Monday, September 13, 2021

A Simple Trick to Make Audio Editing Easier

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I featured five podcasting tips for students and teachers. One of those tips was to "clap and pause." That tip is demonstrated in the short video that is embedded below. 

Editing an audio recording is much easier if you make a loud clap before a brief pause and then begin speaking. The same is true if you need to pause while recording. That clap will be easy to hear and will be easy to see in audio editing tools. In audio editing tools like Audacity and GarageBand that clap and pause will be identified by a big visual spike followed by a steep drop. You won’t need to listen through the whole recording to find the places you need to edit because you’ll see them in the audio editor.

How to Find Image Metadata

Behind every digital image that you capture there is a bunch of information that isn't visible to the naked eye. That information is called metadata and it includes information like when and where the image was taken, what kind of camera was used, and the original size and color scheme of the image. Much of that information is passed along when the image is published online. 

Image metadata can be used as part of the process to solve a research challenge. For example, in this video I demonstrate how to use image metadata to discover what used to standing where I took the picture that is posted below. 




The tool that I demonstrated in the video above is called Jeffrey Friedl's Image Metadata Viewer

On Thursday I'm hosting a webinar all about teaching search strategies. The use of image metadata is one of the topics I'll be covering in more depth during the webinar. You can register for it right here

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Student Video Project - Timelapse of Fall

The fall is my favorite season of the year. I love waking up to cold, crisp mornings then enjoying mild days outside. In fact, that's what I'm planning to do tomorrow morning. This time of year always reminds me of one of my favorite uses for time-lapse video creation tools. The outline of my time-lapse of autumn project is included below.

The idea is to take one picture every day to document the changes in the foliage as we progress through autumn from the first few orange leaves to full-blown autumn foliage colors to the drab brown we see after in the winter.

Here's how your students could create their own autumn foliage timelapse videos.

1. Take one picture per day of the same view or of one singular tree. 
Using a cell phone is probably the best tool for this because students rarely go anywhere without one.

2. Upload the pictures to a Google Drive folder. 
It only takes one tap to move photos from a phone to a Google Drive folder labeled "Fall foliage." If This Then That has a recipe for doing this automatically from Android phones and from iPhones. Or simply use Google Photos and then move the photos into a folder at the end of the month. 

3. After four weeks, upload photos to Cloud Stopmotion or Stop Motion Animator and create your timelapse. 
Cloud Stopmotion is a video editing program that works in your web browser. You can easily adjust the duration of each frame and easily add a soundtrack to your video. Click here for a video about using Cloud Stopmotion. Stop Motion Animator is another free tool for creating stop motion movies. Here's a demo of how it works. 

How to Make Chrome Run a Little Faster

There was a time when Google Chrome was the new kid on the block and promised faster browsing and faster page load time. That hasn't been the case for many years now. In fact, now when I hear colleagues, students, or others complain about their computers or Chromebooks running slowly the first thing I do is check their Chrome settings. 

There are two little Chrome settings that can make it run faster on your Windows 10 computer or on your Chrome book. Those settings are found under "system" in the "advanced" menu. Those settings are:

  • Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed.
  • Use hardware acceleration when available.
The speed with which Chrome runs should improve if you turn off the two options listed above. In the video below I demonstrate how to find those settings. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Typing, Blurring, and Captioning - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining on what should be a gorgeous early autumn day. I would be remiss not to mention that today is the 20th anniversary of terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I remember it like it was yesterday, part of what I remember is that the weather was strinkingly similar to today's weather. For all of our students 9/11 is now a history lesson. For ideas on teaching about the events of September 11, 2001, take a look at the list of resources Larry Ferlazzo has put together.

On a cheerier note, I hope that you had a great school week and that you have something fun planned for your weekend. We're heading to Story Land for one more day of fun before it closes for the year. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. The Difference Between a Chrome Profile and a Google Account 
Live Webinar Next Week!
On Thursday at 4pm ET I'm hosting a new version of my popular Practical Ed Tech webinar, Search Strategies Students Need to Know. Learn more and register here!

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  • 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.
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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 image captured by Richard Byrne.