Thursday, February 4, 2021

Musical Explorers World Map

Carnegie Hall hosts some excellent online instructional resources for music teachers. One of those resources is called Musical Explorers Around the World. Musical Explorers Around the World is an interactive map designed to introduce students to musicians, instruments, and music from around the world. 

To use Musical Explorers Around the World students simply have to click on one of the large placemarks on the map. When clicked, each placemark reveals a musician or two from that place, the music they make, and the instruments they use. Each placemark contains a video featuring the musicians explaining a little bit about themselves and their music. Each of the placemarks on the map also contains audio files to listen to full songs performed by the musicians on the map. 

Applications for Education
Musical Explorers Around the World is part of a larger collection of instructional resources hosted by Carnegie Hall for music teachers. Each of the placemarks in the map contains links to lesson plans that are appropriate for introducing elementary school students to terminology and concepts like rhythm, harmony, and melody.

I think that Musical Explorers Around the World could be a great resource to have students explore on their own or as part of a group activity in which they investigate questions about why instruments and music develop and are different based on geography. 

How to Create a Privacy Zone in Strava

A couple of weeks ago I created a Strava group for teachers. Since then a few dozen people have joined an even more people have emailed me to ask questions about Strava

What is Strava?
Strava is one part fitness tracking app and one part social network. The idea is that you can use Strava to keep track of how much you exercise (I've use it to track biking, hiking, and skiing but it can be used for many other activities) and also use it to encourage your friends on the app by giving them "kudos" for completing their fitness activities. The app supports synchronizing data from fitness watches like the Garmin Instinct, Polar Grit X, Apple Watches ($49 discount right now on Amazon), and many other smart watches.

What's a Strava Privacy Zone?
Many people start their runs, walks, and bike rides at their homes or at their work places. To protect those locations Strava offers a feature called privacy zones. Privacy zones let you specify how close to home or work Strava will or won't record your ride, run, or walk. In this short video I demonstrate creating a privacy zone in Strava. In the example in the video I set a privacy zone of 3/8 mile around a specific address.

How to Create Posters and Embed Them Into Your Google Site

Canva has been my go-to tool for making posters, infographics, video covers, and social media graphics for most of the last eight years. Over the years it has steadily added more and more features including options to publish your designs as stand-alone webpages and to embed your designs as dynamically updating graphics in other websites like those you might make with Google Sites. So when a reader emailed me earlier this week asking for a suggestion on how to include flyers in a website my thoughts immediately turned to Canva

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Canva's poster templates and then embed your poster into a page in a Google Site. 

I've made more than a dozen other tutorials about using Canva's many features. Anyone interested in learning more about how to use Canva to create a poster and then print it with a standard printer should watch this video.

This video will show you how to make a video with Canva.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

How to Use Pictures in Flippity Templates

Flippity is a free service for making games, flashcards, and timelines with Google Sheets. I've been using and recommending it for years. In fact, my posts about using it to make board games and memory games were two of the most popular posts in all of 2020. That's probably why I get a lot of questions about using Flippity. Yesterday, I answer questions from two readers who were looking for help using images in Flippity templates. To help them, I made this short video

The important thing to know about using images in Flippity templates is that the images must be publicly available at URLs ending in PNG or JPG. It's because of that requirement that using images stored in a Google Drive folder or a private Flickr album won't work (a public Flickr image can work, however). In this short video I give the examples of using Pixabay and Wikipedia as the sources of images to use Flippity game templates. 

How to Share Videos in Google Classroom Without Using YouTube

Earlier this week a friend asked me for some help sharing videos in Google Classroom. He wanted to share videos without having to upload them to YouTube. There are four options for doing that in Google Classroom. I've outlined all four in this short video

As a reminder, if you're sharing videos that you found on YouTube, the process is just a simple copy and paste of the link to the video. And if you're sharing videos that you uploaded to YouTube, the process is a simple copy and paste of the link to your uploaded video. But if you want to share a video that you made and you don't want to upload it to YouTube then watch this video to learn how to do that. 

There are four options for sharing videos in Google Classroom without using YouTube. They all work in essentially the same manner but each option does have some small differences from the others. All four options are demonstrated in this video. The options are:

  • Attach video file to an announcement in Google Classroom.
  • Attach video file to a material in the Classwork section of your Google Classroom. 
  • Attach video file to a question in the Classwork section of your Google Classroom.
  • Attach video file to an assignment in the Classwork section of your Google Classroom.