Sunday, December 24, 2017

Three FAQs from New Google Slides Users

I have hosted hundreds of G Suite webinars and workshops over the last eight years. In that time there have been some questions that I learned to address early on because people always ask them. Here are three questions that I frequently hear from new Google Slides users. Learn more about Google Slides in my on-demand course, G Suite for Teachers.

1. What if I want a copy of the slides in case the internet connection in my classroom isn't working?
There are two solutions to this problem. First, you can download your slides as a PowerPoint file. To do that simply select "download as" then select "Microsoft PowerPoint" from the "File" drop-down menu while viewing your Google Slides. 

The other option for accessing your slides without an internet connection is to enable offline access for your Google Drive account on your computer. To enable offline access, open the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your Google Drive dashboard. Then select "settings" and check the "Offline" option. (Please note that it enabling offline access is not recommended on a shared computer). 

2. Can I insert videos that are not on YouTube?
Until earlier this year you could only use videos that were hosted on YouTube. In February of 2017 that changed when Google started to let you insert videos from your Google Drive account without using YouTube.  

3. How do I add transitions/ animations to my slides?
This is the question about Google Slides that I am asked more than any question. There are two ways to add transitions between slides. First you can simply right-click on a slide in the the slide navigator on the left side of your screen. When you right-click on a slide you will see a menu appear. In that menu there is an option to "change transition." Selecting "change transition" will open a new menu to the right of your slides. That menu will let you choose a transition to apply to your slides. The other way to open the transitions menu is to select "transition" from the menu of options appearing across the top of  your slide editor. 

The animation options appear in the same menu as transitions. Open the transitions menu the click on an object in your slides to animate it. Once you have selected an object on a slide you will see a menu of animation options appear on the right side of your slide. 

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is Christmas! There won't be any new blog posts tomorrow. I'll be playing with daughters and their new toys.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!

How Machines Learn - And What Facebook Knows About You

Machine learning is a hot topic in the ed tech start-up community. You may have heard of an ed tech start-up or two that is touting how machine learning and or artificial intelligence will help them help students. But what is machine learning? CGP Grey recently tackled that topic in a new video.

After you watch CGP Grey's video consider the information within it as you think about the screenshot I have posted below. It's one that I took on Friday morning while scrolling down the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page. You'll see that it tells me the demographic with which my video is most popular.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Why Should You Read Charles Dickens? - A TED-Ed Lesson

Why Should You Read Charles Dickens? is a new TED-Ed lesson released to coincide with Christmas. The lesson provides a bit of background on his life and the influences on his writing and the elements of his stories that made them popular at the time of their publication and continue to make his stories popular today.

I don't think the lesson will convince reluctant readers to immediately pick up a Dickens novel, but it will give them some understanding of why their teachers asked them to read a Dickens story.

Image Search, Science, and Math - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we're going to have a white Christmas. Eight inches of snow fell last night and more is on the way. That means it's time for me to get to shoveling just as soon as I finish writing this week in review.

This week more people joined the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group. It's going to be a great group of teachers learning together! A few more people took advantage of the discounted offer for Teaching History With Technology and they're off and running.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Good Alternatives to Google Image Search
2. 5 Observations Students Can Record With Google's Science Journal App
3. Three Good Sources of Fun and Interesting Math Challenges
4. Four Things Students Need to Create Book Trailer Videos
5. Seven Ways to Create Screencasts on Chromebooks
6. How to Use Flipgrid - A Guide for Getting Started
7. Three Free iPad Apps for Creating Talking Animations

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