This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas (unless otherwise cited), however, are my own.
It seems like we are in a renaissance period for audio. Despite the dominance of videos and pictures (hello, TikTok, SnapChat and Instagram…), people are increasingly turning to audio for communication, learning, sharing and entertainment.
Podcast listenership continues to grow (some stats here and here), audio tools like Voxer are becoming increasingly popular for PLNs, educators freaked out when the addition of audio in Google Slides was delayed last spring and, lastly, “podcasting in the classroom” sessions at education conferences are becoming increasingly prevalent.
So, how can you use it in your classroom? Before we get to that, let’s talk about how to create the audio files.
Audio Recording Options
There are lots of options out there, all of which have pros and cons. I’ve discussed some on my podcast (here and here) and other educators have shared about options on their blogs (Eric Curts, John Sowash). As long as you identify your goal and think through the pros and cons, you’ll probably have multiple options to choose from.
One thing that I like to consider when selecting a tech tool for a new endeavor is: Do we already use a tool that can also do this effectively? Not only does that reduce the learning curve, but it means that we’re potentially connecting our students’ login and information with 1 less app or website.
If you like that line of thinking, Screencastify may be the option for you when it comes to audio in the classroom! Did you realize that you could export Screencastify recordings as mp3 audio files? Check it out!
If you’re already using the tool in your classroom for screencasts and other video projects, it might be a great option for you. This is available in the FREE version of the app. Your files are limited to 5 minutes in length, but you can record as many videos (or, in this case, audio files) as you’d like. The paid version provides unlimited video (or audio file) lengths.
Apparently they knew me too, because Danieta was emailing to invite me to speak at their 5th annual New Visions Innovation Throw Down! I was so honored! Danieta told me that the event would be at Google’s New York City headquarters and that they would be willing to have me connect via Google Hangouts to present.
Take a moment to let that sink in. They would be at Google’s New York City Offices. I would be in Ohio. I could use Google Hangouts to present remotely.
I sent Danieta the obvious response: “The only way that this opportunity could be more exciting as [sic] if it actually involves me going to the Google headquarters! :-)”
Her response? “If you were able to get to NYC, that’s exactly what it would be!! ;-)”
Well, you can guess what came next. I had to convince my wife that this was a necessary trip. I had to get permission from my school.
Less than a month later, I was on a plane to New York City.
Remember my first sentence? We all have moments where we realize that we just might be able to do something bigger than we ever thought possible. June 1st, 2018. I stepped onto a stage at Google’s NYC offices.
There was a series of talks, each in an Ignite format, which means that I had 5 minutes to cover 20 slides that auto-advanced every 15 seconds. Yup, I flew to NYC to present for 5 minutes. And it was worth every minute of it.
I had never done this talk and I haven’t done it since. It was special for this event because it focused on New Vision Cloud Lab’s tools. But it wasn’t just special for this event. It was special for me. Here’s a video of it:
Education is a team effort. Often, we only think about 2 parts of this team: the educators and the students. But keeping the 3rd part–parents, guardians and/or families–connected and involved can have huge benefits.
I think that most educators would agree that the rankings for “best ways to keep in touch with parents, guardians, or families” are:
face to face communication
But, sometimes, we just don’t have time to do #1 and #2 for all of our students’ families.
Enter #3: technology.
As you probably already know from the Educational Duct Tape podcast, I believe that edtech is at its best when it’s being used as a tool to solve problems, meet goals or address learning standards. So, if we know that it’s important to connect with and involve our kiddos’ families and we know that it’s tough to connect with all of them, how can we leverage technology to support us in this endeavor?
I discussed this with a group of awesome educators recently.
On February 5th, 2020, I had the honor of moderating the #KidsDeserveIt Twitter Chat (all tweets available here). This chat is based on the book Kids Deserve It by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. In the book, Nesloney & Welcome zero in on a set of steps that educators can take to improve the educational experience for our students. Two of those steps are contacting parents regularly and getting them involved in the classroom. So I asked the #KidsDeserveIt chatters 2 questions relating to parent, guardian and/or family contact and involvement:
In the 15th episode of Season 2, I am joined by Andreas Johansson to talk about things that we can do to support less tech-savvy staff members, especially non-teaching staff. Tools discussed include Google Forms, Sheets & Sites; the FormMule, AutoCrat & FormRanger Add-Ons; the VLookUp, Concatenate & Substitute Google Formulas; Lean Thinking and more!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.
Recently, I shared about Parlay’s Online Discussions. Parlay has created a platform for rich discussions that has all of the important features for the teacher and the students. However, there’s also value in live, face-to-face discussions.
But, these can be difficult to manage. How do we know which student speaks next? How do we know which students are waiting to speak? How does the teacher communicate feedback or assign grades? There are even more questions but for most, if not all, of them, Parlay has the answer. Their Live RoundTable Discussion tool provides an awesome way to manage your face-to-face classroom discussions, including Socratic Seminars.
Let’s check out what it looks like:
The Student View
In the #EduGIF below you’ll get an overview of the student experience starting from how they plan their responses all of the way through viewing feedback and summary data.
The Teacher View
So, now that we know what the experience looks like for the student, let’s check out what it looks like for the teacher!
In the 2nd part of the 12th episode of Season 2, I continue my conversation with Manny Curiel. We discussed reasons for and benefits of recording lessons as well as diving into some new features in EdPuzzle!
Schools can be a stressful place for the staff & the students. So we all deserve a chance to 😃smile😃 and 😆laugh😆 every now and then. To help you out with that, here are some funny (or are they cheesy?) teacher jokes to brighten your day.
On 1/29/2020, a group of Duct Tapers (Educational Duct Tape podcast listeners) got together to have a Twitter chat. Since the guest in the previous episode (Craig Klement) shared a teacher joke, I decided to have all of the chatters do the same! Here are some of my favorites! (note: you can see all of the tweets from the chat here)
In the 13th episode of Season 2, I talk with the wildly fun Manny Curiel about video in the classroom, green screen videos made with Chromebooks, WeVideo, podcasting with WeVideo and the upcoming enhancements to WeVideo for Schools.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.
I am absolutely geeking out about Screencastify giving users of its FREE plan the ability to export their screencasts as GIFs! For years, people have asked me how they can make GIFs like the ones that I make, but for free. I’ve always had multiple tools to mention depending on the person’s goal and the tech that they’re using (Mac, PC or Chromebook). But now I finally have 1 response that I can give to almost everyone!