Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to Blur Student Faces on YouTube Videos

Blur student faces on YouTube

Student privacy is important, but so is sharing student work online. With the ability to blur faces on YouTube you may be able to have the best of both worlds. YouTube has had blurring effects for some time now, but it was somewhat crude and did not always work as well as it might. However, this week YouTube introduced custom blurring effects, and they work much better than before. Here’s how they work!

Step 1: Upload your video to YouTube. If you have student faces that you need to blur before you go public with your video, be sure to set your video to private until you get all the edits done that you need.

Step 2: Follow the URL for your new video and click the magic wand under the player controls to go to the Enhancements menu.

magic wand youtube player

Step 3: Select the Blurring Effects tab on the right-hand side of the screen, and then click the Edit button next to Custom blurring.

blurring effects youtube

Step 4: Cue up your video to the point where you would like the blurred effect to begin, then click and drag a box around the face(s) that you would like to blur. Adjust the size of the blurred area by dragging the corners of each box. You will see a blurring preview in the player and during playback you will notice that YouTube will attempt to track the movement of the face(s) you selected.

blurred faces on YouTube

Step 5: Adjust the duration of each blurred box by clicking and dragging the effect boxes on the timeline underneath the video. This will control when the effect begins and ends.To prevent the blurred area tracking the subject as they move around the screen, click the Lock icon to fix it in position.

edit blurring effects

Step 6: Once you are finished, click Done and preview the effect in the before and after window. If you find you need to make further tweaks, click Reconfigure to fine tune your adjustments.

Step 7: When you are ready, you can save your creation, adjust your sharing permissions accordingly, and share your video with everyone you want to see it.

If you are planning on using the YouTube blurring effects to blur student faces in videos, you will find that it works best on static or slower moving subjects. As of now, it is not as effective for things like sporting events or unpredictable movements. For all other scenarios, this is a useful tool for educators and for anyone else that needs to make light work of an otherwise complex editing process.

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Top Tips for Managing Photos on iPad & iPhones

Top Tips forManaging Photoson iPads & iPhones

At first glance, the Photos app on iOS does not look to have changed that much in recent software updates. However, if you dig a little deeper you will soon find a lot of useful shortcuts for managing photos on your iOS device. For this post I am going to give a shout out to Fraser Speirs (@fraserspeirs) and Federico Viticci (@viticci) because of their recent episode on this very topic over on the Canvas podcast. Some of these tips I had known about before, but a couple were brand new to me, so here are the best of the best.

Quick Select

In the past, when people have brought me their iPads and asked if there was a quick way to remove multiple photos and videos at once, I would have said no. However, I now know better. There is still no option to “Select All” but there is a faster way than manually tapping individual photos. Here’s how it works.

When you are in the Camera Roll, tap Select in the top right-hand corner of the screen, then select multiple photos (or videos) by pressing and dragging your finger across the screen to select multiple items. Alternatively, you can press and hold on a photo or video on the far left of the screen and drag your finger down the left-hand side to select entire rows at a time. Once you have selected the ones you want to delete, tap the trash can to remove them.

The Recently Deleted Album

Speaking of deleted photos and videos, did you know that they are not deleted immediately? Photos and/or videos that you choose to delete are moved to a special album called Recently Deleted. They will stay here for at least 30 days, just in case you have a change of heart and decide to restore them to the camera roll. However, if you so choose, you can navigate to this album and delete the contents manually at any time. Simply tap Select, and then Delete All.

recently deleted

Searching Photos

Can’t find the photo you are looking for? The magnifying glass at the top of the screen will let you search through the photos on your iPad or iPhone. Simply type the name of  the location you are looking for, or the date that you think it was captured, and your device will give you a page of search results based on your query. See the video below for how that works. You can search photos in iOS 8 or later.

Filter Your Favorite Photos

Ever wondered what the heart was for when viewing a photo or video? Tapping the heart marks it as a favorite, and automatically adds it to an album called Favorites. This lets you keep track of all the images that you want to access quickly or find without too much scrolling around when importing an image into another app.

Create a Folder for Photo Albums

This one is new to me, but it is kind of hidden by default so I have no idea how you would find it if someone didn’t tell you it was there. You can create folders in the Photos app to house multiple photo albums, just like you would on your home screen with multiple apps. To create a folder, open the Photos app and tap on the Albums tab. Then press and hold the “+” sign in the top left-hand folder and you will see an option for New Folder. Give your folder a name, then tap Save.

new folder

You can’t move existing albums to a folder, but you can add new albums inside this folder and transfer any images from your Camera Roll that you want to include in this new organizational system. Once you have moved everything over, you can delete your other albums, safe in the knowledge that you are not deleting any photos, just an organizational structure for them.

iCloud Photo Sharing

This is something that I experienced recently when I attended the Apple Educator Training program. We created a shared iCloud photo album that all participants could add photos and/or videos to throughout the day. Anyone who has the album shared with them can “like” or comment on anything that is added to it. This could be a great way to share learning and collaborate on photo and video projects, and to provide feedback in a virtual gallery walk style. Shared albums can even be shared as a website for anyone to view. iCloud Photo Sharing requires an Apple ID and more information on that can be found here.

Edit With Another App

The Photos app has a number of useful editing options for images, but it only does so much. What if you wanted to add a frame from Pixlr, a vignette from Photoshop Express or add some text from the Awesome Screenshot app. You can do all that from inside the Photos app. Simply tap on the photo you want to modify and then tap Edit in the top right-hand corner. In the editor, tap the three dots (see below) to choose an app that you want to borrow some editing features from. If you don’t see the one you want, tap More and toggle the switch next to the app you want to appear in this menu. Once you are finished, tap Done to return to the iOS editor.

photo editor apps

For more tips and tricks on how to manage photos on your iOS device, check out the excellent Canvas podcast from Fraser Speirs and Federico Viticci on Relay FM.