Saturday, March 27, 2021

Copyright, Transcripts, and Worms - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it feels like spring! All week we had unseasonably warm weather. We even had a thunderstorm yesterday. All that warm weather has made almost all of the snow to melt which has created some big mud puddles. And where there are mud puddles there are worms and my children playing with mud. That's what we'll be doing today. I hope that you also have something fun to do to start your weekend. 

This week I published some blog posts on Practical Ed Tech in addition to my usual posts here on Free Technology for Teachers. One of those posts was all about Gmail tips, take a look.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. New Copyright Compliance Checks in YouTube
2. Google Meet Transcripts Automatically Saved as New Google Docs
3. Record Annotated Video Presentations With PresentationTube's Chrome Extension
4. Forky - A Simple Mind Mapping Tool
5. A New Option for Shortening Microsoft Forms Links
6. Kahoot Now Displays Questions and Answers on the Same Screen - Finally!
7. Enable Audio and Video Captions on Any Page in Chrome

On-demand Professional Development at PracticalEdTech.com
The registrations for my Practical Ed Tech webinars and courses is what enables me to keep Free Technology for Teachers going. Right now there are three on-demand courses and webinars available.
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 34,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fourteen 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.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Google Meet Transcripts Automatically Saved as New Google Docs

For Google Meet users one of the easiest ways to improve the accessibility of your live online instruction is to enable captions during your meetings. A transcript of those captions can be quite helpful to students who miss the meeting and or those who want to revisit the highlights of the meeting. Google Meet Transcripts by Scribbl is a new Chrome extension that can make the process of creating a meeting transcript and sharing it easier than ever before. 

Google Meet Transcripts by Scribbl will record all of the captions that are generated during a Google Meet call. When the meeting is over a Google Document containing the transcript is automatically generated for you. The best part is that the transcript is time-stamped! The time-stamps make the transcript easier to read and easier to find a section of the meeting without having to read through the entire transcript. The transcript is a Google Document so you can share it just like you would any other Google Document including publishing a copy for each student via Google Classroom. 



It should be noted that if you try this extension and it doesn't work the first time, check to make sure that you don't already have another caption-saving extension enabled in Chrome. If that's the case, disable the other one before running Google Meet Transcripts by Scribbl

Applications for Education
Google Meet Transcripts by Scribbl could be a great tool for teachers who want to have a written record of what they said and what their students said during an online class meeting. (If you record students' comments make sure you are in compliance with your school's policy about recording). It could also be useful for recording the notes or minutes from a staff meeting that is held in Google Meet.

A New Option for Shortening Microsoft Forms Links

It has always been possible to shorten long Microsoft Forms URLS with third-party services like Bitly and Yellkey. Recently, Microsoft added a built-in URL shortener to Microsoft Forms. This option now appears when you click on the share button in Microsoft Forms. Check the small box that reads "shorten URL" and you'll have a shortened URL to share. 

While the shortened URLs that Microsoft Forms provides are shorter than the default URLs for Forms, they're still fairly long URLs that aren't exactly memorable. To create shortened URLs that people can actually remember and spell you'll want to use the custom URL shortening provided by services like Bitly, TinyURL, or Yellkey. All three of those URL shortening services are demonstrated in this short video



On a related note, now that we're getting closer to the end of the school year you might be thinking about end-of-year surveys for students and parents. Here's how to use Microsoft Forms to create a survey

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Quick Tip for Categorizing Gmail Messages

The default inbox arrangement in Gmail consists of a Primary tab, a Social tab, and a Promotions tab. Gmail generally does a pretty good job of accurately sorting messages into those tabs. There are some occasions when messages that should appear in the Primary tab appear in Promotions and times when messages that should be in the Promotions tab land in the Primary tab. Fortunately, there is an easy way to remedy that problem. 

You can move messages from one Gmail tab to another by just clicking on the subject line of a message and then dragging it to the tab that you want it to be in. When you do that you'll see a small pop-up message asking if you want to have all future emails from that sender appear in tab to which you just moved the message. Watch this short video to see how this process works. 



Applications for Education
While rare, there are times when a message from a teacher to a student or student to a teacher lands in the wrong tab. Dragging the message back to the proper tab can help prevent that from happening again. Then the challenge is to get students to actually open their inboxes!

Free Webinar on April Fools' Day

Every other week Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I host a free webinar called Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. The next one is next Thursday which happens to be April Fools' Day. 

As the title implies, during each webinar we answer questions from anyone who attends as well as questions that have been sent to us in advance. You can email me or Rushton with your questions. In each episode we also share a couple of interesting apps, websites, or videos that we've found during the last couple of weeks.

Watch one of the recent episodes to get a sense of the webinars are all about. Register for next week's webinar right here

And on a related note, PBS Learning Media offers this short video explanation of April Fool's Day