I recently had the opportunity to facilitate a training for teachers in my district on Google Slides. It was a training for k-12 educators who wanted to take their use of Google Slides to the next level. The feedback from workshop attendees has been positive and I wanted to share some of my favorite Google Slides features.
Poll Everywhere for Google Slides Extension
You might be familiar with Poll Everywhere - it is a tool that allows for live audience participation during a presentation (in the classroom, your students are the audience). How it works is simple - you ask a question, and your students can respond, in real time, on their device. As the responses come in, they are visible immediately to the audience. You can create a variety of different types of polls including multiple chose, free response questions, live word clouds and rank order. Once you add this extension to your Chrome browser, you will see that Poll Everywhere becomes an option on your menu bar on Google Slides. When you are ready to insert a poll into your slide deck, just click on Poll Everywhere and you will be able to create a new poll or insert a poll you have already created (you will need to log in to your Poll Everywhere account - you should create a free account if you don't already have one). After your poll is ready, you simply click on insert and the poll will be inserted into your slide deck. While you are editing your slides, it will look a bit odd and at the bottom you will see a grey bar that says "Start the presentation to activate live content". When you are in present mode, the audience will see how to respond to the poll and as they do, you will see the results in real time.
Interactive Slideshows using Google Slides
When most of us think of slideshows/slide decks, we imagine a series of slides that are viewed from the first to the last. But, Google Slides allows inserting links, not just to external websites, but to slides within a slide deck.
You simply insert a link on your slide to text or an image using the "chain" image on the menu bar or click on "Insert" and then "Link". You will have the option to link to any slide in your presentation. For organization purposes, I'd recommend you create all of the individual slides before setting up your links. What can you do with this? For starters, you can create an interactive quiz where you can have students review a topic or story. You ask a question with multiple options, and each option links to either a slide that tells them they have the correct answer or an explanation as to why their answer is incorrect. This way, students can get instant feedback. Students can also create their own interactive quiz slide decks to share with their classmates before an assessment.
Another way this can be used in the language classroom, is to have your students create "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories. I remember reading "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories as a kid and thinking it was so cool to be able to have different endings based on the choices you make as the reader. Students can write alternate endings to a story you are reading together or create their own story from scratch. What is important is to make sure they click on the links in the slideshow rather than to just click next slide while viewing. I had my students create "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories using Google Slides while I was missing a morning class for state testing. The afternoon classes spent the time creating these stories. They were so much fun to make and view as a class.
Jeopardy games can also be made on Google Slides where the links help you navigate the board. Here is Eric Curts' blog where he has templates that you can use to make your own five or six topic Jeopardy games.
Do you use the Poll Everywhere extension for Google Slides? Have you used any of these interactive slideshows in your classes? Do you have any other ways to use interactive slideshows? Feel free to share in the comments!
High school Spanish teacher in NJ. Google for Education Certified Trainer. Always looking to try new things in my classes. Technology junkie.