Resolve YouTube Buffering Issues within the Classroom

My position as a K-12 Teaching Assistant has taken me into many different grade level classrooms. One common issue I’ve seen over and over again is the teachers frustration when a YouTube video is stuck in buffering mode. Many times this problem is caused due to a bandwidth issue. One simple way to resolve this issue is by pre-loading the video beforehand. This is done by immediately pressing the pause video button.

Youtube pauseYou will notice a gray bar continuing to move as it loads the video. Depending upon the bandwidth issue this may or may not work. You may notice only a partial video load by using this process.

YouTube Gray Bar

A better choice is to show the video in a lesser quality format. If you would like to do this go to the gear symbol in on the video a drop down menu will open, and chose the word quality. Choose a lower quality video such as 360p or lower instead of HD (High Definition).

Bandwidth buffereing issue


Create a Photomontage with Google Drawing

Creating a Photomontage is an activity which can be used in so many different ways. I created this Photomontage to be used as an introduction to a Social Studies digital interactive activity. Teachers can use a photomontage to assess students prior knowledge of a subject or just for a conversation starter. The teacher shows the photomontage to the class and asks if there is anything anyone would like to share about the pictures. Students can comment about anything they observe in the photomontage. Conversation starters like this photomontage tend to alleviate tension when learning and sharing new information.


Students can create photomontages to share what they know about a content area. This can be used as an individual or group project. One benefit of a photomontage project is it provides an opportunity for students with lower reading and writing ability to participate.

This is how I used Google Drawing to create the Photomontage:

Calling on All PLN Members & their friends for help? Please #RT

Today this post is a shoutout to my PLN and their friends for help. I have a hard time gauging the ability of others who may want to create their own Google APPS for Education Interactive Activities. Please fill out the poll to help me refine my posts and make it this a better Ed Tech Resource for everyone to use.

Final Touches for the Google Slide ELA Elementary Interactive Activity

Time to wrap up and assemble the Google Slide for the ELA Elementary Interactive Activity. One thing I’d like to point out is when creating clipart it is good to save as one file where the layers are merged. This prevents the clipart from falling apart when dragged. Using the shape tool made creating the clipart easier because it allows you to add border and words as one layer. Here are the steps I used to create the letter “g” with Google Drawings.

Clipart Alphabet

  1. Insert shape
  2. Change color
  3. Used 12px for the border size
  4. Change border color
  5. Click center of shape to choose font style
  6. Then type the letter & change font color 
  7. Download & Save as PNG to insert into slide 

NOTE: I like saving my clipart files as PNG for several reasons.

  • A PNG has a transparent background
  • When clipart is saved as a PNG all layers are merged into one

Once everything is inserted into the Google Slide the Interactive Activity will look like this:



  • Open Google Slide
  • Add a Title to the Slide


  • Insert clipart

Insert clipart

 clipart 3

  • Embed YouTube for sound
    • Go to your YouTube Dashboard
  1. 1. Select VideoDashboard 1

2. Click Share

Dashboard 2

3. Copy URL

Dashboard 3


4. Click Insert

5. Click Video

Slide steps 4 & 5

6. Paste URL to YouTube Video 

Slide steps 6

7. Click the YouTube Video

8. Then Click Select

Slide steps 7 & 8

9. Resize Video on the Google Slide

Sizing Youtube vid



  1. In this Google Slide Activity the YouTube Video is used as a Sound File.
  2. When using Video as Sound it is best to reduce video to a very small size.
    1. You don’t want the video to become a distraction.
  3. This activity was created to provide support for successful completion of the activity.

Creating Sound for the “an” Family Interactive Activity

I decided to break down the “How to” tutorial for the Elementary “an” Family Interactive Activity into several post. The reason for this is whenever possible I like creating my own video, audio and clip art. Today I’m going to focus the post on how to create the YouTube file that I embed into the Google Slide. Whenever possible I like to provide audio whether it comes from a video, audio file or a text to speech reader. This supports the low reader with  independently accomplishing the activity.

I’m an advocate for the integration of technology because of its ability to differentiate activities supporting successful outcomes for all students. I’m a firm believer in building a child’s esteem. The more confidence a child feels about their abilities the more they’ll attempt to explore new concepts.

Generally to create a video one’s first instincts would be to open iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Wondershare Movie Creator, Camtasia Studio and etc… Not me! What if I told you there is an easier way to create movies? When generating simple movies like the one used in the Family Interactive Activity I like using Microsoft PowerPoint. Yes! You heard me right! Microsoft PowerPoint provides the ability to save as an MP4.

This is the video I created for the “an” Family Interactive Activity using Microsoft PowerPoint.

You may have noticed I used a computer generated voice to say and spell the word. I found a text to speech website which allows one to save an mp3 file. When compared with other sites I like how this webste enunciates the words. This is the website link:

The following procedures is for how I create the audio file for the interactive activity.

text here

  • Click on the word listen. This will generate the audio file.


  • Now click download and save the mp3 file on the desktop to easily access the file for inserting into the PowerPoint slide.

Download mp3

  • Now open Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Insert a Picture
  • Now insert the audio
  • Move clip art to front
  • Give the file a name and save as video


  • Upload to YouTube

youtube 1


  1. Make sure you sign into YouTube Account
  2. It isn’t possible to insert an audio file into a Google Slide
    1. I use a mini video file for providing sound