Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Coverr - One of My New Favorites in 2021

I'm taking this week to recharge and get ready for the next session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. For the next few days I'm going to highlight some of my favorite new and new-to-me tools so far this year. 

Coverr is a relatively new website that is offering free B-roll video clips that you can download and reuse in your own projects. Most of the videos are silent and are short clips of less than a minute. Downloading them takes just one click. Registration is not required in order to download from Coverr and, according to Coverr's terms of service, attribution is not required although it is appreciated. 

You can search for videos on Coverr by entering simple keywords like "dog" and "cat." The other option for discovering videos on Coverr is to simply browse through the thematic collections of stock video clips. 

Coverr's user interface does have one element that might cause some confusion for students. Coverr appears to generate revenue through Shutter Stock's affiliate program. That's why there is a row of Shutter Stock video clips on the top of every page and another a little lower on each page. It would be fairly easy for someone to overlook the Shutter Stock label and end up clicking on one of the videos that isn't available for free. 

Applications for Education
Pixabay has been my go-to resource for free B-roll video clips for years. Coverr probably isn't going to supplant Pixabay as a my go-to, but it does represent an alternative source for free video clips that teachers and students can use without worrying about copyright infringement. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Type Studio - One of My New Favorites in 2021

I'm taking this week to recharge and get ready for the next session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. For the next few days I'm going to highlight some of my favorite new and new-to-me tools so far this year. 

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. 

Watch this short video to see how Type Studio works. 



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.  

Annotate Meet - One of My New Favorites in 2021

I'm taking this week to recharge and get ready for the next session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. For the next few days I'm going to highlight some of my favorite new and new-to-me tools so far this year. 

Annotate Meet is a Chrome extension that lets you draw on your screen during a Google Meet call. Annotate Meet provides you with a small set of tools that you can use to draw or type on your screen while hosting a Google Meet. To use the extension simply start a Google Meet then share your screen. Once you've shared your screen you can click on Annotate Meet in your Chrome extensions menu to access all of the Annotate Meet drawing and typing tools. The drawing tools include a variety of pen/ marker sizes, a customizable color palette, basic text typing tools, and an eraser. You can also clear everything with just one click if you don't want to manually erase. 

After I had it installed I found Annotate Meet easy to use. There is one quirk to be aware of before you start using it. The default color for the drawing tool is black which might not show up all that well depending upon the screen you're sharing. For example, if you screenshare a Google Document the black pen tool might not be enough of a differentiation from the text for your students to notice right away. I changed the color to a darkish orange color and the pen tool was much easier to see.

Applications for Education
Annotate Meet could be useful for providing remote tech support to students. I would use the annotation tool to draw on my screen to show students where they to click on their own screens. Annotate Meet could also be great for drawing on articles to highlight important parts of articles that you share with your students. I'd also consider using it when providing remote editing or feedback to students.

I probably wouldn't use Annotate Meet if I was conducting a full lesson that required drawings and diagrams. Those kinds of lessons I prefer to do a shared Google Jamboard because I can quickly provide students with a copy of Jamboard via Google Classroom whereas annotations on a screen in Google Meet aren't available to students after the meeting ends.



Monday, July 5, 2021

Create Animated Maps on Mult Dev - One of My New Favorites in 2021

I'm taking this week to recharge and get ready for the next session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. For the next few days I'm going to highlight some of my favorite new and new-to-me tools so far this year. 

Mult Dev is a free tool that lets you quickly create animated maps. In the time since I wrote about Mult Dev a couple of updates were made to it. The most notable of those being that you now need to sign into the service with a Google account or a GitHub account. In this short video I demonstrate how to create an animated map with Mult Dev. 



Applications for Education
Mult Dev probably isn't a great option for mapping short journeys or connections between cities that are relatively close together. Rather, it's a good tool for showing students distances between cities that are far apart like Boston and San Francisco or San Francisco and Sydney.

A feature of Mult Dev that I'd like to see in the future is an option to adjust the speed of animation based on the distances between cities. For example, I'd like to have the animation slow down when showing the distance between Sydney and San Francisco then speed up when showing the distance between San Francisco and Boston.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured graphic created by Richard Byrne using Canva.

CodePen - One of My New Favorites in 2021

I'm taking this week to recharge and get ready for the next session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. For the next few days I'm going to highlight some of my favorite new and new-to-me tools so far this year. 

CodePen is a site on which students can create web apps or modify existing web apps that others have added to the CodePen galleries. The neat thing about CodePen is that in real-time students can see how HTML, CSS, and Javascript are used together to create web apps. 

In the following short video I provide an overview of the basic features of CodePen. In the video I also show how students can use CodePen to tinker with web apps to learn about the functions on HTML, CSS, and Javascript in a web application. 



CodePen Free and Paid Plans
CodePen offers free and paid plans. My students and I have only used the free plan so far. The paid plan offers additional features that could be helpful to me in the future. Those features include Professor Mode and Collab Mode. Professor Mode would let me remotely watch my students' progress in real-time. Collab Mode would let me and my students collaborate on projects in real-time much like working in Google Docs. You can read more about CodePen's paid plans for educators right here

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image created by Richard Byrne using Canva.