8 Things to Try with Google Slides

8 Things to Try with Google Slides

I love Google Slides! I have learned from my professional learning network (PLN) so many different uses for it! When I first came over to Google Apps for Education (now known as G Suite), I just believed that the products were the same as Microsoft Office. Slides was to PowerPoint as Docs was to Word. But when these products become more innovative with collaboration and cloud storage, the potential uses for these products increases dramatically! Here are eight different things for you to try with Google Slides.

I created an infographic about 8 different ways to use Google Slides in your classroom, and I provide more detail in this post.

1. Make a Digital Textbook

Now you might be thinking, why in the world would I want to make a digital textbook? You might be on the side of the fence that says that curriculum developers should do those things. You might be on the other side of the fence that says there is not really a need for textbooks. Either way, creating a digital textbook allows you to curate the content and resources that you are going to use in your unit. Bring in a variety of media, such as images, websites, videos, etc. so that you can provide more than just a static page for your students.

As new information becomes available, modify the textbook. Or better yet, have students be a part of this creation. Not only can you assess what they know, you are also creating a valuable resource to use for future classes!

2. Design Flyers and Infographics

Did you know that you can change the size of your slides? It’s true! Go to file – page set up and select new dimensions. Create something the size of a normal sheet of paper, or make it bigger for a poster size. Yes, you can also resize your Google Drawings canvas, but with Slides, you get all of the tools you get in Drawings, plus the features of add-ons and other things specific to Slides. You can also use one deck to create your templates. One of the best things about using Slides as an infographic is you can create digital flyers, where the audience can go to different looks or watch videos.

3. Create a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story

I remember as a child I would love to read choose-your-own-adventure stories. Being able to make a choice and see how it affects my outcome was a great way to be a part of the story. You and your students can do the same thing within Google Slides. Each slide becomes a page of the story. As you develop your story and give the reader a choice of what to do, you can link that choice to go to a specific slide much like a book would tell you to go to a certain page!

4. Use It as a Collaborative Workspace

Let’s be honest! Using Google Docs collaboratively is a headache! Finding where your workspace is while 20 other people are doing the same can lead to a lot of blank spaces or multiple people on the same line. In order to facilitate collaboration, use Google Slides. Each student can create a slide (or you can as a teacher) and put their name in the speaker notes. To easily go to someone’s slide, use CTRL + F to search for their name.

While each person is working on their slides, change your view to grid view so that you can see a grid of all the slides within the deck. Zoom in to get a closer view of the slide and just click to go straight to it!

5. Have Students Create Multimedia-Rich Projects

Because of the collaborative nature of the G Suite tools, projects can be shared online where viewers can interact with it. Creating a multimedia-rich project forces the student to evaluate and curate resources that will appropriately showcase their understanding. Google Slides allows users to embed a variety of content such as videos, images, links to other resources, spreadsheet data, and even audio! Ok, the audio is a new feature that isn’t native to Google Slides but is made possible through the use of an extension called Audio Player for Slides by EdTechTeam.

6. Student Journaling

Giving students the opportunity to freely write and express their thoughts is a great way to develop reflection skills. By using Google Slides as a journal, students can create a new slide at the beginning, so the previous entry is always on slide two. This allows you as a teacher to quickly scan through the students’ entries without having to go to the very last slide. To gather student responses in one place, try Alice Keeler’s add-on called First Slide. This takes the text box from the first slide of your student’s slides and moves it to a spreadsheet. That way you have all of the text in one sheet and can view it even more quickly!

7. Create eBooks with Videos and Images

Having the ability to change the size of your slides means you can have quite a bit more working space. Create an open-book layout by making your slides wider. Students could write text on one side and add images or video on the other side. I did a project like this using Sketchbook by Autodesk. We first read children’s stories to get a feel for characters, personalities, and topics. Next, students developed a plotline and then wrote their story. Once the story was written, students used Sketchbook to create illustrations that went along with each slide. Take this in another direction by adding small video clips to enhance the story.

8. Create Stop Motion Animation

As a kid, I remember having flip books. You know, you flip the pages really quickly and it appears to make animation. I remember creating my first GIFs as well, using Microsoft Paint. I made each image slightly different and was able to compile all of the images to make stop motion. You can do the same thing with Google Slides! Start by setting up your scene and then duplicate it. Make subtle changes to the scene by moving the object over a few pixels. Then repeat the steps as necessary. When you play this as a slide show, you will see the animation.

I am going to defer to the people who have done a variety of blog posts on this. I have read their work and used their resources in my class, and it is incredible to see the potential of this type of animation. Please check out these amazing resources from Matt Miller, Jake Miller, and Eric Curts!

Matt Miller – EASY Stop Motion Animation with Google Slides – Video

Jake Miller – Tips for Creating Stop-Motion Slides

Eric Curts – Stop Motion Animation with Google Slides

Conclusion

Which one of these have you tried before? Which one makes you think, “Wow! This is awesome!” What is your favorite use of Google Slides? Since Google Slides can be used in such a variety of ways, it makes it the Swiss Army knife of G Suite tools as Kasey Bell likes to say. If your students can become familiar with the tech, then they can spend more time focusing on the content. So don’t just throw random tools out there because they look nice. Think about the goals that you are trying to achieve!

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