Thursday, April 19, 2018

Naming versions of documents

Here's a simple tip that might come in very handy for you (I know it's saved me several times)-- you can name "versions" of a Google doc, sheet, or slides.  This can make it much easier to find the particular draft you're looking for.  It's also helpful when you're about to make a major change and you want to preserve a version prior, just in case there's a problem with the change.

To name the current version, use the sub-menu off of Version history (formerly called Revision history).

You'll now see the named versions when you go back to Version History.  Any version you don't name will still be listed as the date of that version.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Creating interactive fiction with Twine

I've been using a tool called Twine in a course I'm taking this semester.  Twine allows writers to create "choose your adventure" stories, or any kind of writing that involves branching based on user interaction.  It's fairly easy to use and can be a great way to engage reluctant writers.

Here's a quick start to a story I just created as a demo, using the simplest features of Twine. 

Want to give it a try in a class?  I'd love to help!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Commenting on PDFs in Google Drive

You can now add comments to a PDF (that you own or have editing rights to)  stored in Google Drive.
Here's a one-minute "how-to" video.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Adding voice-over to Google Slides/Presentations

Google Slides does not have built-in functionality to insert audio, so how can you record narration and have it play over a slide? Here’s a technique I use. Note that you need to do this for each slide that has audio

Install the Screencastify extension (if you don’t already have it).

In Screencastify, choose “Record Tab.” You’ll get a countdown (3-2-1), then just start speaking. When done, choose Stop from the Screencastify icon.

You have now created a video of your screen with the audio you want.

In Google Slides, go to the appropriate slide and choose Insert...Video. Click the Google Drive option. You’ll see the “video” you just created. Insert it.

Click on the icon for the video. Resize it so it’s much smaller. Click Video Options. Select “Autoplay when presenting.” The video will now start as soon as the slide opens, providing your narration. You can also trim off time from the beginning or end, if needed.

If desired, you can hide the video icon by creating a shape with the same color as the slide background and dragging it over the icon.
Here’s all this in action.  Open the presentation and click Present.  Make sure your sound is turned up.

You can use a similar technique for PowerPoint 365 (the online version of PowerPoint). Note, however, that you'll need to put the video on YouTube for it to work.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Group discount at Dynamic Landscapes

Registration is open for Dynamic Landscapes (5/21- 22).  I've left brochures in the faculty/staff lounge.  There is a $75 discount for each group of three that attends Dynamic Landscapes this May.  I'd be happy to coordinate that.  Please let me know if you plan on attending.  You should still do the normal paperwork, but I will arrange for the discount.
Registration is here.

PS There are two presentations being led by CVU faculty this year and we may have students presenting as well (that will be finalized early next month).