Embed Videos w/Google Drawings

Embedding videos inside of Google products has sometimes been an absolute bear to achieve. For example, if you wanted to embed or ‘Insert’ a video into a Google Slides presentation then the video had to be accessible via YouTube. However, if you give Google some time and engage in that age-old practice of patience then things can change, like how now you can embed video files into a slide from Google Drive. Here’s the thing, if you can do this then you can embed a video into a Google Doc.

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I know, I know, there is not Insert -> Video… option inside of Google Docs. But, there is the option to insert a Google Drawing and this is your “IN”. Thanks to Joli Boucher over at Flipped Tech Coaching, here is a video that will walk you through the process.

This work around has great potential for those who are getting into creating HyperDocs and now HyperDrawings. It allows teachers and students to interact with different types of media without having to jump between tabs or windows. That is, until Google gets around to adding the Insert -> Video… option into Google Docs.

~”If you send them feedback, they might just make it happen.”

The Data Center Mural Project: Update

In a previous post I shared the story of how Google is bringing a little magic to their data centers around the world by partnering with local artists to create the The Data Center Mural Project. I talked about the story behind the project, the types of media that can be explored at the Mayes County, OK (in the U.S.) and St. Ghislain, Hainaut (in Belgium) sites, and teased about two additional sites in the works. This week Google has added new photos, videos, and interviews for their Dublin, Ireland and Council Bluffs, Iowa sites.

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The Dublin, Ireland site was supervised by local artist Fuchsia MacAree, whose mural reminds me of the fun and excitement that comes with the spring and summer seasons, which cannot come soon enough for us here in the state of Maine, U.S.A. My favorite part of this project was learning about how they use the local climate to help cool the massive amounts of equipment inside, thereby saving energy and money on more traditional “mechanical” cooling systems.

The Council Bluffs, Iowa site was headed by local artist Gary Kelley, who used the building to tell the story of how important the area has been and continues to be in the sending and receiving of information. After listening to “A History of Connection” I could see this as a history project that I could really sink my teeth into. You can read the full debrief on The Data Center Mural Project by going to Google’s The Keyword Blog.

INTEGRATION

  • Have students investigate additional art forms in and around the area of these data centers.
  • Compare and contrast one of these data centers to your school/district computer system (besides scale, that is). Have students develop a list of qualifications and responsibilities that one would need in order to work at a Google data center.
  • Present students with the following scenario: If Google built a data center in your hometown, what would your mural proposal look like? How would it represent the community and surrounding art culture?

 

Google Spotlight Stories

Google Spotlight Stories – 360° interactive storytelling

Spotlight Stories uses the power of 360-degree camera technology to take storytelling to a whole new level. Here the user controls where to direct their attention, just as if they were actually there and experiencing the story themselves. Because you don’t necessarily know where in this 360-degree world the next scene in the story is going to take place, these stories have a much larger replay value over fixed-perspective storytelling.

There are several ways that you can experience Spotlight Stories:

1. YouTube on the web: Navigate to the Google Spotlight Stories channel and access a handful of 360-degree stories, story trailers, and behind-the-scenes clips. Look for the directional compass icon in the top-left corner of the YouTube player window to identify that the video supports the 360-degree technology, then use your mouse to drag on the video pane and change your perspective.

Spotlight Stories YouTube_web

360 Google Spotlight Story: HELP


2. YouTube mobile app: In order to fully take advantage of the 360-degree technology experience, use a mobile device and the YouTube app to immerse yourself in these virtual environments. Note that there is the additional option to enable Google Cardboard and add 3D to the storytelling experience. [YouTube for iOS | Android]

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360 Google Spotlight Story: Pearl


3. Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 2.13.38 PMSpotlight Stories mobile app: Download the free Spotlight Stories app and experience where storytelling and mobile VR meet. Here you will find their complete library of interactive storytelling videos, with more to be released soon.

So, let the storytelling and exploring begin!

 

 

 

 

Oh, did I mention that a new Simpsons-themed Spotlight Story, Planet of the Couches, was just released? “Doh!

 

The Data Center Mural Project

The Data Center Mural Project – where art, Google, and the cloud come together

When we say that something exists “in the cloud” what we are really saying is that the information exists somewhere else. For Google, this is the network of land-based data centers spread throughout the globe which process all of our requests to use Google apps and services. In order to “bring a bit of magic” to these data centers, Google is partnering with local artists to create The Data Center Mural Project.

Each project has its own story containing a variety of multimedia components that explore both the art and the technologies that can be found at these locations. Watch video interviews with the local artist(s) and their inspirations behind their murals. View photos from inside the data centers themselves and meet the people who maintain them and ensure that we always have access to our data. Finally, get up close and personal with the murals themselves as if you were actually there!

Currently there are two locations that you can visit: Mayes County, OK in the United States and St. Ghislain, Hainaut in Belgium, with two more data projects coming soon from Dublin, Ireland and Council Bluffs, Iowa. You can read the full debrief on The Data Center Mural Project by going to the Official Google Blog.

INTEGRATION

  • Have students investigate additional art forms in and around the area of these data centers.
  • Compare and contrast one of these data centers to your school/district computer system (besides scale, that is). Have students develop a list of qualifications and responsibilities that one would need in order to work at a Google data center.
  • Present students with the following scenario: If Google built a data center in your hometown, what would your mural proposal look like? How would it represent the community and surrounding art culture?

GDCM Project

The Performing Arts w/Google 360˚

One of the greatest gifts we have as a species is the ability to tell stories. And when we tell our stories we do so in wonderfully diverse ways such as music, dance, voice and many more. Now you can get up close and personal with some of these storytelling techniques thanks to the Google Cultural Institute and Google’s 360˚ capture technology.

Choose from a list that includes Music, Opera, Theater, Dance, and Performance Art and then head off on an immersive journey. Access images, video, and map locations relating to the various types of performances and their venues. Then, click on the 360˚ icon to travel to that location and experience things as if you were there! Use the map icon in the bottom-left corner to access the available cameras and any additional media choices. The site can be accessed by both desktop and mobile devices.

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I chose to travel to Carnegie Hall and observe the orchestra as they played. I watched as their hands and fingers manipulating the instruments, at times moving so fast that they became a blur, in order to create a beautiful-sounding performance.

INTEGRATION

  • While nothing can beat the real thing, for schools that struggle to fund field trips (who doesn’t these days, right?) to performing arts venues this site could be the next best thing.
  • Ask students to reflect on the sights and sounds that they consume through these unique points of view. What do you think it’s like to sit facing the audience? How does it feel to have all those stage lights focused on you? What do you think the performers are thinking about when they’re onstage?

TubeChop

TubeChop – Clip the beginning AND end points on a YouTube video

When sharing a video, YouTube has long Screen_Shot_2016-04-06_at_2_30_57_PMprovided the option to set a specific starting point for the video to a time of your choosing. While this does come in handy, the benefit fades away when the video segment you want to share does not include the video’s original ending.

Enter TubeChop, a free web service that allows you to truly isolate a video segment by giving you the ability to crop both the beginning AND ending of a YouTube video, and then share it. To see TubeChop in action, check out this video tutorial by Richard Byrne from FreeTech4Teachers.com.

 

Create Greeting Cards with Google Drawing

Having students create greeting cards has always been a staple of many holidays and a great way for them to learn how to empathize with others. Now, thanks to the work of Eric Curts over at the Control Alt Archive blog, anyone can create a greeting card using his templates and the Google Drawing app. Eric provides both written directions and a video tutorial to walk you through how to build a greeting card, format it, and successfully print out the final product. Let the creativity commence!

Google Drawing Templates: