Socratica: Beautiful Science, Math & More!

Socratica is a YouTube channel chalk-full of high-quality videos on a variety of subjects with a focus on math, science, and arts and humanities. Clicking on the Playlists tab will show the variety of subtopics available on the channel, 25 in total, ranging from Astronomy and Biology to Algebra and Geometric Constructions to even a Glossary of Art terms and Shakespeare Sonnets.

Socratica YouTube playlists screenshot

The number of videos in each playlist varies as does the length of individual videos. For the longer videos that you might want to use only a portion of, check out my post on how to clip the beginning AND end points of a YouTube video.

Ever since I started using the quiz feature in Google Forms to conduct assessments I have been on the lookout for high-quality videos like these. I will insert them into the “Add feedback” panel of a Form question so that students can use them to help “brush up” on the material and as a study tool if a re-assessment is needed.

Google Forms quiz question "Add feedback" panel

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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: Google Classroom Integration

One of the benefits of having an education account with WeVideo is the ability to easily share finished videos directly to Google Classroom.

Share to Google Classroom icon


Teacher

As a teacher, you can select a finished video and create an assignment, ask a question, or make an announcement. You will have access to the full Google Classroom editor from this pop-up window allowing you to add directions, set a due date, add additional materials to the post, and so on.

Share to Classroom options for teachers

Classroom editor window for an Announcement Post


Student

As a student, once they have selected a finished video and clicked on the Share to Classroom option, have them find their class and then select the appropriate assignment they would like to attach their video artifact to.

ADD tool inside of an assignment in Google ClassroomNOTE: This option will not work for assignments whose due date has passed. If a student finds themselves in this situation, I would recommend having them first verify that they have connected their Google Drive account to WeVideo (directions for this can be found here), then use the ADD tool inside of Google Classroom to attach it to the assignment.


For more information on using Google Classroom with WeVideo, please check out their support page and/or their video tutorial below.

WeVideo & Chromebooks: Connecting to Google Drive

In last weeks post I covered how to get started with WeVideo and setup your account. Once this is achieved, the next thing to do is connect your WeVideo account to a cloud storage service that you can send your finished videos to. WeVideo supports different video destinations depending on what type of account you have:

  • FREE accounts have more destination options but limits on video quality and automatically includes a watermark.
  • EDU accounts support fewer options but more choices on video quality and no watermark requirement. EDU accounts also come with Google Classroom integration, which I will cover in more detail next week.

Video destination options for free accounts        Video destination options for education accounts

For the purposes of this post, I will cover directions for connecting your WeVideo account to Google Drive.


Connecting to Google DriveWeVideo avatar menu with manage account option

  • Locate your avatar in the top-right corner of the window and from the drop-down menu select: Manage account.
  • Under Video destinations, locate the option for Google Drive then click the corresponding CONNECT button to set up.

Video destinations Google Drive option

  • Follow the directions to authentic your Google account and grant permissions to WeVideo to manage the files in your Google Drive.
  • If the Google Drive icon turns yellow, then you have successfully connected the two apps. This will allow WeVideo to export finished video projects directly to a WeVideo folder in your Drive, which can then be easily shared, added to an assignment in Google Classroom, etc.

WeVideo Connection to Google Drive confirmed

WeVideo folder in Google Drive

 

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.

#FirstDayofClassroom

As the summer break comes to an end and educators begin preparations for the return of students (and with some already in session), now seems like a good time to chat about the benefits that Google Classroom can have on your class. Google has been hard at work during the summer hiatus listening to the feedback they’ve received from educators like you and have introduced significant improvements to the app. We will spend the next weeks going over these changes, some of which are very, very cool!

To begin, Google has announced a new resource for educators called #FirstDayofClassroom, which has a little something for everyone.

  • If you’re new to Classroom, then check out “The Basics” with YouTube videos that cover setting up your class, adding students, assigning work, and grading assignments inside of Classroom.
  • If you’ve tried Classroom before and are looking for the next steps, then check out the “Teacher’s Lounge” with videos on tips, tricks, and best practices from fellow educators.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 12.59.51 PM

  • Do you prefer documents over videos that you can print out and have in-hand at a moment’s notice? Then scroll down to the “Handy Guides” section.

screenshot of 3 PDF guides available for download

If you or someone you know is new to Google Classroom then this site is definitely bookmark-worthy. If you are familiar with Classroom or perhaps even a veteran, then check back often for news and updates as additional resources and support materials are in the works.

 

Create Greeting Cards with Google Drawing

Having students create greeting cards has always been a staple of many holidays and a great way for them to learn how to empathize with others. Now, thanks to the work of Eric Curts over at the Control Alt Archive blog, anyone can create a greeting card using his templates and the Google Drawing app. Eric provides both written directions and a video tutorial to walk you through how to build a greeting card, format it, and successfully print out the final product. Let the creativity commence!

Google Drawing Templates: