August 12, 2014

5 Unusual Ways to Use Google Presentations – from Jen Carey

This post first appeared on Edudemic.

If you’re a user of Google Drive, then no doubt you have also heard of and likely used Google Presentations (Google’s version of PowerPoint). It’s a great tool to create slick presentations in the cloud, especially after its most recent overhaul. However, Google Presentations is also a handy tool for doing some great projects with your students that have nothing to do with public speaking. Here are some fun exercises you can try in your classes:

Visual Note/Flash Cards

Imagery is a powerful tool in all subjects. Using Google Presentations, students can create their own visual note cards to help highlight their understanding of concepts and ideas. Because they can use it collaboratively, they can not only put together their own collection but build a class library of cards that are handy for review. For example, if you are teaching students about plants you can provide them several diagrams that they label themselves and share with the class.

Visually Outline a Project

Presentation slides are a great way to engage in pre-writing exercises. Using shapes and bubbles, students can build venn-diagrams, sketch out ideas, or create a storyboard that visually outlines their ideas. Because they can work collaboratively, students can use this tool on broader group projects or share their pre-writing exercises for peer-review and critique. Using the “comment” feature, students and teachers can engage one another in a discussion on the document as students modify their ideas and mold their finished product.

Create Visual Prompts & Virtual Discussion

If you’ve ever used Voicethread then you’re familiar with the idea of providing students with a visual prompt and then allowing them to discuss the image. Using a Google Presentation, you can do a similar project; post an image, diagram, cartoon, or other image and invite students to write comments, share links, and engage in discussion. This is a great way to teach children to “read” an image as part of a homework or group assignment.

Create a Repository of Images with Citation

Citing images properly is a key skill in the 21st century. Using a “Title Only” slide, students can build a visual bibliography in which they store images along with the accompanying citation. This is especially useful if students putting together a group project; they all have access to and can edit the same document. In addition to the citation, students can include relevant notes about the image. Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) has a great video tutorial on How to Use Google Slides to Organize Research.

Digital WorkBooks

This project is primarily geared towards elementary students. You can use Google Presentations to create and share a Digital Workbook that includes images, hyperlinks, videos, and places where they can fill in the blank or write a response. This is a great way to make homework more dynamic and interactive or guide their exploration of the web.

This is only a short list to help get you started. While slides can be a tremendous presentation tool, it can be even more useful for in other areas of learning from scaffolding projects to collaborating with peers.

To learn more, EdTechTeacher has a Google Apps for Education section on their web site as well as a great resource for App Recommendations.