Well it is August 2020 and we are still in the middle of the COVID19 Pandemic. Teachers are now considered essential workers and are being asked to go back to school for the 2020-2021 school year. For some of us that means that we will be teaching in person with things looking very different than last school year. For some others it looks like we will be teaching virtually-which comes with a whole new set of challenges. (Check out 7 Tips for Teaching Virtually!)
To help guide you and make your virtual teaching lives easier, I want to show you some tips and tricks that I have learned from using Google Slides that I hope you will find helpful! If you need a Back to School Meet the Teacher Editable Student Welcome Packet for your virtual students, I’ve also got you covered!
Tip#1-> Making Master Slides + Templates
The first thing that you may want to know how to do in Google Slides is to create a template for your lessons. Once in Google Slides, set your size and orientation (I would recommend setting up your slides the same size as your paper to make printing easier, 11x8.5 inches). Then click “view”-> “master.” Basically then, whatever you do to that first slide, it will be added to all additional slides that you add. So any specific borders or clip art that you want added to ALL slides can be done now. I do want to tell you that once it’s applied to the master slide, you cannot delete pieces individually-they will be locked.
Tip #2-> Making Voice Overs for Slides
If you are teaching virtually, you definitely still want your class to be able to participate as independently as possible. Parents at home helping their students while still having to work will especially appreciate this. I like for my students to be able to listen to my voice on the Google Slides as if I was teaching directly to them in the classroom. I also love having an audio feature on the slides for my students with lower reading abilities so they can still figure out what to do without waiting for someone to read it aloud to them. Doing this virtually can be difficult, but it can be done. The first thing that you will want to do is to download a recording app so you are able to read the slides, such as Vocaroo, Loom or Screencastify. Vocaroo is my favorite because it is very easy and user friendly but Screencastify and Loom are great too, especially if you want to embed your webcam into the video so students can see you. Download the recording when you are finished, then save it to your Google Drive. Finally go into your google slides product and click “insert”-> “audio.” Find the correct recording and insert it into the slide.
Tip #3-> Cropping Images into Shapes
When you insert images into Google Slides, you can crop them into shapes to be more appealing and also to be able to fit more on the page. First, insert your picture into your Google Slide (“Insert”->”image”). Then double click your image so there are black crop lines around the outside of the image. You are now in “crop mode.” Then, click the drop down menu at the top (it is the black square type button) , if you hover over the drop down, it will say “mask image”. From there you can pick any of the shapes to crop your image into.
Tip #4-> Fonts
Unfortunately, in Google, you cannot purchase and add new fonts, but Google does have thousands of fonts already included in your options, which is great. To access all of your choices, click the font drop down at the top. Then click “more fonts”. You will see the drop downs at the top to sort through them whether you want cursive, bold, handwritten, etc. I also sort by popularity just so I can see a broad range. As you click on the fonts, you will see they become checked. Once you check them and have added all of the ones that you want, you can click “ok”. The fonts on the right have already been added.
Some of my favorite fonts: Pangolin, Mountains of Christmas, Ribeye Marrow, Amatic SC, Cabin Sketch, and Snowburst One.
Tip #5-> Linking to Another Slide
If you decide to create a link in your presentation, you can also make it link to another slide instead of to a URL, which is pretty cool. This allows you to use the “Go back” button and table of contents interactively in your presentation or lessons. I use this mainly for games. To do this, highlight the words as you would just like you were going to add a URL. Then, click the link button at the top (under insert). Instead of typing in a URL, click on “slides in this presentation”. For a game you may want to add “go back” or “next” into your slides. You are able to copy and paste if you just select that and not the actual slide number in the drop down.
Tip #6-> Clickable Clip Art
As you probably already know, it is very important to follow copyright laws and to flatten your clipart when creating products and lessons (unless they are moveable images). If you want to make something clickable that is flattened, you can insert a shape and then make it transparent and make that the linked URL or slide.
For example, in my Fraction Operations Digital Notebook for Distance Learning, look at the fraction to the left: If I had flattened the fraction, but wanted students to click on it to check their answer to see if they simplified all the way, I could insert a circle and make it transparent on top of the fraction. Then set it up to “link to the next slide.” Then I could make that next slide say whether or not they were correct! Students love this feature and are able to self check!
Tip #7-> Revision History
When creating a presentation in Google Slides, if you mess up or need to go back to see your history, you can click above (next to “help”) where it says “last edit was…”. Once you click there, on the right hand side you will see different times that were made and you can go back to see those changes. This also helps when your students are working in Google Slides. You are able to go back and see if they deleted slides or you can see the actual process of what they typed.
Tip #8-> Move Slides Between Presentations
If you would like to copy slides from one presentation to another, you can simply move them by highlighting and copying the slides. Once they are copied, head over to your other presentation and click paste. You can also highlight them to drag and drop them in the order that you want them.
Tip #9-> Add-Ons
There are many add-ons for Google Slides! Click the “Add-Ons” drop down menu at the top. Then click on “Do More With Slides” to browse through several add-ons. You can also access add-ons from the regular Google Drive menu as well.
Google Slides can be very helpful when creating lessons and presentations for your virtual students (or in-person students). Once you get the hang of it and play with some of the tools, you will want to use it all the time! If you would like to have a copy of these Google Slides tips, with more pictures for explanation, you can click the link HERE!