Thursday, November 11, 2021

How to Create Live, Subtitled Translations of Presentations

One of the questions we answered during this afternoon's session of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions was, "I want to be able to translate my class discussions into Spanish in real-time and project that to a small group of students in my music class that do not speak English. Is that possible?" The answer is yes, that is possible. The way to do that is to use an often overlooked feature of PowerPoint. 

The web browser version of PowerPoint has a built-in subtitle and translation feaure. To use it you simply choose the language that you are speaking in and choose the language in which you want subtitles to appear. With this feature enable it's possible for me to speak in English and my subtitles to appear in Spanish, French, Icelandic, or dozens of other languages. 

In this video I demonstrate how to generate live, translated subtitles for your PowerPoint presentations.

Take a Look at Your Google Docs Activity Dashboard

The activity dashboard is one of the "hidden" or overlooked features of Google Docs that I use on a fairly regular basis. It's a handy little feature to use whenever you're sharing a document, but is particularly useful when sharing with more than one other person. Through the activity dashboard you can see who the document is shared with, who has viewed it, how many times it has been viewed, how many comments have been added, and you can review the privacy settings for your document. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to access the activity dashboard in Google Docs. 

Applications for Education
The activity dashboard in Google Docs can be helpful to get a sense of how your shared documents are being used within your school or department. For example, I'll use it to see trends in how often and when documents that I share with my department are access. It's also helpful for quickly tracking revisions to collaboratively edited documents.

It's important to note that this option is only available to Google Workspace users and not available to consumer (Gmail-based) accounts.

How to Create Multimedia Maps in Padlet

Padlet is one of the most versatile ed tech tools you can put in your digital toolbox. Creating multimedia maps is one of the many things that you can do with Padlet. In fact, there are two ways that you can create multimedia maps in Padlet. The first method is to use the built-in base maps option in Padlet and then add multimedia placemarks on the map. The second option is to upload an image of map and then add multimedia placemarks to it. In this new video I demonstrate both methods. 

Applications for Education
Next week is Geography Awareness Week. Creating multimedia maps in Padlet could be a good way to help students develop an understanding of where places are relative to each other. For a little deeper lesson on geography awareness, give students a list of places to locate and then list in the placemarks aspects of the five themes of geography for each place.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Solving Problems With Simple Machines

A couple of weeks ago one of the most popular posts of the week was A Cute Series of Videos About Engineering. That post was about a SciShow Kids series containing a lesson about what engineers do and two lessons about using engineering to solve problems. This week SciShow Kids released a new video that makes for a great follow-up to the series about engineering. 

Solving Problems With Simple Machines is a compilation of a few videos from a few years back. The segments of the video explain what simple machines are and give examples of using simple machines like levers, pulleys, axles, and wheels. 

Applications for Education
Before showing the video to students I would ask them to answer a question like, "what is a machine?" or "what do you think machines do?" Then after watching the video I'd follow-up with a question along the lines of, "can you think of other examples of simple machines?" before moving on to having students build simple machines like those found in Exploratorium's Science Snacks.

Three Tools for Adding Must-Answer Questions to Videos

This post was inspired by an old colleague who sent me a note on a couple of days ago seeking some advice about getting his students to watch the videos he shares with them. It's a topic that I'm asked about fairly regularly so I was happy to suggest a few tools. These are the three tools that I recommed today if you want to add must-answer questions into videos. These are questions that students have to answer in order to unlock each segment of a video that you share with them. 

If you have spent time to create a video lesson for your students, you'll want to know that they actually watched it. With Screencastify's video editor you can add interactive questions into your videos. You can do this with videos that you record with the Screencastify Chrome extension or with videos that you upload into your Screencastify account. Whichever type of video you choose to use, you can add multiple choice questions into the timeline of the video. In this short video I demonstrate how to add questions into your Screencastify videos.

For the last handful of years EDpuzzle has been my go-to recommendation for making flipped lessons. With a free EDpuzzle account you can add multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions into videos you've made as well as videos that you find on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites. When you add questions you can require that students must answer them in order to view each segment of the video. In the following I provide a complete overview of how to use EDpuzzle to create video lessons using videos that you find online.

Highlights of the video include:
  • How to create an EDpuzzle account.
  • How to create an EDpuzzle classroom via Google Classroom and without Google Classroom.
  • How to make lessons with videos you've found online.
  • How to make lessons with videos you've created.
  • How students can access and respond to your lessons.

ClassHook Pause Prompts and Live Discussions
ClassHook is a service that you can use to find and share video clips according to topic, subject, and standard. Within ClassHook there are features called Pause Prompts and Live Discussions. Pause Prompts are timestamped questions that you add to video clips in ClassHook. When you're showing a video to your class, the questions you've written as Pause Prompts will automatically pop-up at the timestamp you've specified. The video will stop and the question will appear full-screen in its place. You can then have a discussion with your students about the prompt.

Live Discussions builds upon Pause Prompts by incorporating an online response element for your students. When a Pause Prompt is reached you can have your students respond online as well as by speaking in class. Live Discussions generates a link and QR code for students to follow to land on a response page where they can answer the questions in the Pause Prompts. You'll be able to see their responses in your ClassHook teacher account. Watch this video to see Pause Prompts in action.