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Creating Digital Music Activities

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Are you wondering how to digitize games and activities you have, so students can use them with distance learning, and/or on their own device? In this blog post, I am detailing five different ways to convert materials you already have for digital learning!

#1: Check for updates on TpT

Did you know that you may already have digital versions waiting for you, on TpT…for free? Many teacher-authors have converted their products so they are easier to use for distance learning. To see if you have updates, simply go to “my purchases,” then click “recently updated” (the default is “recently purchased.”) If you click “description of update,” it'll show you what update has been added (and if it is digital conversion.) I've been busy at work…here is a sampling of the products I've converted for distance and digital learning:

#2: Digital activities on TpT

In some products on TpT, it is possible to convert them to a digital file right on TpT; find out more here.
The functionality allows you to assign in Google Classroom or to get a link, which you can assign in a different Learning Management System, such as Schoology or Canvas.
In order to use Digital Activities, the file has to be a PDF, and the teacher-author has to opt into it. You can check “my purchases” to see if you have any that could be used in this way; you will see “open TpT digital activity” above “download PDF.” Here are a few sets that are digital activities in my store:

#3: Upload PowerPoint to Google Slides

Do you have a PowerPoint without any audio files? If so, you could simply follow this process to convert a PowerPoint to Google Slides:

  • Go to Google Drive
  • Click “new,” then “Google Slides”
  • Click “file,” then “open,” then “upload,” and upload the PowerPoint
  • To assign to students, click “share,” and get the link. You can share so that anyone with the link can share, and/or you can erase everything after the last slash with the link, and change to “copy” so that it forces a copy to the student's Google Drive.

If you are working with a file from TpT, all of the fonts will likely transfer, as they have to be flattened before they are put on TpT. If they do not transfer, see #5 below.

#4: Convert PDF to PowerPoint, to Google Slides

Do you have a PDF that needs to be converted? Use this website to convert the PDF to PowerPoint: https://smallpdf.com/result#r=5cc140192eb772151084eeda2b456bca&t=pdf-to-ppt. Note: this may change the fonts. After you've converted to PowerPoint, you can then convert to Google Slides with the process outlined above!

#5: Save PowerPoint as JPG Files

If you have a PowerPoint that you would like to convert to Google Slides, but you want it to look exactly as it did in PowerPoint (without the fonts changing), you can export the PowerPoint as JPG, which are picture files. Then, open up Google Slides, and insert each JPG onto a slide. If you are doing this with a worksheet, or another material in which students are responding, you can then insert a text box into Google Slides, and type “type here” or something like that, so students know where to respond.

I hope this is helpful to you, as you look for more distance and/or digital learning activities. Happy teaching!

4 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for all your helpful information. I am a high school choir director who is working hard to make choir a meaningful, enjoyable and creative space for kids who are used to having this time to express them selves. We have done some singing through zoom, but it doesn’t feed the soul in quite the same way as kids have to be muted and many can’t have video running at the same time due to weak internet connection. I have struggled because pedagogically choir is singing with others and that is just not what we are able to do safely right now. Many of the things that I have tried to do and use in the digital platform do not come out looking right or being user friendly. These tips and tricks will allow me to share media in a better way to make music look and feel more natural. I hope to implement these techniques to make material that I share with my kids more useable. I hope that by utilizing these tools, I will be able to better provide and environment that promotes and encourages creativity and community among my students. Thanks for thinking of all these things and making it clear and concise.

    1. Hi Melanie! I’m so glad the blog post helped. I completely hear you! It’s great that kids can sing at home…but it’s not the same, when we can’t hear each other. Good luck, and happy teaching! 🙂

      1. I hope that we are able to return to in person music making in the near future. I need it as do my students!

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