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Just about everyone loves music, and crazy videos on YouTube. Rock band “OK Go” has been taking advantage of that for years with wild, complicated, and unorthodox sounds in music videos that often go viral on the platform. Now, that band is partnering with Google for a new project for the classroom…

Built with support from Google, the new “OK Go Sandbox” is a collection of tools for teachers that can be used to create sound-based activities for the classroom setting. As lead singer Damian Kulash mentions on a guest post on The Keyword, teachers have been using the band’s videos for lessons for quite some time.

I’m always so proud and excited when I hear from a teacher who uses an OK Go music video in the classroom, and over the years, I’ve heard it more and more frequently—from pre-school teachers to grad school professors. We know our videos are joyful and nerdy (we’ve done a Rube Goldberg machine and a dance in zero gravity, for instance), but we didn’t plan them for the classroom environment. It’s a wonderful surprise to hear they’re sneaking in there on their own, and we want to support that in any way we can.

The OK Go Sandbox is a site which holds tutorials for “lessons” and challenges that teachers can use with their students, all based on some of the crazy things seen in OK Go music videos.

For example, the video for “The One Moment” takes a 4-second clip and turns it into slows it down to create an incredible video. Personally, it’s my favorite from the channel so far. To go along with that video, the band explains some of the impressive elements such as the flip books and creates fun challenges around them.

Working with educators and Google’s Science Journal team, OK Go developed new tools that let them “explore the world around them through music.” A collection of materials can be used for features such as pitch detection, and students can even use their phones to compose new sounds and interpret data in “a new way.”

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Ben Schoon

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