WeVideo & Chromebooks: Let’s Get This Party Started

WeVideo is proving to be the video production tool that may meet the needs of our students and teachers. In the past our school found itself in a 1-to-1 environment outfitted with various Apple devices from laptops to iPads with iMovie being our go-to tool. Now half of my students are using Chromebooks where iMovie can’t go, but WeVideo can and its compatible with both Apple’s OS and iOS platforms (i.e. it’s web-based for the laptops and they have an iPad app too). And, WeVideo supports sign-in with Google which works for us since we are a GSuite for Education district.

This is all well and good, but to truly know if WeVideo can cut it in today’s classroom I needed to get students and teachers into the app and see what it can do. So I put together a tutorial to help them get setup in the app and begin creating video content.


  • Use the following link to access the signup page: https://www.wevideo.com/sign-in
  • Select Log in with Google as your sign-in option.
  • Verify your Google account

Login options for WeVideo

  • When prompted…
    1. choose “School” for Where will you use WeVideo
    2. Select your identity: Student or Educator
    3. Choose your grade level: K-12 or Higher Education
    4. If you’re a student then click the green Submit button to finish. If you’re an educator then click the green Next button to continue.

Select type, role, and grade level

  • For Educators, when prompted continue to provide the following information…
    1. Select your role
    2. Subject(s) taught
    3. Grade level(s) taught [optional]
    4. Click the green Next button to continue

Choose role, subject, and grade level

  • When prompted…
    1. Enter school name if asked, or…
    2. Enter Location and Region information (this is to help match the appropriate assistance team to you in case you need assistance)
    3. Click the green Submit button to finish

Choose school, or choose location and region

And that’s it, you’re in! In future posts I will explore some of the features found in WeVideo. Some will be available to users on any account while others may be available only to subscription accounts, just to tease you a little bit.

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EDU in 90 Video Series

youtube-512From Google for Education, EDU in 90 is a YouTube video series designed to help keep you informed and up-to-date with news and information relevant to educators, administrators, and others in the teaching and learning community. And, they crunch these updates into 90-second bite-size pieces. For more information you can subscribe to the Google for Education YouTube channel, and to make sure you don’t miss you regular dose of “Google for Education goodness” you can save EDU in 90 to your YouTube playlist library.

New Embed Options for Google Sites

Google_Sites_Insert_Menu-part1Those who have used Google Sites in the past know that the app was in dire need up an update and thankfully, Google recently did just that and delivered a whole new interface for the NEW Google Sites. Since going live, Google has been working to improve the app with tools that were supported in the old version as well as tools to support emerging website technologies. The next chapter in these upgrades has arrived via the Embed URL tool.


Embed URL’s

The Embed URL tool now supports the insertion of whole webpages as an iframe, as long as the website you are trying to include supports it.

  1. Embedded website screenshotIn the new Google Sites, under the INSERT tab click on the Embed URL tool to get started.
  2. Paste the link to the website you’d like to embed into your website into the box provided. If you see a preview of the website appear, then the site supports embedding.
  3. Click the ADD button to complete the process.

One way that I see myself taking advantage of this feature is to embed YouTube Playlists into a webpage, which the Insert > YouTube option does not currently support. If you have successfully embedded other types of content into a new Google Sites webpage then please share your story in the comments below.

For more information about embedding objects into the new Google Sites, please check out their GSuite Updates blog here.


Embed HTML & Javascript

The ability to embed HTML code and Javascript in the new Google Sites has been a much requested feature and now, it is finally here. This newest feature has been added to the ‘Embed’ tool from the Google Sites INSERT menu.

  1. Sites embed code window screenshotAfter clicking on the Embed URL tool a pop-up window with be displayed.
  2. The first tab is for embedding content by URL as stated above. Click on the second tab option to embed code.
  3. Paste your HTML or Javascript code into the box provided, then click the NEXT button.
  4. Sites embed code preview window screenshotSites will test the code and if successful will show a preview of your embedded widget. If you need to edit the code, click the pencil icon located in the center of the preview image.
  5. When finished, click the INSERT button to add it to your webpage.

For more information about embedding objects into the new Google Sites, please check out their GSuite Updates blog here.

The New Google Earth: Now on Apple iOS

Back in April of 2017 Google announced a brand new version of Google Earth that was completely web-based, opening up the application to be accessed from just about any device that could access the Internet. They quickly followed this up with support for mobiles devices running Android, and now the new Google Earth is available on iOS.

Working with students in a 1-to-1 Chromebook environment, this news was HUGE! I had already observed students using Google Maps from their devices and some didn’t see how Google Earth was any different. Then I showed them the I’m Feeling Lucky option (a role of the dice icon) and the mystery of where they would end next was all they needed.

Google Earth dice icon

For teachers, the new Voyager feature is like having a virtual field trip already pre-planned for you! With interactive stories grouped into categories like travel, nature, culture, history, and education there is a lot of potential for exploration. I liken the experience to participating in a Google Expeditions virtual reality field trip except that each student can explore the various modules at their own pace.

Google Earth iOS Voyager

For more information about Google Earth for Apple iOS, check out their post from their Keyword blog and their Resources and FAQ page.

EquatIO Free for Teachers: You Do The Math

EquatIO is a powerful math tool that allows users to create equations, formulas, and graphs, then add them to various applications including GSuite for Education and Microsoft Word. Within GSuite for Education, EquatIO is compatible with Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, and Forms. And just last week Texthelp, the company behind this and Read&Write, announced that it was making EquatIO FREE for teachers!

 

EquatIO toolbar screenshot with speech tool


To take advantage of this opportunity, follow this link to their blog post which will explain the process. But, in a nutshell, this is what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to their website and download/install the EquatIO program for your device. Use this link, then click on the green Try now, for free button and choose your platform.
  2. At some point you will be prompted to enter your email address to complete the setup/install. It’s important to remember this email as you will need it later to turn on access to the premium features.EquatIO toolbar menu
  3. Once setup is complete, use this link to access the registration form and request a free premium account license. It may take up to 24 hours for your account to be updated.
  4. To verify your upgrade, open any supported application file (i.e. Microsoft Word or Google Docs) and turn on EquatIO. From the menu bar at the bottom of your window click on the EquatIO logo to access a pop-up menu, then click on Options. Under the Premium menu, you should see that your license is now listed as a premium one.

EquatIO Options window

Google Street View Gets Wet

 

What I mean is that Google has taken their Street View mapping program, wrapped it in waterproof material, and explored that natural wonders of the world that are under the Earth’s oceans.

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 3.40.23 PM

Muli Kandu, Maldives

With Google Underwater Street View, you have access to over 129 different underwater locations where you can explore wild life, coral reefs, and shipwrecks. See the effects of climate change on various underwater ecosystems as well as the efforts being made to restore them. If you have Google Cardboard, then use their Street View app (iOS, Android) to explore these underwater realms in virtual reality.

Muli Kandu-Maldives Cardboard view.PNG

My thanks to Matt Bergman at Learn Lead Grow for cluing me into this fantastic resource!

Image Insert Tool Updated for Docs, Slides, & Drawings

Screenshot of new insert image menu optionAdding an image to a document, presentation, or drawing can do wonders to enhance the overall product. In a recent update, Google has redesigned the Insert > Image tool and integrated it into their right-hand sidebar interface, bringing it inline with other recently updated tools like Explore and Define. This new interface also better supports the drag-&-drop workflow.

Screenshot of insert > image by search the web option


image thumbnail with preview image option displayedWhen inserting an image using the “Search the web” option, at first look the side panel does not contain text explaining what kind of usage rights the results will be filtered under. As a teacher of digital citizenship and wanting students to realize the importance, especially with images, of respecting the rights of the original author, the loss of this filtering option is a disappointment. However, If you hover over an image in the side panel a magnifying glass icon will become visible in the bottom-right corner, which you can use to preview the image. It is in this preview pane that the usage rights filter text can be found, reminding us that the search results are indeed being filtered under the usage rights: labeled for commercial use with modification.

image preview with usage rights filter setting text


Another issue that has already cropped up on social media is the noticeable absence of the “Take a snapshot” option from the new Insert > Image menu. If you miss this option as much as I do, then I strongly encourage you to send Google feedback and let them know. In the meantime, check out this blog post for Eric Curts who has come up with an alternative to tide us over in the interim.

For more information about the new Insert > Image tool, please check out the G Suite Updates blog.