Monday, November 23, 2020

How to Move Google Tour Builder Files Into Google Earth

Last week Google announced that support for Google Expeditions and Google Tour Builder would end in July 2021. I've already published a preliminary list of alternatives to Google Expeditions. If you're looking for alternatives to Google Tour Builder you don't need to look much further than to Google Earth. 

Google Tour Builder includes two options for moving your projects from Tour Builder into the web versions and desktop versions of Google Earth. 

The simplest way to move your projects from Tour Builder into the web version of Google Earth is to just select "Export to Earth" from the menu in the upper-right corner of the screen when you're viewing one of your Tour Builder projects. You'll then be asked to confirm that you want to connect your Tour Builder and Google Earth accounts. After that you'll get an email to notify you that your Tour Builder project is now viewable in Google Earth under "projects." 

The other option for moving your Tour Builder projects into Google Earth is to select the download option in the upper-right menu when viewing a Tour Builder project. You can then download your project as a KML file that you can then manually upload to the web version of Google Earth and or manually import into the desktop version of Google Earth. 

Both methods for moving projects from Tour Builder into both versions of Google Earth are demonstrated in this short video

Ten Google Meet Features for Teachers - Fall 2020 Update

Back in the late winter/ early spring of this year I published an overview of Google Meet features you should know how to use for teaching online classes. Since then Google has updated old features and introduced new ones. To reflect the updates made since the spring I created this new video overview of ten Google Meet features you should know how to use. 

The ten features covered in my new video are:

  • Meeting nicknames
  • Blurring and custom backgrounds
  • Disabling/ enabling student screen sharing
  • Disabling/ enabling chat for students
  • Disabling/ enabling "quick access"
  • Captioning meetings
  • Changing layout
  • Using Jamboard in meetings
  • Recording meetings

Parade 101 - Hands-on STEAM Activities for Learning About Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Like millions of other Americans the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will be on the television in my house on Thursday morning. In the past Macy's has published some resources for learning about the history of the parade. This year they've expanded their offerings to includes some ideas for hands-on STEAM lessons related to the parade. 

Parade 101 features four video demonstrations of hands-on activities that students can do at home with their parents or in your classroom. The four activities include inflating balloons through the use of baking soda and vinegar, designing balloons for the parade, making and using sculping dough, and building model floats. All of the videos include lists of needed supplies. 

I like all four of the activities. If I was to recommend one for Thanksgiving day it would be building model floats or designing because they can be done with cardboard, paper, glue, markers, and other common household materials that don't make a mess and don't have to be done in a kitchen. That said, I think the most fun one is the inflating balloons activity. 

In addition to the videos and STEAM projects Parade 101 offers some printable coloring sheets and puzzles. The interactive timeline of the history of the parade is still available to view as well. 

Finally, if you are looking for some history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade videos, take a look at the following videos that I've shared in the past. 

History of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.



The History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Differences Between American and Canadian Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving is later this week. My Canadian friends celebrated Thanksgiving last month. Besides the timing of the holiday, there are some other differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving. There are also some commonalities between the two holidays. The following videos provide a humorous look at the similarities and differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving.




Reminder! You should always preview videos before showing them in your classroom. I know many high school teachers who will not have a problem sharing these, but teachers of younger students may want to proceed with caution.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Week in Review - It's Feeling Like Winter

Good morning from Maine where it certainly felt like winter this week. We had snow flurries every morning and some afternoons this week. My bike riding has become an indoor activity. And all the leaves have fallen from the trees except for some stubborn oak leaves. 

This week my school was 100% remote, again. While I feel comfortable teaching online I know that a lot of my colleagues and readers here don't feel the same way. If you have a question for me about teaching online classes, please feel free to email me. 

As I do every week, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the week. Take a look and see if there's something interesting and helpful in it for you. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
Professional Development Opportunities 
Through Practical Ed Tech I'm currently offering two on-demand learning opportunities: 
Thank you for your support! 
  • More than 300 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech course or webinar this year. Those registrations help keep Free Technology for Teachers and Practical Ed Tech going. I couldn't do it without you!
  • Pixton EDU is a great tool for creating comics and storyboards. 
  • Wakelet is a great tool for making collections of resources, recording video, and more!
  • GAT Labs offers a great, free guide to using Google Workspaces in online classrooms.  
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  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
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  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for thirteen years. 
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