Monday, June 20, 2022

Five Ways to Work With PDFs in Google Drive

Some of the questions that receive more than frequently than others revolve around working with PDFs. The answers that people are looking for are often "hidden" in plain sight. Case in point, just uploading a PDF to Google Drive gives you a handful of ways that you can work with it. 

In this new video I demonstrate five things that you can do with PDFs in Google Drive. Watch the video to learn:

  • How to comment on PDFs in Google Drive.
  • How to share PDFs in Google Drive.
  • How to convert PDFs to Google Docs.
  • How to search within PDFs in Google Drive. 
  • How to annotate PDFs. 

How to Record a Video Lesson in PowerPoint

A few years ago I published a video about how to create a video by using the recording tool built into PowerPoint. Since then Microsoft has added more features to the recording tools in PowerPoint. So last week I recorded a new tutorial on how to record a video lesson in PowerPoint

In this short video I demonstrate how to record yourself talking while drawing on your PowerPoint slides. The best feature of the recording tool is the teleprompter mode that allows you to see your speaker notes displayed above your slides while recording. The final video doesn't display the speaker notes so your viewers won't even know that you were reading your notes. 

Watch my new video to learn how to record a video lesson in the desktop (Windows) version of PowerPoint. 



Applications for Education
If you have been teaching for a while, you probably have some slideshows that you've made and really like. With the built-in recorder you can quickly turn those slideshows into short video lessons.

If you like the idea of turning your PowerPoint slides into videos, but you don't want to appear on camera then you might be interested in trying Narakeet which turns your PowerPoint slides into narrated videos for you.

Quizdini is Shutting Down

Quizdini is shutting down after a decade of offering a good platform for teachers to create and give online quizzes. Its last day will be Thursday, June 23, 2022. 

In an email sent to users this morning, the founder of Quizdini said "All good things--even aging edtech platforms--must come to an end and it's time to put Quizdini out to pasture." 

While it was never a super popular tool, the closure of Quizdini is noteworthy because it was ahead of its time in some ways. It offered automated grading with student feedback before Google Forms or Microsoft Forms did. Unfortunately, as Google Forms and Microsoft Forms it becomes harder for small developers to compete in that area. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Type Studio 2.0 - Edit Videos by Typing and More!

Type Studio was one of my favorite new tools last year. What I liked about it was that it took a completely new approach to video editing. Instead of clicking and dragging on a timeline to cut or trim a video, you simply edited the words that appeared in the automatically generated transcript of your video and the video was trimmed for you. That cool feature is present in the recently launched Type Studio 2.0. Type Studio 2.0 offers a slew of new features for creating and editing videos in your web browser. 

The first version of Type Studio required you to upload videos in order to edit them. The new version of Type Studio includes options for recording with your webcam, recording a screencast, and recording just audio input. If you choose to record just audio input, Type Studio will create a video for you that displays the text of your spoken words (see my sample here or as embedded below). Notably, Type Studio 2.0 automatically removes "umms," "ahhs," and other filler sounds from your spoken audio. It also does a pretty good job of accurately inserting punctuation into the automatically generated transcripts. 




The other big improvement to Type Studio in version 2.0 is the ability to combine clips and split clips. Previously, you could only upload and edit one video. Now you can upload multiple video clips and combine them into one new project.



Applications for Education
As I wrote last year, Type Studio is a good 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's latest version that supports recording and editing audio could make it a good tool for creating short podcasts or short audio lessons.

The Essays and Madness of King George III

I recently started reading The Last King of America by Andrew Roberts. It is an extensively detailed biography of King George III. I'm about fifty pages into as I write this blog post. So far it has been an enjoyable read although not one that I would deem a "quick read" or "light reading." 

I am not one to skip the author's notes, introduction, or acknowledgements and jump straight into the first chapter of a book. I like to know a bit of the author's background and, in the case of books like The Last King of America, I like to see who or what the author consulted in writing the book. It was in reading the acknowledgements that I learned about the online Georgian Papers Programme

Roberts used many of the papers in the Georgian Papers Programme in his research for writing The Last King of America. He doesn't say, but I assume he used physical as well as digital copies of papers in the collection. Not all papers in the Georgian Papers Programme are available online, but there are more than 200,000 that are accessible online

You could simply browse through the collections that are available online and start reading things that seem like they might be interesting. You can search through the collection for something specific. Here are some directions on how to search the catalog. But to get a good sense of what is in the Georgian Papers Programme and how researchers have used them, take a look at the virtual exhibitions of the Georgian Papers Programme

Two of the virtual exhibits of the Georgian Papers Programme that I found interesting were The Madness of King George Explored and The Essays of George III

The Madness of King George Explored is a set of papers that Mark Gatiss viewed in preparation for his role in the Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company's production of The Madness of King George. The exhibit features the papers along with commentary to explain the context in which they were written and the significance of those who wrote the papers and who were mentioned in them. Reading through the exhibit was a bit of a crash course in how mental illness was viewed and treated in the late 18th Century. Reading the commentary also provided a bit of a refresher on the lineage of the royal family.  

The Essays of George III is a collection created by Jennifer Buckley. The collection of thirteen essays selected from 8,500 documents. The essays in this collection are focused on the education of King George III and essays that he wrote on a range of subjects from economics to the arts. For someone who is not an expert on the history of the Royal Family, the commentary is as valuable as the primary sources themselves.