Wednesday, December 15, 2021

All About Cats and Dogs - A SciShow Kids Compilation

SciShow Kids has produced a lot of fun and educational videos over the last six years. I've featured some of those videos in blog posts. Some of my favorite are the videos about animals including those about cats and dogs. In their latest release, SciShow Kids combined some of their previous videos to create one long video full of interesting facts about cats and dogs

Some of the many things viewers can learn by watching Cats and Dogs include:

  • How well cats can hear. 
  • The origins of cat domestication. 
  • The relationship of dogs and wolves. 
  • Why dogs wiggle their nostrils independently. 
  • What defines a big cat.
  • The role of microbes in a dog's coat. 
  • Why animals have tails. 



Applications for Education
This video could be a great one to show to elementary school students as part of a lesson about animals and their adaptations. Before showing the video to my students I'd probably ask them to list any of the fun facts that they already know about pet dogs and pet cats. Then after they watch the video have them list some of the new fun pet facts they learned.

How to Create Videos With Adobe Express

Earlier this week Adobe Spark was renamed Adobe Express. It still offers all of the great creation tools that made it one of my go-to video creation tools for the last half-decade. A couple of helpful updates were also included when Adobe Spark was relaunched as Adobe Express. Those updates include a new icon library, updated integrated image search, and more font and color scheme choices. 

Since Adobe Spark was renamed Adobe Express I created a new video to reflect the new name and updated video creation features. You can watch the video right here

In the video I demonstrate:

  • How to use the icon and image search.
  • How to rearrange frame sequences. 
  • How to add collaborators to your project. 
  • How to edit colors and fonts.



Thanks to Tony Vincent for the Tweet about Adobe's rebranding of Adobe Spark to Adobe Express.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

How to Modify & Share Canva Templates

On Sunday I published a blog post about the winter bird survey we're doing at my house. In that blog post I included a link to the observation journal template that I created by modifying a design I found in Canva. That blog post prompted one reader to ask me how I shared the template. As with many things, the easiest way to answer was with a screencast video. Here it is

In this short video I explain and demonstrate how I created a template in Canva and shared it so that others can copy it and modify it without changing my original copy. 



Applications for Education
One of the many things that I love about Canva is the huge gallery of design templates that they provide for a wide variety of purposes including creating infographics, presentations, videos, and even basic worksheet-type activities. All of the templates are much better than anything that I'd create from scratch. If you find yourself, like me, looking for a way to create better-looking materials for your lessons, Canva's templates are a great place to start looking.

An Easy Way to Quickly Add Voice Notes to Google Docs

Yesterday morning I published The Easiest Way to Add Narration to Google Slides. In that blog post I featured a Chrome extension called Mote. Mote, as I've mentioned in the past, can be used for adding audio to a bunch of Google Workspace tools including the comments on Google Documents. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Mote to add voice comments to Google Documents. The video also shows how students can access those voice comments even if they don't have the Mote extension installed on their computers. 



Applications for Education
For some students, listening to recorded feedback is a better option than reading your feedback on their documents. Hearing your voice and inflection can carry more meaning for a student than just reading a comment. And for students who have difficulty comprehending written feedback, audio feedback is a better way to receive constructive criticism.

Add Comments to Word Docs to Spark Discussion

Last Monday I shared directions for using Google Drive to add comments to PDF and directions for using Formative to add questions into primary source documents. The idea in both cases is to use those tools to spark dicussion and inquiry when reading primary source documents with students. This can also be done by adding comments to a shared Word document. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use the comments feature in a shared Word document to add discussion questions to a copy of a primary source document. 


Applications for Education
In the video above I used the commenting feature to add a question to a copy of a primary source document (a letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams). I did that as a means to spark discussion and research by students. Of course, you could also just use the commenting feature to give feedback on a document that students share with you.