Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Narakeet - Quickly Turn Slides into Narrated Video Lessons

A reader recently emailed me looking for advice on how to create narrated video based on slides made in Canva. She didn't want to record her own voiceover audio. My suggestion was to try using Narakeet to have the slides converted into a narrated video. 

Narakeet lets you upload slides and have them converted into a video that is automatically narrated for you. You can choose from about twenty voiceover options, adjust the speed of the voiceover, and choose to have captions automatically added into your video. 

To use Narakeet you must have your slides in PPTX format. Fortunately, all of the popular slideshow creation tools including Canva and Google Slides let you export your presentations as PPTX files. When you upload your PPTX file to Narakeet your speaker notes are used as the basis for the narration that is created for your video. When your video is completed you can download it as an MP4 file that can be used anywhere that you typically share videos. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Canva and Narakeet to create an automatically narrated video lesson. 



Applications for Education
Narakeet is a great tool for those who have a set of slides lead lessons, but don't want to use their own voices to narrate the slides. Narakeet provides a quick and easy way to turn those slides into a video lesson. 

Just like any audio slideshow video, when you make a video with Narakeet you'll want to make sure that you have a new visual every 5-10 seconds or else students will get bored and tune out.  

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Feature graphic created by Richard Byrne using Canva. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Two Cool New Presentation Creation Options in Canva

Last year Canva introduced a new feature that allows you to record a video of your Canva slideshow presentations. Since then a lot of people have asked if there is a way to record just audio to go along with a slideshow presentation. Yes is now the answer to that question. One of the new features recently added to Canva allows you to record audio without recording video. To do that simply disable access to your webcam when Canva requests it and you'll be able to record audio without video. 

Another new feature recently added to Canva lets you record a video with your webcam and insert that video into any Canva design including presentations and social media graphics. In my limited testing of these feature it seems that you can layer video over background images and adjust the transparency of your video itself. To record a video with your webcam in Canva just head to the "uploads" section in the Canva design editor then click on the "record yourself" button. See my screenshot below for details on where to find the video recorder in Canva. 


Applications for Education
The option to record audio without video could turn Canva into a good tool for students to use to make narrated slideshows without having to use a video editing tool like iMovie or WeVideo. The new option to record a webcam video in Canva could be useful in adding personal messages to graphics like digital greeting cards or to slides to provide an explanation of charts and graphs.

You can find a list of all of the recent updates to Canva right here.    

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Featured image created by Richard Byrne using Canva.

Create Your Own Chatbot for Surveys and Quiz Practice

Acquainted is a free polling tool that has been around for a few years. It recently reappeared on my radar when a reader sent me a question asking for help creating a chatbot for her website.

Acquainted is a conversational polling tool. What that means is that people who take your poll get an instant response from you regarding their selections of poll options. Your responses are written into Acquainted and programmed to appear to poll respondents as they make answer choices. Watch my short demonstration video below and then read on for my ideas about how you might use Acquainted in your practice.



Applications for Education
Acquainted was designed for polling visitors to a website and it would make a great addition to a classroom website. It could be used as a mini tutoring service when added to your classroom website. You could build a series of questions for your students to respond to and get feedback that is programmed by you. You could build responses that provide explanations of why an answer is correct or incorrect. Your responses might even include a link to further explanations.
 
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Featured image created by Richard Byrne using Canva.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Get a Free Chapter of My Favorite Book About Search Strategies

The Joy of Search is a book that I've been recommending for a couple of years now. It's all about search strategies and is a must-read for anyone who wants to develop better search strategies or teach search strategies. The book was written by Dan Russell whose title at Google is Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality and User Happiness. What he does that you, I, and students should care about is craft really interesting lessons on employing a wide variety of search strategies. You can find many of those lessons in his regular series of search challenges on his blog SearchReSearch. And if you get a chance to hear him speak at a conference, take it!

Back to the book, in The Joy of Search you'll find stories used to explain how to employ various search strategies. To get a sense of what the book is about, you can get a free chapter of the book right now from Dan's blog. The chapter that is available is titled Finding a Mysterious Location Somewhere in the World: How to Use Multiple Information Sources to Zero In on a Resource. In the chapter you'll learn about one of my favorite techniques for getting students to look at all of the information that is available to them in order to form a good search strategy and employ good search terms.

On a related note, over on Practical Ed Tech I have an on-demand webinar titled Ten Search Strategies Students Need to Know


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Featured image by Richard Byrne.

ChatterPix Kids - Create Talking Pictures for an Educational Purpose

ChatterPix Kids is one of my favorite digital storytelling apps for elementary school students. 

ChatterPix Kids is a free app that students can use to create talking pictures. To use the app students simply open it on their iPads or Android devices and then take a picture. Once they've taken a picture students draw a mouth on their pictures. With the mouth in place students then record themselves talking for up to thirty seconds. The recording is then added to the picture and saved as a video on the students' iPads or Android devices. Watch my tutorial videos below to learn how to use ChatterPix Kids on Android devices and on iPads.



Applications for Education
My all-time favorite example of students using ChatterPix Kids is found in this Next Vista for Learning video titled A Healthy Meal. To create the video students recording a series of ChatterPix Kids talking pictures and then the talking pictures were combined in a sequence in iMovie.

A couple of years ago I worked with a Kindergarten class in which the students used ChatterPix Kids to create talking pictures of characters from their favorite books including Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

The first time I ever saw ChatterPix Kids in use was five or six years ago when an elementary school teacher (I'm sorry, I don't remember her name) gave a poster presentation at ISTE in which she shared examples of her students recording short audio biographies of presidents.