Sunday, February 20, 2022

How to Use Canva Designs in Google Slides

Last week a reader sent me a question asking if it was possible to use Canva design templates in Google Slides. The short answer is yes, you can use Canva designs in Google Slides. The longer answer involves taking a couple of steps to get there. 

To use a Canva design template in Google Slides you'll, obviously, need a Canva account. Select a template from Canva's massive gallery of cool presentation template then download it as a PPTX file. The last step is to then import that PPTX file into your Google Slides presentation. The whole process is demonstrated in this short video

Applications for Education
The impetus for the question about using Canva designs in Google Slides was that the reader has a Canva account, but she wanted to be able to put her presentation in a shared Google Drive folder for her department.

To learn more about using Canva, check out this playlist of more than three dozen Canva tutorials.

To learn more about all things Google Slides and Google Workspace, take a look at this ever-growing playlist of more than 600 tutorials.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Cupcakes, Canva, and Docs - The Week in Review

Good morning from Connecticut where I'm visiting family for the first time in two years! My daughters had a blast having a slumber party with two of their cousins. Besides visiting family I'm looking forward to getting some good bagels this weekend. That's something we just don't have anywhere near my home in Maine. I hope that you also have something you're looking forward to this weekend. 

This week I hosted a webinar about teaching search strategies to history students. If you missed it, a recorded version will be available soon. This week I also hosted a webinar for a group that had purchased a bunch of copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips. I'd be happy to host a webinar for your group. Send me an email at richard (at) to learn more. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. My Big Playlist of Canva Tutorials
2. Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features for Students and Teachers
3. Use TinyTap to Create Interactive Lessons and Games With Soundboards
4. Take Flight With This Library of Congress Image Collection
5. Take a Virtual Tour of the National Museum of Computing
6. Map Puzzle - Test Your Knowledge of World Geography
7. How Graphs Can Be Misleading

Thank you for your support!
Your registrations in Practical Ed Tech courses (listed below) and purchases of my ebook help me keep Free Technology for Teachers going.

On-demand Professional DevelopmentOther Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 39,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • If you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include Icons Daily and Daily Dose. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

I'll Host Your Next Professional Development Session

Yesterday afternoon I hosted a webinar for an organization that had purchased a bunch of copies of my 50 Tech Tuesday Tips ebook. I would be happy to do the same for your school, department, or organization. 

If you purchase ten or more copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips I'll host a custom, one hour webinar for your school or department within your school. The webinar can be about any of the topics within the book or I can cover some other topics of interest to you and your colleagues. To get started arranging a custom webinar for your school just send me a note at richard (at) and we'll get the ball rolling. 

About the eBook:

50 Tech Tuesday Tips was curated from more than 400 editions of The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter 50 Tech Tuesday Tips provides you with ideas for lots of helpful things that you can teach to your colleagues and to students. Throughout the eBook you'll find tutorials and handouts that you can pass along in your school. 

Some of the many things you'll find in 50 Tech Tuesday Tips include:

  • What to do when a web app isn't working as you expect.
  • Building your own search engine.
  • How to create green screen videos.
  • Improving instructional videos. 
  • Streamlining email management.
  • Creating educational games. 
  • DIY app creation.
  • Podcasting tips for teachers and students. 

Get your copy of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips right here!

No, this ebook isn't free but the tools that feature within it is free to use. Creating something like this takes many, many hours but reading it can save you many, many hours. Purchases of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips make it possible for me to create other free resources like The Practical Ed Tech Handbook that I update and give away to thousands of teachers every year.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Watch Out for These Common Google Slides Audio Errors

Last year I wrote quite a few blog posts about a Chrome extension called Mote that lets you record and add audio to almost anything in Google Workspace. As great as that extension is, it's not for everyone. In fact, earlier this week I got an email from a reader who was looking for some help adding audio to Google Slides without the use of a Chrome extension (her school won't allow them to use Mote). 

Helping that person earlier this week inspired me to create a new video that addresses the three mistakes that I most often see when people are adding audio to Google Slides. Watch the video to see what they are and how to avoid them. 

In the video above I explain the following mistakes and how to avoid them:
  • Trying to find a direct record or upload option in Slides. 
  • Not changing the default settings.
  • Not sharing the audio file with collaborators or viewers. 

Three Great Google Maps Features for Teachers

Google Maps is one of my favorite tools to use in history and geography lessons. I've been using it for at least as long as I've been writing this blog (15 years). Like all Google products it has evolved over time and some features have gone away while others have been added. And there are some features that are "hidden" in plain sight that can be helpful when creating lessons that incorporate the use of Google Maps. 

In this new video I demonstrate three great features of Google Maps that are helpful when creating and conducting history and geography lessons. 

In the video I demonstrate:
  • How to create and share lists of places with your students. 
  • How to share specific Street View imagery. 
  • How to use different base layers in Google Maps. 
To learn even more about how to use Google Maps and Google Earth in your classroom, enroll in A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies