Recent Updates to Google Classroom

Google recently announced some updates to their Google Classroom app with a focus on improving communication with students as well as with parents/guardians. If you’d like to watch this review online then click here.

Comment Settings move to STREAM

Classroom commenting tool drop-down menuThe configuration box for controlling the commenting ability of students has been moved from the STUDENTS tab to the STREAM tab. The actual functions haven’t changed; you can still set the public or “class” commenting privileges for students, just that the tool is now located on the tab where the commenting actually takes place:

  • Students can post and comment
  • Students can only comment
  • Only teachers can  post and comment

Manually send Guardian Summaries

Email student or guardians envelope iconGuardian Summaries are a way for parents to get regular updates on how their child is doing in their classes through Google Classroom. Go to the STUDENT tab and click on the name of a student in the list to take you to their “Your work” tool. By clicking on the envelope icon in the top-right corner, now teachers can manually send a Guardian Summary to a student, the guardian(s) of the student, or both the student and the guardian(s). After selecting your receiver, there is a space below to enter a quick message. Don’t forget to check off the box to Include student work summary if you want that information included in the transmission. NOTE: A guardian must have accepted the invite prior to this point in order to include them in this communique.

Guardian summary email tool

Teachers & Co-Teachers

About section-teacher managementNothing much to say here except that the footprint of this module has been made smaller. You still use this tool to add co-teachers to your class, remove them, email them, or transfer ownership of the class to another. Students still see the list of co-teachers for the class and an envelope icon to send an email to them.

As always, if you like these changes or have suggestions for some new ones then please do not hesitate to send Google feedback via the question mark “?” icon located in the bottom-left corner of the window.


WeVideo & Mobile Devices

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to use WeVideo on Chromebook “laptop” devices. However, a new fleet of Chromebooks are being released that can wear more than one hat, switching over to behaving like a tablet device and then back to a laptop. We are currently piloting Chromebooks with this capability in our elementary schools. That being said, I wondered if WeVideo provided support for mobile and tablet devices.

Getting the appmobile app icon

If you prefer to film with a mobile or tablet device, then you can install the FREE WeVideo mobile app. Click here to download the app for Apple iOS and Android.

How it works

When using the mobile app here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • You will need to sign-in to the app with your GSuite account in order to access all of its features.

Mobile app login screen

  • Once you film your scenes, remember to sync the clips to your WeVideo account so that you can edit them from your laptop (sync button located in the top-right corner).

Editor screen with sync button highlighted

  • If you are using a shared device, remember to sign out when filming is complete in order to keep your account secure.

Tap hamburger icon for menu, then My account to log out

NOTE: As I played around with the mobile app I kept encountering an incompatibility issue between the mobile app and the web app. Clips edited on the mobile app can be synced and then edited some more in the web app. However, I could not complete this process in reverse and would receive an error message in the mobile app if attempted. This is manageable for us since access to our filming iPad is limited, so the sooner students sync their footage up to the cloud and then do their editing on their Chromebooks the better. If anyone has additional information or insight about this issue then please leave a reply in the box below.

WeVideo & Chromebooks: Rolling Credits

End Credits text template

What is it?

  • Rolling credits are used at the end of a film to acknowledge all of the people who Basic - End credits templatecontributed to the production.
  • They are also a great place to include citations for any media that was used in the film so that credit can be given to the original authors and avoid plagiarism.

How it works

  • In the WeVideo editor, click on the Text tool and locate the Basic – End Credits template and drag it to your project timeline.
  • Once in your timeline, double-click on the clip to open up the Text properties tool. Use this space to enter and format your text.

Text properties window

  • When done, switch over to the Animation tab. Here is where you will create the rolling credits effect by adjusting the Position setting. The key is change the value of the “y”  position setting between the 1. Start and the 2. End values while keeping the “x” position setting the same.

Text animation tool

  • To control the speed of the text animation, return to the timeline editor and adjust the length of the text object: the more you stretch the object out the slower your rolling credits will animate.

Timeline view with rolling credits over background

  • Remember, if you want your credits to scroll over a specific background image, animated GIF, or video clip then drag your ‘Basic – End credits’ object into the upper video track (Video 2) and insert your background into the lower video track (Video 1).

For more information please refer to the WeVideo Support site on How do I create rolling credits?

WeVideo & Chromebooks: Green Screen Effect

What is it?

  • In WeVideo, the term ‘Color Keying’ is used to describe what others might call the green (or blue) screen effect.
  • A color keying effect allows the user to edit out the background color and replace it with any image of their choosing.
  • While traditionally this color background is either green or blue (hence the term ‘green screen’ effect) it doesn’t have to be. You can use any background color as long as it is uniformly lit (i.e. doesn’t change shades and is without shadows) and does match anything else in the scene such as the actor’s clothing.
  • Unlike filming using the DoInk app on the iPad (which was an invaluable tool when we were 1-to-1 iPads), users do NOT have to have their backgrounds selected and uploaded prior to filming. This makes trying out different backgrounds for a scene much easier for students to experiment with.
  • Please note that the Color Keying tool is not available in the free version of WeVideo and requires a paid subscription to access.

How it works

  • Here out the video is a video that will demonstrate how the color keying tool can be used in WeVideo.

For more information and step-by-step directions, please refer to Color Keying (Green/Blue Screen) article found on the WeVideo Support site.

WeVideo & Chromebooks: Screen vs. WebCam Filming

What is it?

  • WeVideo supports two types of filming configurations: Webcam and Record Screen.
  • Please note that the Record Screen is a premium feature and is available only on the Chrome Browser.
  • To begin, start or open an existing project and from the editor window locate the red recorder icon.

editor menu with recorder icon

How it works

WebcamWeVideo Webcam recorder icon

  • Use the Webcam tool if you want to capture content using your device’s built-in camera.
  • In order to use the Webcam tool, you will need their free Chrome extension. Click the INSTALL button to begin this process, or you can use this link to pre-install it ahead of time.

Install Chrome Ext. notification

  • Authorize Chrome to add the “Video Recorder for WeVideo” extension:

Chrome Web Store authorization

  • The first time you activate this option, you will need to give permission for WeVideo to access your camera and microphone.

Authorize access to camera & microphone

  • WeVideo will scan for available camera and microphone equipment and let you choose which you’d like to film with:

video and microphone equipment options

  • When recording is complete, you will get a pop-up window where you can preview your recording.
    • If you would like to re-record your footage, then select the RECORD NEW button in the bottom-left corner.
    • If you would like to download the recording to your device’s hard drive as a .webm file, then select the DOWNLOAD button in the bottom-right corner.
    • My media folderOtherwise, select SAVE to send your footage to the ‘My media’ folder of your project. Files stored here should be accessible across all of your different video project folders.

Webcam recorder preview window

Record Screen

(Please note that the Record Screen is a premium feature and is available only on the Chrome Browser.)Record Screen option

  • Use the Record Screen option if you want to capture something on the screen of your device.
  • Once selected, you have two additional recording options:
    • Record your entire screen: great if you will need all of your available work space.
    • Record within a specific window: handy if you have another project going on in another window…or you don’t want your audience to see your messy Desktop.
  • If you not done so already, you will need to give permission for WeVideo to access your camera and microphone.
  • You can also control whether or not you would like your microphone on during recording. Keep this in mind if you want to capture any sounds produced by your device’s speakers during filming.

Record Audio option

  • If you have not already done so already, you will need to install the free Chrome extension.
  • When recording is complete, your footage will be saved to the ‘My media’ folder of your project. Files stored here should be accessible across all of your different video project folders.

For more information, please refer to the WeVideo Support site and their Screen Recording article.

WeVideo & Chromebooks: Voice Recording

What is it?

  • Voiceover gives you the ability to record your own audio and then add it directly to a video project using your device’s built-in microphone.
  • Use this to add your own voice commentary to a video, capture your own sound effects, or record your own music soundtrack.

How it works

Locating the ToolWeVideo media folder icon


  • Create a new video or open an existing video project.
  • Once you are in the editor, locate the ‘Media’ tool from the upper-left corner.
  • To the right you will several different tools at your disposal. The voice recorder tool is the third icon to the right.

Media toolbar icons

  • NOTE: Before you begin, remember to place your playhead in the desired location for the voice over audio to be saved to.
  • The first time you use this tool, you will need to allow WeVideo access to your microphone. This can be done from the pop-up window that will be displayed automatically when clicking on the microphone icon.

Chrome OS allow microphone prompt

  • The timeline bar at the bottom of the screen will be replaced by a large red microphone icon. Click the microphone to trigger a 3-second countdown before the your microphone goes live. Once recording has started the microphone icon will be replaced by a red square button. Click this button when you are ready to stop recording.
    • Before your start…
      • If you’d like your video to play in the preview panel while recording then check off the ‘Preview while recording” box.
      • If your video clip or another audio track will be producing sound during this, then check off the ‘Mute audio’ box to prevent these sounds from interfering with your voice recording.
    • After you finish…
      • A preview of your voice recording will be displayed. Click the play button up on the video preview pane to listen to your recording.
      • Click the trash can icon to delete your voice recording and try again.
      • Use the speaker slider to increase/decrease the volume level. NOTE: This change will not be applied to your voice recording until you have marked it as done.
      • To mark your voice recording as DONE, click on the white checkmark located in the far-left blue box. The recording will be added to your timeline under a new track called ‘Voiceover 1.’

Voice recorder toolbar

  • More than one Voiceover track can be added to your video project.
  • Note that there is a 10-minute limit on a single voice recording. Multiple voice recordings of up to 10 minutes in length is possible.

For more information, please refer to the WeVideo Support site and How to record and add a voiceover?

WeVideo & Chromebooks: Text Options

What is it?

  • Text options allows you to create titles, subtitles, lower thirds, and credits.
  • “Lower Thirds” are text that appears along the bottom third of the screen. News organizations often use these to display the names of people being shown on the screen or remind us where the video is taking place.

How it works

Locating the Tool

  1. WeVideo text menu iconCreate a new video or open an existing video project.
  2. Once you are in the editor, locate the ‘Text’ tool from the upper-left corner.
  3. If you are using the FREE version of WeVideo, then you will have access to 10 different text layouts across two category folders: Starters and Callouts.
  4. If you have the premium version, then you will have access to 33 additional text layout options including a suite of “In season” text layouts with various holiday themes.

WeVideo Motion & more text templates

Adding Text to your Timeline

  1. Once you have selected a text design, drag the template and place it on one of your video timeline tracks.
  2. If you want your text to stand alone without additional effects, then drag the box into the Video 1 track. If you plan to overlay your text onto an image, special effects graphic, or video then drag the box into the Video 2 track.

Video 2 & Video 1 tracks with text templates

Editing the Text

  1. Once you have placed a text object into your timeline, double-click on the object to open the text editor.
  2. The options available will depend somewhat on which text object you have selected. However, most will have the following options:


  • Here is where you replace the placeholder text with your own.

Properties pane for entering/editing text

  • Here is also where you can customize the text color, font, and size.

Font and color option menus


  • Here is where you can customize the layout of the text including rotation, scale, and position.
  • If at any time you would like to restore these settings to their default value, click the circulating arrow to the right of the tool to ‘Reset’ it.

Transform pane with rotation, flip, scale, position tools


  • Some text templates (e.g. End Credits) have an animation option, allowing you to have the text move, scale, or fade in/out during its time on the screen.
  • Use ‘1. Start’ to set the starting position or scale of your text, then click on ‘2. End’ to set where you want the text to end up at the end of the clip.

Animation pane available for some text

  • When you are done editing, click the blue DONE EDITING button in the bottom-right box to save your changes.
  • Remember that you can return to these editing tools at any time by double-clicking on the text object in your timeline.

For more information, please refer to the WeVideo Support site and How do I add text to my video?