Last week WeVideo announced that they will now provide users with the ability to export audio-only projects, essentially allowing students to create their own digital radio shows or “podcasts.”
(NOTE: This option is not available under the “free version” of WeVideo, but is included with any WeVideo plan.)
Why is it important?
Giving student the choice to create movies to demonstrate their understanding provides for so much potential, creativity, and fun, but at the same time can eat up a lot of class time to allow them to produce a quality product. Creating a podcast can be done in less time because there are no visuals to worry about, and at the same time because there are no visuals students need to pay more attention to the quality of their content to ensure it communicates their knowledge and comprehension of the material.
How it works
When a project is ready to be rendered, click the FINISH menu option at the top of the WeVideo editor.
On the FINISH page, next to “Export” you will now see two options: Video with audio and Audio only. Audio only will export the project as a .mp3 file.
You can export prior projects that contain visual components as audio only files. This could be an interesting test to see how well the audio components alone work to support the project’s message, or show how powerful using appropriate visuals can be to the telling of a story.
PBS Learning Media has put together an impressive resource list to help teachers cover this moment in American history. In this collection educators will find:
33 video clips
7 support documents
3 audio clips
2 media galleries
5 lesson plans covering grades 4-12
The entire collection (as well as individual segments) come with a share button that includes a shortcut to easily post them directly to Google Classroom. Each video and audio segment comes with support materials and a list of the National History Standards that are connected to them.
If you haven’t explored The Chrome Music Lab, then you have been missing out! Designed to make the learning of music more “accessible through fun, hands-on experiments,” the music lab now has 13 different modules to choose from. After I shared this out to my staff in an email, it wasn’t long before I could hear the familiar sounds of both professional and amateur music makers coming from up and down the hallway.
The different modules explore different aspects of music and sound manipulation, from Harmonics to Oscillation to their newest module: Sound Maker. Each module provides a playful space to experiment, explore, and be creative. Some modules like Spectrogram can tap into your device’s microphone so that you can be the source of the music.
New episodes are released each week and are accompanied with a written summary, list of references, and links to additional content. Search the archive for past episodes and use their tag list to find episodes based on specific topics such as Math, Chemistry, STEAM, and more. Scroll down to the bottom of any page to subscribe to the podcast via email, or sign-up using iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud.
Assign episodes for homework and have students reflect the next day in class or online using a discussion forum such as Padlet or blog like Google’s Blogger or WordPress.
This YouTube channel contains 100 different videos based on classical pieces of music and set to an animated graphical display. Different shapes and colors come alive as the music plays, and no two videos are alike! Musical pieces from famous composers like Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and others can be found here.
Use this site to help calm the mind as students transition from one activity to another.
Have students listen to a musical piece first and reflect on what they “see” before showing them what Music Animation Machine came up with.
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to transition your students from one activity to another but the energy levels are just too high to bring them back down to earth. If only you had a tool to help calm things down (pun intended). Enter Calm, a website containing relaxing sounds and animated imagery. Choose from 25 different themes from ocean surf to forest raindrops. Use the sound bar located in the bottom-right corner of the site to change the volume level or mute the audio altogether. There is also a timer tool with five different presets. The timer tool can also be used in ‘Guided Relaxation’ mode where a voice will provide calming tips during the designated time period.
One of my favorite improv skits from Whose Line is it Anyway? was called “Film Dub” where the cast would have to watch a video clip with the sound muted and provide all new dialog, the results of which would often cause audiences to erupt in laughter. Now, thanks to a Google Chrome extension, students can flex their own improvisational muscles with The Peanut Gallery.
Before you begin, you will need the following:
Google Chrome web browser app
An enabled or connected microphone
There are 15 silent movie clips to choose from with themes that range from The Lost World to Phantom of the Opera and Plane 9 from Outer Space. Once you make a selection, verify/approve the extension’s access to your computer’s microphone. When ready, speak the word “Action!” to begin. When you want to add textual dialog, simply speak into your microphone and the extension will do the rest. If you want specific punctuation then include it in your voice command (e.g. “What day is it question mark”). Once complete, you have the option to watch your film with inserted text and soundtrack, start over, or share over social media. If the use of social media is not an option, then copy-&-paste the URL from this screen into an email, Google Form, blog post, etc. to share.
For recording tips, background information on the origins of the Peanut Gallery idiom, and bibliography for the film clips click the ‘About‘ link in the bottom toolbar for the website.
Use this with students to conduct digital role-playing scenarios.
Create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) on a past or current events topic.
To maximize speaking opportunities, it might be helpful for students to storyboard out each scene in the video clip so that they can script out the dialog that would like to add.
This tutorial will show how to create a Photo Slideshow in YouTube. The Photo Slideshow tool allows you to arrange your photos, set their duration, add transitions, and even include a soundtrack selected from their 150,000+ music archive.
For more info. on using the ‘Info & Settings’ editor, click here.
For more info. on using the ‘Audio’ editor, click here.
This tutorial investigates YouTube’s ‘Audio’ editing tool. YouTube provides a library of 150,000+ music tracks that can be added to a video, and many are ad-free. Browse tracks by musical genre or search by keyword. When using the search tool take note of the two additional parameters:
Only show songs of a similar length to your video.
Show ad-supported songs (i.e. when these songs are used they will cause ads to be displayed during your video).
One of my duties as technology coordinator for two elementary schools is to film various student productions. One of the challenges when filming students is getting them to speak loudly and clearly so that the camera can pick up their voices. For someone who hated presenting in grade school, I can sympathize, but public speaking is a part of one’s career as a student.
This app comes with a library of 16 faces that will stretch, contort, and otherwise move in response to how loud the student speaks. This gives the student a visual meter that they can use to measure the volume of their voice and adapt accordingly. Right now, it’s a tie between the frog and the cat as the student’s favorite avatar.