My Rode Cast Competition

I’ve entered The EdTech Bites Podcast in the My Rode Cast Competition. This is a worldwide competition for any and all podcasters. The prizes? New Rode gear! Rode will be choosing various shows based on content, quality, editing, and the ability to leave the listener wanting more. So please vote for my show using the link below. Voting ends March 20th, 2019 so please vote now and help spread the word!

Vote For The EdTech Bites Podcast!

The EdTech Bites Podcast Commercial… Made With WeVideo!

So I’ve been using WeVideo for years now, both personally and professionally. I’ve done countless trainings, webinars, and PD for it, and with it. I’ve been podcasting for about 2 years now and have literally been the producer, creator, host, promoter, social media manager, etc. I’ve been doing this since the birth of the podcast. Then, while prepping for FETC a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea. Why don’t I marry WeVideo with the podcast and use promote with commercials?! Why didn’t I think of this before?! Well, with that being said, I created this video prior to FETC and TCEA and made sure I showed it at both. Check it out and please share. I’d love to hear what you think. Enjoy!

Slam Poetry App Smash!

I recently planned a lesson with a teacher that slowly morphed into something greater than what she imagined. She wanted her high school students to write their own slam poems at the completion of this unit. The one non-negotiable was the fact that it had to revolve around one of the topics below.

IMG_1426

Well, a week had gone by and the students all had their poems done. Now what? I’ll tell you what! Here’s what we did. I had the teacher create an assignment in Google Classroom that included a copy of the Google Doc template for their poem. We also added the topic flipcode for the Flipgrid Topic we created for this project, the URL for Soundtrap, and Adobe Spark. Once they had those resources, here is what they had to do:

  • write their slam poem in a Google Doc
  • create a background track using Soundtrap
  • create an Adobe Spark Video of their poem using their own images
  • record themselves reading their poem in the Adobe Spark Video
  • upload their finished video as their Flipgrid video response
  • mark the assignment as Done in Google Classroom

In anticipation, I created my own slam poem but to gain interest from the students, I created a quick food rap and the students loved it. I recorded the vocals and the beat using Soundtrap and uploaded them to my Adobe Spark Video project.

 

Needless to say, this was a fun activity for me and an opportunity for me to be creative. Imagine what the students felt? How often do our children get the opportunity to use their own creativity and voice to create a project that is relevant, tech-infused, requires critical thinking, and more than anything, fun! Give it a shot and see what your students create.

Quickly Create Google Docs with Google’s New Shortcuts

If you haven’t already seen Google’s new “.new” shortcuts for Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Sites, you need to familiarize yourself with them. They are quick, easy to remember, and work on any browser.

Google Docs Shortcuts

With these new shortcuts come new ways to add these to your Bookmarks Bar. Simply add a new bookmark to your Bookmarks Bar (on any browser) and name it (New Doc, New Sheet, Etc.) and add the appropriate URL (doc.new, sheet.new, etc) and save it. Now, whenever you need to create a new document, just click on the appropriate bookmark. Check out the GIF below. This can be done for any of these shortcuts. Enjoy!

New Doc

 

My Thoughts, Views, And Predictions On Soundtrap

STEAM schools are popping up left and right. In fact, many STEM schools are now incorporating the “A” into their curriculum and rebranding themselves as STEAM. In all fairness, they should as statistics show that the arts play a huge roll in our lives and help make up the whole child. With this being said, creation of the arts comes in many shapes and forms. One of my favorites is music and audio production. For those of you podcasters, music producers, writers, composers, teachers, or anyone interested in audio creation, Soundtrap is the perfect tool to handle all of these needs. Not only that, it is about to be used by educators and content creators like never before!

For those of you who do not know (or haven’t figured it out yet), Soundtrap is an all in one virtual music studio that can interface with USB instruments, microphones, and USB mixers. The best way to describe it is as follows: If Garageband and Audacity had a baby, and then that baby grew up, met Google Docs, and if they had a baby together, they would name it Soundtrap!

There is a track timeline equipped with pan tools, mute track function, and a whole load of other things you can do within the tracks.

Soundtrap Tracks

In addition, there are also tools to create your own music, loops, and tools that are very reminiscent of Garageband and Audacity. There’s also a collaborate feature which allows for podcasts, music creation, voice overs, and all endless EDU possibilities!

Soundtrap Options

My upcoming episodes of The EdTech Bites Podcast will be recorded and edited solely using Soundtrap and not Audacity, which is my go-to for podcast editing. I’m going all in with this tool and I plan on utilizing all of the bells and whistles that this amazing program has to offer. I’ve already began importing audio clips and recording segments such as my call to action using my Audio Technica 2100 microphone and Soundtrap. I must say that the audio that I have recorded and edited is professional and up to par with what I normally get from Audacity. There is one piece that Soundtrap has to offer that none of the others do, it’s completely cloud-based. This is an absolute game changer for the industry. The fact that I can begin on my work laptop, continue on my home desktop, and upload other audio clips from my son’s Chromebook, makes Soundtrap second-to-none in my book. In addition, I can send my audio file to my guest before hand and they can then record their segment on the same cloud-based file without having to be on the same machine, in the same room, or even worse, having to send audio files back and forth. So here’s what I’m getting to…

Soundtrap WILL revolutionize how creators create and collaborate. Without a doubt, many veteran podcasters and up and coming podcasters WILL choose Soundtrap as their means to record, produce and collaborate. If you listened to my latest podcast episode with Dr. Monica Burns, I made a prediction in that episode that I still believe because I will help make that prediction true. I predicted that Soundtrap WILL become the next big edtech tool, just like Flipgrid was and still is for 2018. The educator community with a HUGE boost from folks like Claudio Zavala Jr. and his #singasong movement catapulted Flipgrid beyond what anyone could have imagined and even birthed the #FlipGridFever. With this being said, here is what the I am making the “unofficial” hashtag for Soundtrap, #Soundtrapitis! (Get it?! Flipgrid has a Fever and Soundtrap has an itis?! Eh, eh!) I have caught #Soundtrapitis and there is no known cure yet. Not only have I caught this, it is contagious and will cause a major disruption to the educator community. But I’m not alone, at some point, someone in your district, building, or hallway will eventually catch it. My question to you is this: When #Soundtrapitis finally hits you in your classroom, home studio, or makerspace, what will you do with it?

The EdTech Bites Podcast Turns 1 Year Old!

Can you believe it? One year old? They grow so quickly (sniff, sniff)…

On June 28th, 2017, the EdTech Bites podcast launched episode 1 with Edward Zelarayán from Nearpod. I had the idea to do a podcast for a couple of years but for one reason or another, never got it off of the ground. I knew I wanted to do something different from the other podcast offerings in the edtech world. I knew I wanted to incorporate food somehow. After some discussions with Edward and some motivation from my wife, I decided to go all in with EdTech Bites. I interviewed Edward at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio and then interviewed Brian Smith the very next day. After that, Edtech Bites was born and began to grow in front of our very own eyes!

I’ve made some great connections through the podcast and am thankful for each and every guest I’ve had on the show. I’ve chatted with listeners and they are thankful for the content that I’m able to provide them with no matter where we may be (It still blows my mind that I can record an interview in person or via Google Hangouts in my den and be able to make it available to the world within a few minutes). I’m thankful for each and every listener and subscriber of the podcast and I want to thank you for telling a friend or colleague about EdTech Bites. I am not a published author or edtech evangelist but I thank those who have included me and my podcast into their own PLN. I hope your learning never stops as I know mine will not anytime soon. I hope that I can be a source of learning for you as many of you are a source of my own professional and personal growth. Thank you for this awesome year and there is much more in store for the future of EdTech Bites. I hope to break bread with you in person one day. Cherish your time at the table. Turn off those devices and have a conversation with each other while you eat. Remember, great conversations happen when we break bread with great people. Buen provecho!

Flipgrid Out Of Office Voicemail

I’m an Instructional Technology Specialist so teachers will come to my office at times and find me not there. I travel to 3 different schools so in some shape or form, I’m not there when a teacher needs me. In August 2017, I decided to create a Flipgrid Voicemail sign and place it on my office door when I leave. This way, teachers could leave me a “voicemail”. I realized that since I support three campuses, I would need 3 different signs with 3 different unique barcodes that pointed to 3 different topics. This way, it would be easier for me to track which schools needed me. Now, this is how I’ve done mine and in no way am the originator of this idea. I saw it with fellow #flipgridfever community members and put my own spin on it. 

I created mine in Canva with their free tools and using the “Oh No” Bitmoji. I went into Flipgrid, created my topic, and saved the QR Code for this topic. With the new updates to Flipgrid regarding their new privacy policies (and the other 900 emails we’ve all been receiving regarding updates to privacy policies), I will be adding the Grid Passcode to the sign making it easier for teachers to leave me a voicemail.

There it is! if you have any questions regarding this, please leave a comment down below or tweet me @edtechbites. Also, don’t forget to follow the EdTech Bites Facebook Page to be notified when new posts are added. Deuces!