Monday 17 February 2020

Podcasting in the classroom

As you may know, I am the co-host of a podcast called Shukes and Giff the Podcast.  It is a fun passion project I do with my friend and colleague Kim Pollishuke. We are by no means expert podcasters, in fact, we often joke about how unpolished our practices are when we talk about our "fancy high tech mic".

Yes, those are my iPhone earbud wrapped
around a disposable water bottle.

Truth be told we have spent more money on promo stickers than on recording equipment!

When we set out on our podcasting adventure Kim and I wanted to create something that could be replicated in the classroom - something easy and free!  We settled on Anchor.  It works for us.  We love that it is cloud-based and works on all platforms.  But for some, there are still privacy concerns - especially for educators working with students under 13 years of age.  

I have a few different options for tacking this hurdle, like Andrew Fenstermaker's suggestion to use Flipgrid for podcasting. But then this afternoon I was listening to Chris Nesi's House of EdTech podcast and something dawned on me....why not use the (relatively) new insert audio feature and simply host podcasts on Google Slides?!

Note:  I used Chrome to do this and it seems to be the browser that works best.  Others have reported errors with inserting audio in other browsers (e.g., Brave)

Here's is my workflow.  
  1. Have students design a podcast logo
  2. Have students record the audio for an episode (or a few episodes).  This can be done on a device with audio recording or by using something like Cloud Audio Recorder that does not require an account but can be linked to save to one's Google Drive.  (If you/students want to get fancy and edit, check out Bear Audio - free and cloud-based.) No matter your method, have students upload audio to their Google Drive.
  3. Create a slide deck for each student podcast OR the entire class.
    • If you choose to do one deck per student, have them put their logo on the title slide and then each slide can be an episode.  They could also include episode notes on this slide.
      • If you do this you could make a Class Google Site and upload each podcast slide deck to the site.
    • If you choose to do an entire class deck, have a Class podcasts intro page with all the logos on it.  Have each logo link to a slide in the deck.  Each slide in the deck is reserved for each individual podcast.
  4. On the podcast show slide, choose Insert --> Audio and link the audio from step 2.

Voila!  Instant podcasts housed completely in Google Drive that can be kept private for the teacher and student, or, my preference, shared with the class or district - or beyond with permission.  

While this method does not push to main podcatchers (Apple Podcasts, Google Play, etc.), it does provide a walled garden wherein students can share their ideas in a less traditional structure.

Here are some very simple deck mockups.  (Click to open the actual deck.)

All Class Podcast Slide Deck

Single Student Podcast Side Deck

As Kim and I say in Shukes and Giff....Give it a Go!

Sunday 9 February 2020

Creating Animated GIFs in Google Slides with Creator Studio

I am currently enrolled in Tony Vincent's Classy Creations course.  It is my second course with Tony and they are really incredible.  I can't recommend them enough.
Static Logo By Nancy Watson

This week we were tasked with making a logo and some classmates created some great stuff.  There was one, in particular, I really liked and I suggested that the creator (Nancy Watson), also consider creating an animated version.  When she asked how to do it,  I created the video below and thought I would share for others who might be interested.

Basically, you need to duplicate a slide ever to slightly and then use the Creator Studio add-on for Google Slides.  It takes some time, but the end result can be pretty great.