Monday, October 15, 2018

How to Import Files Into Google Earth

In my previous post I shared the steps that I took to find a Google Earth file that contains more than 550 ancient locations in ancient Greece. At the end of the video in that post I demonstrated how I was able to display those locations in Google Earth. That method can be used for any KML or KMZ that you find online or that is shared with you. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to import files into the desktop and browser versions of Google Earth.

How I Found a Google Earth File of 550+ Ancient Greek Places

Last night on Twitter Wes Fryer asked me if I knew of any Google Earth files that displayed ancient Greek locations. I didn't have anything within my own bookmarks so I did a quick Google search that I filtered according to file type. I first filtered by file type .KMZ but that didn't get me anywhere. My second search I filtered by file type .KML. That search landed me on what I thought was a promising file. However, as you can see in my video below, the file was simply a frame of a website that talked about Google Earth files about ancient Greece. While that framed website didn't display placemarks it did contain a link to discussion forum in which some people had created a KML file containing more than 550 Ancient Greek places. Watch my video to see how this process played out.

Update May 29, 2019: The creator of the file reached out to me to clarify that all of the work was his alone and not a collaboration. The creator of the file is Loren Hall who goes by the name Apollonious. Here's what he shared with me:

It was not made by a group of people, I made it and posted it on the google forums. I am Apollonius.

Anyway just thought I'd let you know where the list came from, I had to look for the coordinates using various techniques, and the whole process took several years to complete. There was a forum called "archaeology fieldwork" years ago that I used to post in at various stages of completion, but I don't think that board exists any more. I would post at 200 places, and then 300, etc. It was very tedious and time-consuming at times, but I love the work.

Again, I'm glad the list is getting some use! It once was official google content, but now it's gotten moved to someplace else. I have no idea what google is doing, but I still care about my Greek places, that was an insane amount of work!

But again, I'm glad you getting some use out of them. Teachers are the BEST use for them. :)

~Loren Hall ('Apollonius')

For the Love of Lit - Four Free Webinars for ELA Teachers

This week PBS Education is hosting the first webinar in a four part virtual professional development series called For the Love of Lit. This series features free webinars designed to help ELA teachers engage their students in learning about literature.

The four webinars in the series are as follows:
  • Inspiring Young Authors, with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty
  • Including All Readers, with student activist Marley Dias
  • Encouraging Bright Thinkers
  • Cultivating Young Book Lovers
You can register for one or all four registers right here. PD certificates are available for attending each session. 

Why You Need a Flu Shot Every Year - A TED-Ed Science Lesson

This morning Lifehacker ran an article encouraging people to get a flu shot (the title of the article is not school-appropriate so I won't link to it). The point of the article was to remind people that getting the flu shot isn't just about them, it's also about helping to keep your community healthy. Reading that article reminded me a TED-Ed lesson titled Why Do You Have to Get a Flu Shot Every Year?

Why Do You Need To Get A Flu Shot Every Year? does a god job of succinctly explaining how influenza changes and why a new vaccine is developed every year.

How to Send Personalized Certificates via Google Forms or Google Sheets

From perfect attendance to volunteerism to honor roll there are lots of occasions during the school year for schools to issue certificates to students. It used to be that to personalize certificates for students you would have to manually enter their names on the certificates that you were going to print for them. Today, there are easier ways to create personalized certificates for students. Here are two ways to generate personalized certificates for your students.

Use autoCrat to create personalized certificates in bulk. 
This is the method to use if you already have a list of the students who should receive a certificate for something like honor roll or perfect attendance. To use this method you will need to have or create a Google Sheet that lists the students' names. Once you have that list you can run the Google Sheets add-on called autoCrat to automatically personalize the certificate for each student on the list. The certificate template must be made in Google Slides. Watch my video to learn how to use autoCrat and Google Slides to create personalized certificates in bulk.

Use Certify'em to Issue Personalized Certificates on an as-needed basis. 
This is the method to use if you don't have a pre-existing list of students that need a certificate or you want to be able to issue certificates on-demand. Certify'em is a Google Forms add-on that will let you automatically issue a certificate to students when the pass a quiz in Google Forms with a minimum score of your choosing. I use Certify'em to issue certificates to people who complete my professional development webinars and courses. Watch my video to learn how to use Certify'em to issue personalized certificates.

New Ways to Personalize Certificates in the Certify'em Google Forms Add-on

Certify'em is a Google Forms Add-on that I have been using all year to issue certificates when people complete one of my professional development webinars or courses. Certify'em makes it easy to have certificates automatically emailed to people when they successfully complete a Google Form. Besides using it for professional development certificates Certify'em can be used to issue certificates to students when they pass a quiz in Google Forms. This morning I learned the Certify'em has two new features.

Certify'em now lets you have a follow-up email automatically sent to people who complete your quiz in Google Form but do not pass the quiz. You can customize your automated follow-up email to encourage students to try again. Or you might use the follow-up email to share some additional review materials with your students.

The other new feature in Certify'em lets you use the same merge tags in emails to quiz takers as you use in the certificates that you create. Merge tags are what allow you to personalize certificates and emails. A list of the merge tags that you can use in Certify'em is available here.