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). 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Embedding audio from Google Drive

How can you play an audio file on Moodle, on a blog (such as Blogger) or on a web site (such as Google Sites)?  Sites like SoundCloud will give you embed code (meaning code that you can paste into your web site to play media from an external source), but wouldn't it be nice to be able to play a sound file from Google Drive?  Turns out you can. Here's a trick I found that does it nicely (tip of the hat to blogger Amit Agarwal).

In Drive, find the file and click on Share to get a shareable link.  You should get a link that looks something like:  The part in red is the id of your file.

In Google Sites, insert an Embed object. Or in Blogger or Moodle, switch to HTML mode.

Paste in this code:
<iframe frameborder="0" width="400" height="200" src=""> </iframe>

Replace the id in red with the id of your file (yours won't be 1234xyz).


To see how it works, you should be able to play the audio below.  The file you're hearing is saved in my Drive.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Scheduling conferences with SignUpGenius

With PLP conferences coming up, some teachers are asking about a good tool for scheduling these (and other such events).  I've written up steps for using SignUpGenius here.  Please note that the document is only viewable to CVU faculty/staff.
An important note about the process is that you should not use this tool to collect any information other than the parent/guardian name (so, turn off the option to collect the email address).
SignUpGenius can also be used to organize "who's bringing what" to an event.