Showing posts with label Google Slides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Slides. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2023

How to Add Q&A to Your Google Slides Presentations

There are plenty of ways to gather questions and feedback from students in a digital format. But one of the ways that is often overlooked is to just add a Q&A component to a slide presentation. That can be done quite easily in Google Slides right from the presentation menu. Watch my video embedded below to learn how to add Q&A to your Google Slides presentations.

Applications for Education
The option for students to vote a question up or down is useful in determining which questions seem the most important to your students.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Changes are Coming to Your Favorite Google Workspace Tools

If you opened a new Google Document today you might have seen a new little clock icon appearing in the upper-right corner of the screen. But if you didn't see it, don't worry because you will start seeing it before too long. That clock icon is one of the updates coming to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drive over the next few weeks. 

The updates coming to Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drive are not going to change any of the functionality of those Google Workspace tools. The changes are mostly cosmetic and designed to streamline some of the most frequently used menus and processes in those Google Workspace tools. For example, the new clock icon that I already mentioned was added to make it easier to find and view the version history of a document or slideshow. 

Applications for Education
None of these updates are going to change the way that you or your students create, share, and edit Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets. That said, you should take note of them for when a student says something like "hey, Google Docs looks different."

Friday, March 3, 2023

How to Create Custom Google Slides Guidelines

One of the many "hidden" features of Google Slides is found in the view menu. It's there that you'll find the option to turn on and turn off gridlines (Google calls them guides). Not only can you turn on or turn off the guidelines, you can also add additional lines and create custom spacing for the guidelines that you add to your slides. Watch my video that is embedded below to learn how to add custom guidelines to your Google Slides and why you might want to do that. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Free Shapegrams from Tony Vincent!

I've known Tony Vincent for at least a dozen years. In all that time he's always had awesome graphics on his website and in his presentations. So when he recently reached out to tell me about his new page of free Shapegrams, I knew I had to share it with all of you. 

Shapegrams are digital drawings creating by using the drawing tools, shapes, and fill tools available in Google Slides and Google Drawings. On his free Shapegrams page Tony offers directions and templates for making a house, a face, an ice cream cone, and a lion. But I noticed that once I started looking into the templates I got more ideas for making neat things with the Shapegrams model. 

Watch this video for an overview of how to use the Shapegrams model to create a house. And if you like Dad Jokes, you're going to love Tony's introduction to the lesson. 

Applications for Education
Students can use the Shapegrams model to create a set of slides to tell a story or to simply serve as the backdrop for a story. If you use the transitions and animations tools in Google Slides, you could make your Shapegrams move as a part of a simple animated story.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

10 Tools for Gathering Real-time Feedback From Students

Chat tools and polling services provide good ways to hear from all of the students in a classroom. These kinds of tools, often referred to as backchannel tools, allow shy students to ask questions and share comments. For your more outspoken students who want to comment on everything, a feedback mechanism provides a good outlet for them too. Over the years I've used a variety of feedback tools in my classroom. This is my updated list of backchannel and informal assessment tools for gathering real-time feedback from students.

Classroomscreen is a service that lets you create a homescreen on which you can place reusable countdown timers, stopwatches, polls, noise meters, random name selectors, and more helpful classroom management tools. With the polling tool in Classroomscreen you can display a question for your students and have them respond with a multiple choice selection or by choosing a smiley face. See my screenshot below for more details. 

Yo Teach! lets you create online backchannel spaces to facilitate discussions. To get started on Yo Teach! simply go to the site and name your room. You can get started by just doing those two steps, but I would recommend taking a another minute to scroll down the Yo Teach! site to activate the admin function, the password function, and to select "avoid search."  The "avoid search" option will hide your room from search results so that people cannot find it without being given its direct URL. The password function lets you set a password that must be entered before students can participate in the chat. The admin features of Yo Teach! let you mute or remove students from a discussion, delete your room, and view statistic about the usage of your room. The admin function that reveals statistics will show the names of participants and how active they have been in your Yo Teach! room. Here's a video overview of Yo Teach!

ClassPoint. It's a great little tool that you can use to build interactive quizzes and polls into your PowerPoint presentations. You can also use it to annotate slides, create whiteboards on the fly, and share your annotations with students. In this short video I provide a demonstration of how ClassPoint works. The video shows a teacher's perspective and a student's perspective of how ClassPoint can be used in your classroom. 

Ziplet is a service for gathering feedback from your students in a variety of ways. The simplest way is to create an exit ticket by using one of the dozens of pre-written questions provided by Ziplet. Ziplet does not require students to have accounts to respond to exit ticket questions. Students can simply enter an exit ticket code that you give to them before they answer the question. What Ziplet offers that is somewhat unique is the option to respond directly to individual students even when they are responding to a group survey. The purpose of that feature is to make it easy to ask follow-up questions or to give encouragement to students based on their responses to a question posed to the whole group. Here's a short video about how to use Ziplet.

Plickers is a great student response system for classrooms that aren't 1:1 or for anyone who would rather not have to go through the trouble of trying to get all students onto the same webpage or chatroom at the beginning of a lesson. Plickers uses a teacher's iPad or Android tablet in conjunction with a series of QR codes to create a student response system. Students are given a set of QR codes on large index cards. The codes are assigned to students. Each code card can be turned in four orientations. Each orientation provides a different answer. When the teacher is ready to collect data, he or she uses the Plickers mobile app to scan the cards to see a bar graph of responses. Click here for three ideas for using Plickers in your classroom.

Mentimeter is an audience response tool lets you create polls and quizzes for your audience to respond to during your presentations. Responses to open-ended poll questions can be displayed as a word cloud, but there isn't a true chat function in Mentimeter. You can create and display polls and quizzes from the Mentimeter website or you can use their PowerPoint Add-in to display your polls and quizzes from your slideshow. Your audience members can respond from their phones, tablets, or laptops.

The Q&A function built into the presentation mode of Google Slides is a good option for gathering questions from students when they are viewing slides that you or their classmates present. Likewise, posting a simple question in Google Classroom is a good way to quickly get a sense of what your students know about a topic before you begin a lesson or what they think was important in a lesson that you just taught. 

Poll Everywhere is a service that allows you to collect responses from an audience via text messaging. The free plan for K-12 educators provides selection of features and quantity of responses that is adequate for almost any classroom. One of the neat ways to display feedback gathered through Poll Everywhere is in word clouds. 

I've been using Padlet since it was called WallWisher back in 2009. Padlet enables me to have students not only share exit responses as text, but to also share exit responses as hyperlinks. For example, if my students have been working on research projects I will ask them to share a link to something they found that day along with an explanation of how it is relevant to their research.

Formative provides you with a place to create online assignments that your students can respond to in class or out of class. Assignments can be as simple as one question exit tickets like "what did you learn today?" to complex quizzes that use a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and true/false questions. You can assign point values to questions or leave them as ungraded questions. The best feature of Formative is the option to create "show your work" questions. "Show your work" questions enables students to draw responses and or upload pictures as responses to your questions. When you use this question type students will see a blank canvas directly below the question. On that canvas they can draw and or type responses.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

How to Find the Source for Images in Google Slides

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about using the explore function in Google Slides to find images to use in presentations. Since then I've had a few people ask for clarification about how to use the image source when using the other image search option in Google Slides. The process of finding the image source is the same whether you use the Explore function or you use the Insert Image option in Google Slides. Watch this video to see how that process works. 

Video - How to Find the Image Source in Google Slides

Monday, January 23, 2023

Using Google Slides to Organize Research

Like many of you, when I was in middle school and high school I was taught to create index cards to organize our research. After creating the cards we sorted them into an order to support writing our research papers. That same concept can be applied to organizing research with Google Slides. In the video below I demonstrate how this is done.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Design a Mobile App With Google Slides

Yesterday I published a post featuring three tools for creating mobile apps. I should point out that while those tools are helpful, students still need to take time to plan what they want their apps to do and how they will look. To that end, in the past I've had my students use Google Slides to design their apps before they start to put their apps together. 

In an effort to make my students think about all of the menus, items, and media that their apps will need, I have my students use Google Slides to outline the design of their apps. They're doing this by having each slide in their slideshows represent a screen in their apps. Then they use the hyperlinking function in Google Slides to link between the slides in their slideshows. Again, that's done to simulate tapping screens in the apps they're designing. In the following video I explain this process a bit more.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Dozens of Google Slides Tutorials

Earlier this week after publishing An Important Tip for Using Image Search in Google Slides it occurred to me that I should probably start to organize all of the Google Slides tutorials that I'd made over the years. As I started to search through my YouTube channel I discovered that I've made more than eighty Google Slides video tutorials over the years. Some of them are a bit outdated now, the rest are still relevant. All of the relevant ones are now organized into one playlist

In my playlist of Google Slides tutorials you'll find everything from the basics of using Google Slides to using the image editing tools in Google Slides to adding audio to Google Slides and a whole lot of things in between. Some of the highlights of my Google Slides tutorials playlist are featured below. 

How to Share Google Slides Through a QR Code

How to Loop Videos in Google Slides

How to Create a Google Slides Template

How to Print Google Slides

How to Create Interactive Charts and Diagrams in Google Slides

Friday, January 13, 2023

How to Use Voice Typing in Google Slides

Google recently improved the voice typing function in Google Docs and Google Slides. The tools work in the same way as before, but the voice recognition and accuracy is better than it has been in the past. If you've never tried voice typing in Google Slides, watch this new video to see how it works. 

Video - How to Use Voice Typing in Google Slides

It's important to note that you still have to give verbal commands to start new lines and add punctuation when voice typing in Google Slides and Google Documents. A list of those commands is available here.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

An Important Tip for Using Image Search in Google Slides

The Explore function in Google Slides can be a good tool to use to find images to use in your presentations. The images found through the Explore function in Google Slides are supposed to be Creative Commons licensed images. However, Google doesn't make that information readily available within the Explore image search results. That's why you need to click through the image to verify that you can actually use it. You'll also need to click through to the source to get the information that you need in order to provide image attribution information on your slides. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to find the image source and image attribution information when using the Explore function in Google Slides. 

Video - An Important Tip for Using Image Search in Google Slides

The Explore function in Google Docs works in the same manner as it does in Google Slides. That's one of the five overlooked features of Google Docs that I demonstrated in this video.

Video - 5 Google Docs Features You Might Have Overlooked or Forgotten About

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Bookmarking With the Updated Google Keep Chrome Extension

A little over a month ago I was worried that my days of using the Google Keep Chrome extension to bookmark websites were coming to an end. Based on the number of views of that blog post and the emails that I got in response to it, I wasn't the only one who had that worry. Fortunately, we were all worried for nothing. The Google Keep Chrome extension was updated last week and it can still be used to bookmark websites. The difference is that the steps for bookmarking with the Keep Chrome extension are a little different than before. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to use the updated version of the Google Keep Chrome extension to bookmark interesting websites. The updated version of the extension now makes you click "Create Note" after clicking on the extension. The previous version didn't require that extra step. Just like the previous version of the Keep Chrome extension, you can still add comments and labels to your bookmarks. 

Video - Bookmarking With the Updated Google Keep Chrome Extension

Applications for Education
One of the things that I've always like about bookmarking websites with Google Keep is that you can easily access your bookmarks while working on a Google Document or Google Slides presentation. That makes it easy to find and insert citations for the references used in those documents and presentations.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

A New Google Slides Feature That Could Help Reduce Collaborator Confusion

For as long as Google Slides has existed one of the problems with it has been collaborators accidentally editing over each other's work. In the early days of Google Slides, before I put collaboration protocols in place, I broke up a few "fights" between students who had accused each other of "wrecking" the other's work. That type of situation could be avoided in the future with the use of a new "Follow" feature in Google Slides

The Follow feature in Google Slides enables collaborators to follow each other as they work on slides. To use the follow feature you simply have to click on the avatar (name) of your collaborator(s) as they're working. You'll then be able to see what they're doing in real-time. Of course, if your collaborator isn't doing anything, you won't see anything happen on the slides. 

Applications for Education
The new follow feature in Google Slides could help to avoid situations in which one student overwrites another's changes to a Google Slides presentation. The better solution to that problem is still to have students work together either in the same physical location or via Google Meet to discuss changes to slideshows they're developing.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

How to Create an Image Revealing Effect in Google Slides

About a week ago a reader reached to me to ask for a suggestion on how to create an image revealing effect without the use of proprietary interactive whiteboard software. My first thought was to give TinyTap a try because that platform does include a feature called "Houdini Mode" that can be used to hide or reveal things with just one tap. A tutorial on how that works can be seen here.

After giving it more thought, I realized that you can create image revealing effects by using the transition and animation settings in Google Slides. Basically, you layer one image over another and then arrange the transitions and animations so that the top image disappears when you click on your slides. I recorded a short video about how to do that. The video is embedded below. 

Video - How to Create an Image Revealing Effect in Google Slides

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video, using the image revealing effect could be a good way to create a series of quiz game slides. On each slide you can have a question for which the answer is hidden until you click on the slide to reveal the answer. That could be a fun way to host to an in-classroom review game that is kind of like Jeopardy.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Creating and Conducting Polls in Google Slides and PowerPoint

Poll Everywhere is a polling tool that I've used off and on throughout the past decade. It's a great tool for gathering questions from an audience, polling an audience, and seeing word clouds of sentiment from an audience. People can respond to your poll questions from their laptops, tablets, and phones. 

You can use Poll Everywhere as a stand-alone tool or you can integrate it into Google Slides. When you use it in Google Slides you can seamlessly transition from your regular presentation into a polling slide. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Poll Everywhere in Google Slides. 

Poll Everywhere also offers a free PowerPoint add-in that you can use to create and conduct polls directly in your presentation. You can create polls that are multiple choice and open response. Results of the poll can be displayed in a variety of formats. Students can respond to your polls from their computers of phones anonymously or as logged-in users. 

In the following video I demonstrate how to create and conduct a poll in PowerPoint. The video also shows you how students respond to a poll created using the Poll Everywhere PowerPoint add-in. The features shown in the video work with both free and paid Poll Everywhere accounts. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

How to Adjust Playback Volume in Google Slides

Support for audio files was welcome addition to Google Slides when it was announced in the fall of 2019. But four years later there are still some quirks to it to watch out for. And sometimes the setting you need isn't quickly found. That was the case a few days ago when someone emailed me to ask about adjusting the volume of audio playback in Google Slides.

In this brief video I demonstrate how to adjust the volume of the audio playback in a Google Slides presentation. In the video I also demonstrate how to hide the playback icon. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Grid Views and Timelines in Google Slides

Last week I hosted a webinar about using Google Workspace in the context of social studies classes. One of the things that I mentioned in that webinar was using Google Slides to create interactive timelines. I went into much more detail during the webinar, but you can see the basics of how to create a timeline in Google Slides in this brief video

It was during that same webinar last week that someone noticed I was using the grid view for my Google Slides and asked how I did that. There are two ways to access grid view in Google Slides. I demonstrate both methods in the short video that is embedded below.

Friday, August 12, 2022

How to Loop Videos in Google Slides

Yesterday I published a blog post about playing Google Slides on an automatically advancing loop. That blog post prompted a question from a reader about playing videos on a loop within a Google Slides presentation. Specifically, she wanted to know if she could have a video play on a loop. The answer is yes, and it's rather easy to do. 

To make a video loop in Google Slides all you have to do is present your slides then right-click on the video. When you right-click on it you'll be able to choose an option to loop the video. Watch my short video to see how it's done.

Applications for Education
Playing a video on a loop in a slide could be useful when you want to play a video to use as a welcome announcement in a virtual meeting or in a physical meeting as students are slowly joining in.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

How to Play Google Slides on an Automatic Loop

The new school year is quickly approaching and you might be thinking about your first morning with staff or students. That first morning is often filled with information that needs to be repeated quite a bit. Things like the wi-fi network and code, lunch times, and other logistical information. You could make yourself hoarse by repeating it over and over or you could put it in a set of slides that plays on a loop in your room. 

In the short video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to play a set of Google Slides on an automatically advancing and repeating loop

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Google Docs, Slides, and Forms Accessibility

As the new school year approaches and you start to update some of your old Google Docs, Slides, and Forms take a moment to assess the accessibility of those materials. And if necessary, it's fairly easy to improve the accessibility of your Docs, Slides, and Forms. 

Google Documents
Google Documents has some built-in accessibility options that you should know how to enable. There are also some third-party Google Docs add-ons that can help you improve the accessibility of your documents.

In Google Documents there is a built-in voice typing capability. To find the voice typing tool simply open the “Tools” drop-down menu then select “Voice typing.” A microphone icon will appear in the left margin of your document. Click it to activate your microphone then start speaking and your words will appear on the page. You will have to speak directions like “question mark” to add punctuation and “new line” to start writing on a new line.

In the same “Tools” drop-down menu that contains the voice typing tool you will find the general accessibility settings menu. It is there that you can enable support for screen readers and screen magnifiers.

On the topic of screen readers, when you insert an image into a Google Document you can right-click on it to bring up the option to add alt text. Alt text is text that you add to an image to describe what is in the image. Screen readers will read the alt text.

Grackle is a Google Docs and Slides add-on that will check your documents and slides for accessibility compliance. When you run Grackle's accessibility checker it will identify places where your slide doesn't meet accessibility standards. It makes suggestions for improvement on the areas in which your document, slide, or sheet doesn't meet accessibility standards. Some of the suggestions can be implemented with just a click from the Grackle Add-on menu while others are changes that you will have to make yourself.

You can watch a demonstration of all of the Google Docs accessibility options mentioned above right here.

Google Slides
In Google Slides subtitles appear at the bottom of your screen when you are in full-screen presentation mode. You can enable subtitles by entering presentation mode then hovering your cursor over the lower-left corner of your slides to make the subtitles option appear. This short video provides a demonstration of how to enable subtitles in Google Slides.

Alt text, short for alternative text, is text that you can add to images and videos to describe what they are and or what they contain. Adding alt text can make your slideshows accessible to people who use screen readers. The alt text describes what is in a picture, chart, or video that is included in a slide. PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides all provide options for adding alt text to your presentations.

To add alt text to images or videos in Google Slides simply right-click on the image or slide to which you need to add alt text. The menu that appears when you right-click on the image or video will include an alt text option where you can then write a title and description for the image or video. This video provides a demonstration of how to add alt text to Google Slides.

Google Forms
Google Forms got some new features this summer including the ability to add custom fonts. One of the fonts that you can add to your Forms is Lexend Deca. Lexend fonts are designed to improve the accessibility of writing by reducing visual stress. You can learn more about these fonts on This video and this video demonstrate how to add custom fonts to Google Forms

Google Forms does offer the option to add alt text to pictures that you include in your forms. However, in the case of Google Forms Google refers to alt text as hover text. Watch this brief video to learn how to add alt text or hover text to Google Forms. 

Mote is a Chrome extension that makes it easy for teachers and students to add voice recordings to Google Slides, Google Classroom, and Google Forms. It lets you add voice recordings not only to the questions in your Google Forms but also to the answer choices and feedback section in Google Forms. Mote lets you add voice recordings into the question line, into the answer choices (for multiple choice questions), and into the feedback section of the answer key that you create for quizzes in Google Forms. All of those things are demonstrated in this short video.