Excel: Using the LARGE() and SMALL() Functions

If you have been using Excel you have probably come across the MAX and MIN functions for finding the highest or lowest values in a range. But what if you want to find the second largest or third and so on, or what if you want to find the second smallest and so on. Well for that you have the LARGE and SMALL function.

This can be very useful if you want to find out who came second or third, aside of course finding out who came first. You could use MAX for finding out who came first but you could also using LARGE too.

Here in this video I show you how to use both of these and a quick reminder of how MAX and MIN work.

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Converting Video Files to MP4 Using VLC

If you want to share files, upload them or use on social media, you’ll probably find that all of these recommend MP4 files. There may be other formats but MP4 is quite universal. Some formats like flv (flash video) are on their way out as Adobe has stopped supporting Flash. You might also want to convert others like QuickTime MOV files if you find they won’t play on your Windows computer.

The great thing is there is a free media player that you might already use called VLC to play these files, and if you don’t then you’ll be pleased to know it is free and it can be downloaded for either Windows or Mac from here, https://www.videolan.org

In the videos below I show you how to do this. There is a video each for Windows and Mac, they are slightly different.

Converting Using VLC for Mac

Converting Using VLC for Windows

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Measure Distance Using Google Maps

I wish I had found this feature sooner. On Google Maps you can measure distances by adding points on a map. I needed it as have to do some live streaming and need a really long cable to connect to the router. I now know I need something at least 40 metres long.

However, this is great for planning routes and seeing how long that route is.

The other thing I use it for is measuring distances from building and where people might be so as to comply with drone flying regulations. It is important to keep a distance and this is where this feature on Google Maps can help.

Here in this video I will show you how easy this is to use and also how you can switch from metric to imperial and vice versa.

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Zoom: How to Record Separate Audio Tracks for Each Speaker

If you have to edit the video from a Zoom recording you might have come across issues with sound from one or more of the speakers. It could be because they had forgotten to mute themselves or perhaps there is noise coming from their computer or background noise. If it is not their turn to speak and you can hear their notifications that could also be something you want to get rid of.

Usually all the audio is recorded into one file so it can be near impossible to remove these unwanted sounds.

However, there is an option that allows you to record a separate audio track for each speaker and then later when editing you can easily mute them or lower the volume.

The great thing is the way I have set this up it does this each time. Much easier to get rid of it if I don’t need it.

Below is a video I made to show you how.

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Zoom: Assigning Co-Hosts

Having a co-host when run a Zoom meeting or webinar can really help manage the call and the participants. This is useful for breakout rooms and also recording for example.

The question often asked about co-hosts is “how many co-hosts can you have?” The answer is as many as you like. Obviously no more than how many people are on the call though.

The co-host, however, can’t do the following:

-Make a participant a co-host
-End the meeting for all participants
-Start closed captioning
-Start live streaming
-Start the waiting room

Below is a video I made showing you how to assign co-hosts

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Zoom: Recording to Local Computer and Cloud at the Same Time

As you might expect some of the ideas I get for my blog come from people asking questions, and today was no different. The question they wanted to know was could you record to your computer, a local recording, and to the cloud at the same time. This is something I haven’t tried and it sounds like a good idea. That way you have a backup.

You might ask “why not just record to the cloud and then you have a backup?” Well the local recording can be better quality and also easier to edit with. I did a tutorial about this which you can find here.

We did find a way to do it and that was to make the other person a co-host and then you can both record. So I made him the co-host, I then chose the option to record on this computer and he chose to record on the cloud. If you want to know how to make someone a co-host then click here.

I did notice that when he clicked on the record to the cloud option my icon for recording changed to indicate that it was recording to the cloud but was in fact also recording locally. You can see the icon below.

cloud recording

Now I did mention that I started recording to the computer first and then he started recording to the cloud. I don’t think it will make a difference if you start the cloud recording first. Why don’t you try it.

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Zoom: How to Use the Annotate Feature When Screen Sharing

If you have been using the screen sharing in Zoom you might not be aware that there is a feature that allows you to annotate what you are screen sharing. This means you can add text, shapes, lines, arrows or even draw freehand.

You can even use spotlight so that it is easier to see the mouse pointer giving it a laser pointer type of effect called spotlight or add an arrow to the mouse pointer. Both make it easier to see what you are referring to.

One of my favourites in spotlight is the vanishing pen, this is a new feature and it allows you to draw freehand and when you have finished drawing it slowly disappears.

Here is a video I made that shows you how it works.

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Using Your iPhone as a Document Camera

Its not just a document camera that you can use your iPhone for when on a Zoom, MS Teams or Skype call. It can also be as another camera. But here I show you how to use it as a document camera but you can just do the same if you want to use it for something else. That something else could be an extra angle when you are teaching cooking, music, science or anything else where another view could be useful. I find it useful when I am teaching.

So I have this ring light that has a smartphone holder that I use and recommend for filming, they are reasonably priced and give a nice light too. Then I was using my iPhone as a second camera to get close ups and did this often in Zoom, Teams and Skype. It then seemed obvious to use the ring light that can be angled along with the smartphone so that I point it in almost any direction.

If you want to show something from a book or perhaps something else then you can have it on the desk next to you and the smartphone can be looking down or maybe from the side. Then you can switch the camera.

For my iPhone I have used two different apps, both free and can be found on the App Store, NeuralCam Live and Elgato EpocCam.

Here is a video I made to show you how it works.

Posted in Education, elearning, Iphone, MS Teams, skype, Zoom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zoom: Switching Chat Off and On

If you are running a webinar attendees can sometimes use the chat to ask a question when you want them to use the Q&A. You might have reminded them but it is easy to do and click on the wrong option. Your attendees might be enjoying the webinar and in their excitement click on chat. To prevent them from doing this you can switch the chat feature off.

It is also possible that you might not want the attendees to interact at all and have both the chat and Q&A off.

Or are you just holding a meeting and don’t want the participants distracted and chatting to each other or even to you.

You can switch it off and it is done on the Zoom website, https://zoom.us. The thing is when you switch it off it is switched off for all your Zoom meetings or webinars until you switch it on again.

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The ATEM Mini Could Change the Way You Teach Online

This past year the classroom has moved online and this can be a useful way to teach. It is not the only way and as we return to normality online teaching still has its place. In fact I have been helping universities since 2005 create e-learning material.

One of the downsides to teaching online is having just one camera and for many subjects adding another camera or more can really help. I’m sure there are some subjects that come immediately to mind like music, cooking, science, art, dancing etc. And this does not need to be fiddly.

Part of the problem is connecting another camera and how do you connect more than one camera. Also isn’t it going to be expensive? In the world of video the device I use here, the BlackMagic Design ATEM Mini is actually quite reasonable. I have some links below where you can buy one and see the latest price.

The ATEM Mini does allow you to connect up to four devices that have HDMI, so this can obviously be four cameras but you can also have a computer with an HDMI port, iPad, iPhone, gaming devices and anything that has HDMI or an adaptor to plug in HDMI. I do this by plugging in either a laptop or iPad so I can show my presentation or show images, video or websites. In another video I will show you how I do this with a green screen (link coming soon).

In this video you will see how you can use it.

Link to:

ATEM Mini: https://amzn.to/2KWcoTa

Posted in elearning, Filming from home, teaching, video, Video production, Working from home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment