for Education and the various versions of it, watch this short video in which I provide a run-down of the changes. I also made a short slideshow about the changes. You can see those slides here or as embedded below. 


How to Create a Google Slides Template

A couple of weeks ago I published directions for creating and editing master slides in Google Slides. Last week I received a follow-up question regarding using those edited master slides as a template for other presentations. If you're using Google Slides in a G Suite for Education Google Workspaces for Education account, there is a fairly easy way to turn your master slides into a template for you and your students to use and re-use. In this video I demonstrate how that process works to create a Google Slides template. 



Applications for Education
Creating a template is a great way to use consistent branding of presentations and it's also great for helping students follow guidelines for presentations. For example, I have a rule that font must be at least 28 points with no more than three lines per slide. Having a template for students to follow is a good way to help them follow those basic guidelines.