Thursday, February 4, 2016

Drive Ya Nuts!


Game Time!

Ever play the game pictured above (Drive Ya Nuts)? My grandmother had this game. I recall hours of playing Drive Ya Nuts whenever I visited. I don't know if I ever solved it. I remember the game living up to its name! It was one of those things that I had found memories of regardless of how frustrating it was. When my grandparents both passed, it was one of the things I wanted most. At first, it was one of my classroom games. When I took on the role as a technology integration coordinator, it went on a shelf in my house for my kids to enjoy. (The real key is figuring out which nut needs to be in the middle. It is smooth sailing from there.) 

Screencastify, Google Drive, and Youtube...Oh, My!

Regardless of how frustrating something can be, knowing that we are making the right choice for the students is enough to pull a teacher, though. When our heads start to spin and we come out victorious, that's a great feeling. I know my iPad teachers are feeling this way right now in regards to providing video lessons for when students take their devices home. Since we have a population of students that do not have the Internet at home, we are attempting to utilize Google Drive for the iPad to provide offline learning experiences on the iPad. As it turns out, videos from Screencastify (as of 2/4/2016) are crashing Google Drive when the Internet is turned off or no longer available. 



I'm not fully certain what is causing all of the issues for my kindergarten through second-grade teachers/students. It might be the age of our iPads (iPad 2). I could be the format of a Screencastify video (WebM) and the Google Drive app don't get along. It could also be that the size of a Screencastify video is a larger format that is causing the crash. Regardless of the issue, it is frustrating for a teacher to spend the time creating a video lesson and not be able to use it.


To resolve this issue, I am suggesting the teachers convert their Screencastify videos (WebM) to a more "Google Drive iPad app friendly" format (MP4). The other thing I'm trying to do is to convert these files for free. There are a ton of free video file converters out there. I like using Zamzar or Cloud Convert. Those products work, but if your video is too large or you have several videos that you need to convert, they start to charge for their services. So what can we use?  Youtube.

Screencastify to Youtube

Sending videos from Screencastify to Youtube is a piece of cake. After you finish your video, you can send it to Youtube, go straight to your video, and download it from the video manager. Just like that, you've converted your Screencastify video to an MP4 format video. The teacher can then upload it into Google Drive to store for safe keeping or go ahead and share it with his/her students. 


From Google Drive to Youtube and Back

Teachers love to be organized! This is a good thing. As soon as they make a video and it goes into their Screencastify folder in Google Drive, their desire is to move it out and organize it in a folder. However, if you have moved your videos out of your Screencastify folder in Google Drive before you had a chance to send it to Youtube...they won't be in the Screencastify Chrome App like I demonstrated in the video above. I've made a second video demonstrating how to get your videos "from Google Drive to YouTube and back." 




Don't Give Up!

So if your head is spinning and Screencastify is starting to "Drive Ya Nuts," don't give up. I'm confident that the teachers of MSDSC will persevere and keep striving to provide a great learning experience virtually. I know they will because they do it each day in their classroom.