Thing 7: Audio Tools

I got stuck on this ‘thing’ for audio tools because it fit really well with a particular problem that I was trying to solve at work, and thought it would fit will for this assignment as well. However, I was not really successful with that.  So I got sidetracked for a long time, with little results.  Then I changed gears, and will share what I did instead.

What I wanted to do add audio narration to Google Slides. It is so simple in PowerPoint. You can click “insert audio” “from computer” and record what you want to say. PowerPoint will even put a ‘play’ button on your slide.

I thought that if PowerPoint did this so easily, Google Slides must be able to do it as well – wrong!  You cannot directly add audio into Google Slides at this time.

The options are:

  • Use screencastify (or another recorder, but this seems to be a preferred one) to record yourself going through the slides and narrating. This is creating a video of your screen, and you can narrate.
  • Create an audio file using Vocaroo, or any other recorder, and link it. But when the link is clicked it will open in a new tab.
  • Create a ‘video’ in YouTube, but ignore the video portion, and only use the audio.  That is based on the directions found here.  This actually worked pretty well, but is still difficult and awkward compared to what I was hoping.  You can see my experiments here

I already have some experience with the voice typing features in Google Drive. It’s fantastic!  My son really struggles with writing (both the physical act of writing, and organizing and getting his ideas down on paper).  What he can express verbally is so far above what he can express in writing.  He has used this feature at home to complete some homework assignments and it has been very successful. It is difficult for him or for any other students to use in a classroom setting because of the logistics of using a microphone (even built into the computer) in a classroom.  I also have a friend (adult) who struggles with writing. I just mentioned this to her today and she wasn’t aware that it was available. She is looking forward to trying it out!

In an effort to actually complete something successfully for this assignment, I decided to focus on flipgrid. This was actually a last minute change because of a post in the AP Environmental Science Teacher Facebook Group that I am part of. I looked a FlipGrid when I read through this assignment, but was having trouble thinking of an application. Then I saw this post yesterday.

screenshot 2

And then I saw this post where students were given a review sheet on a certain topic and had to create a 3 minute video on that topic to capture (and review themselves) the highlights.  Here is that flipgrid

I love these ideas! These are so creative, and so much more engaging than many other end of the year and review ideas.  I could see kids getting really involved. I could also, however, see kids getting self-conscious. Maybe to do it in groups? Or not have their face on camera?

Lastly I tried one of my own. I took an assignment that I already use, but changed it from a written assignment to one that students would answer in video format instead. I like it. It leaves a lot more flexibility and fun. However, you would have to make sure that students are not embarrassed and are willing to participate, monitor the noise level, and make sure you have webcams/microphones.


One thought on “Thing 7: Audio Tools

  1. Wow, you did a LOT for this topic! Well done. So glad to hear that flipgrid worked so well for you. And i agree with you about the awkward workarounds for audio on google slides. They’ll probably add that feature someday.


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