Monday, January 25, 2016

Recording voice

Technology integration doesn't have to be overly complex to be effective.  Here's a simple idea that can be very powerful-- ask students to share something in a voice recording.  This might be their reaction to some reading or explaining a concept in their own words.  Think of how what you get might compare to what they would write.

image from

How is this done?

To record:
  1. For students with smartphones, use the built in voice memo app (or try one of the many free apps available for iOS or Android).
  2. For students with laptops, use the built in microphone to record to TwistedWave (web app) or Audacity (installed app).
  3. Other students can borrow a handheld digital recorder or a mic to connect to a computer (from 118).  
To share:
  1. Smartphones-- install the Google Drive app (for iOS). Share the audio file to Google Drive
  2. TwistedWave-- File..Send..Google Drive
  3. Audacity-- save as mp3, then upload to Google Drive
  4. Once in Drive, share the file just as you would a Google Doc.
  5. The audio will play inside Google Drive.
Here's a screencast on using TwistedWave and sharing from Google Drive:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Screenshots and screencasting with the Snagit extension

When explaining something computer-related, it is often helpful to capture either a still image of the screen (called a screenshot) or a video of the screen as you do your thing-- often recording your voice narration, as well (called a screencast).

I've mentioned various tools for doing this in the past, but I started using a new one recently, and I'd recommend it for two reasons:
  1. It's easy to use
  2. It automatically stores your screenshots and screencasts in Google Drive for easy sharing.
I made a how-to video. Here's an index so you can skip ahead if desired:

0:00 What is screencasting?
0:55 Signing into Chrome
1:45 Starting up Snagit
2:18 Granting permissions for Snagit
3:00 Capturing screenshots (still images)
4:24 Capturing screencasts (video of the screen)

For those who prefer the short and sweet written steps:
  1. Sign into Chrome
  2. Click the SnagIt Extension (white S in a blue square)
  3. Grant the necessary permissions
  4. Click the extension again 
  5. Use the sidebar menu to take screenshots and screencasts
  6. These are automatically saved in Google Drive for sharing 
(full disclosure on the video above-- I didn't actually use the extension itself to make the video, because I demo it in the video.  You can't use a camera to take a picture of itself !).

Friday, January 15, 2016

WeVideo help site

I've been working with several classes using WeVideo this year so I thought I'd create a single help site with resources and documents.  I'll be adding to the site as we continue to use WeVideo.

If you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, you must check out WeVideo! It's a web-based video editing tool.  It's easy to use and you can publish your final product to YouTube, Google Drive, Vimeo, etc.

Here's an example of a video done from my office webcam:

Please check out the help site and let me know if I can help you get started.