Monday, February 2, 2015

Google Slides

This last weekend I attended a conference and purposefully went to sessions that had nothing to do with chromebooks.  That has been my area of expertise and what I have supported the most.  But I still get asked a lot of questions about the things that iPads can do and what is the comparable app or extension on chromebooks.  After listening to how teachers are using iBooks author and screencasting with explain everything, a truly brilliant use of app smashing, I wanted to see if the same thing could be done on chromebooks.  There are many screencasting apps, I recommend screencastify.  The creation of the content was the challenge for me.  I came up with Google Slides.

Most people use google slides as a replacement for powerpoint presentations.  Yes, it is nice that you can create a presentation online with the ability to collaborate and quickly insert pictures and text.  It is the other facets of the program that I think are better.

Change it from a Slide to a Poster
Open up a Google Slide and select a theme (I like the blank theme).  Once open, select the file menu and choose page setup.  Here you can change the size of the slide to a custom size, for a poster, brochure, book, etc.

Format the Poster
The best part about slides is the lack of format rules.  In a Doc, there are limits to where text can be (left, right, center, and in a table).  In Google Slides, you add a text box where you want the text box, put a picture where you want that.  Move it around, design the space, super easy.

Displaying the Slides
Publish the Presentation - on the File menu, there is an option to publish the presentation to the internet.  Choose this and the presentation can be embedded or linked.

Make it a PDF - on the File menu, select Donwload as, and choose PDF.  Put that PDF in your google Drive and share the link with others.  Much like the publishing to the internet, but it is possible to zoom in on PDF files.

One Page is a Poster, More Pages are a Book
Just because it is thought of as a presentation tool does not mean that there are additional functionalities built into it.  I have seen teachers use them for students to creatively display book reports and character studies, political cartoon identification and analysis, propaganda poster creation, product presentation of engineered solutions, and calculation problem solving posters.  One thing that I know could be done, but have not yet seen, is the creation of a multipage poster that essentially turns the posters and presentations into a book.

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