Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Google Slides Beyond the Presentation


When we open up Google Slides, more often than not, we are wanting to create a presentation of some kind. Whether it's about a unit we're studying in class, explaining a new concept, or to simply embed a Pear Deck component to the lesson, Slides is a powerful tool for delivering content. But, have you ever wondered how we can use the features that are built in to Slides to create unforgettable lessons? Below are several examples of how we can use Slides as not only a presentation tool, but something that can create memorable learning experiences for all students.

Interactive Posters

Within Google Slides, set each slide to 11” x 17” by going to File > Page Setup. Then, assign each student a slide number. Allow them to design with shapes, hex codes, and other features that are related to their topic. Next, download each as a PDF. We are lucky in our district that these can be sent to our district print shop, printed on card stock and in color. Then, these can be displayed in the hallway, as a tangible assignment for students to have. An example presentation of these can be found here.

Create a PDF eBook

One of the simplest projects that has the most benefit to both students and teachers is the ability to create an entire eBook within Slides. First, change the page setup size to 8.5” x 11", so it can be printed on regular printer paper, if desired. A great tip is to develop a template for students to maintain consistency. Students can then begin designing by adding images to increase appeal. Since it is an eBook, to make it more interactive, students can insert links to direct readers to locations of additional information. Finally, download the book as a PDF to share with others! For additional information on this, check out the blog post here.

Modern Day Jigsaw Lesson

An exciting use of Google Slides that I used a few times in my classes was the Modern Day Jigsaw activity. To begin, select a topic and assign each student a slide number. Then, each student fills it with information they research on their slide, getting to decorate their slide however they wish. Once finished, students can teach the class on their topic. If it's desirable, they can even download as an eBook. If your students each research a part of a topic, by the end of this assignment, there will be one major compilation of information to share, that was all student-created. An example of student work can be found here.

Student-Created Icon Boards

When you think icon boards, the easiest comparison is an old-fashioned treasure map. Students can create these to showcase the progression of a story, steps in a process, or connecting ideas. To do this, create a background image related to the topic. This “locks” the image so it cannot be moved as easily. Then, insert whatever graphics or images your students may need to complete the activity, so they basically have a "graphic bank" to pull their images from. Students can then use the line tool to create their board, changing the line styles and colors to create an impressive looking project. A blog post with more information about it can be found here.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Remember growing up when we had the Choose Your Own Adventure novels that made the story even more exciting? This same activity can be done using Google Slides, and it creates a really engaging lesson! First, create a template that includes a space for a short story, an image, and shapes for links on each slide. Then, share the template with your students. They then create a story on each slide with choices, and an accompanying image. Each image, or shape, is then turned into a link to a new slide. They repeat the process until their story is complete! An example of this can be found here.

Display Word Count when Typing

Within the last few weeks, Google released a new option for the word count options within it. Previously, if you wanted to see how many words were in the document, you had to go to the Tools menu. Now, there is an option tp "Display Word Count When Typing," which displays a counter in the lower left hand corner of the Doc, as a nice visual to keep track of your word count, which constantly is reflected as you continue typing.

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