Listen, I get it – when you’re showing your students the chambers of the heart, you want to have “Total Eclipse of the Heart” playing. And, when you teach your class about the food chain, you need “Hungry Like the Wolf” rocking out of your speakers. But, guess who doesn’t get it? Google. No audio in Google Slides. Sorry, no music for you.
But! I’ve got your back. When you present about the states of water, you need to be playing this, or maybe this. I didn’t invent this hack, but I created a GIF to showcase it for you.
Step by step instructions are below the GIF.
- Insert > Video
- Search for & Insert the video for the song you want from YouTube
- Right Click, Video Options
- Select “Autoplay when presenting”
- If desired, set a specific start time
- Make the video tiny
- Rock out when in presentation mode
- Keep in mind – your song will stop when you move on to the next slide, so plan accordingly
Note – this is a copyright gray area (or worse), for sure. I always try to use Vevo videos, because we at least we know that those were uploaded by the companies that own the rights to those music videos.
Giving speeches or presentations in front of their peers can be a really nerve-wrecking activity for students. We often encourage them to practice, but . . . what’s practice without reflection and self-assessment?
Students can use the free Google Chrome extension Screencastify to record themselves giving their speech or presentation. Then, they can view that recording and reflect on how they did.
Screencastify automatically saves to their Google Drive and is not public, unless the student chooses to upload to YouTube or share the Google Drive file.
- Install the Chrome Extension.
- Click on the extension and follow the prompts to set it up.
- When ready, click on the extension to record.
- Select Desktop (recording entire screen), Tab (recording just the current tab, even if you navigate away from it) or Cam (recording only the camera). If doing Desktop or Tab, decide if you want the webcam on or not.
- Click Record and start talking!
- Click stop and then watch your masterpiece. Remember that it’s also saved in your Google Drive in a “Screencastify” folder.
Google Drawings is a great place for quick, simple, visual activities. Add shapes to a diagram, tell students to double-click in those shapes and – voila – they’re text boxes!
- before sending them out to your kiddos, click into those shapes and format the text size so it’ll fit in the boxes.
- Once you’ve made one box the way you like it, use command+d (ctrl+d on non-Mac) to duplicate it.
- If this isn’t being used in Google Classroom, make it anyone with the link can view, copy the link, change the “edit” to “copy” and send it out.
Need a flyer? A sign? A visually appealing handout?
Google Docs is a great word processor, but it can be hard to get images, text and word art laid out in just the right way. Tools like LucidPress are great for this, but they have a learning curve. For most educators and students, Google Slides is perfect for this – we know how to add & resize pictures and text as well as how to move them around on the screen.
So, why not use Google Slides for creating Printed Materials? Go to File > Page Setup and give your slides the dimensions of your piece of paper. Bam.
I love me some Add-Ons. One of my favorites is FormRanger from New Visions Cloud Lab. It can be used to pull in a column of information from a Google Sheet as multiple choice or dropdown options.
This is nice for quickly creating a lot of options for a multiple choice or dropdown question, but what takes it from nice to awesome is . . . you can set it to automatically update based on changes made to the spreadsheet. Whaaaaat!? I know, right?
There are two main cases for use: Continue reading FormRanger Add-On
You can filter using menu buttons and create filter buttons in Google Sheets, but sometimes it’s valuable to setup a FILTER formula. One such instance is shown in the GIF below: when you have a Sheet that contains data about many students across many grades or classes. Using a filter formula, you can create a tab for each class or grade. You can also create tabs for certain criteria (like lower scores that require follow-up).
=FILTER(range, condition1, [condition2, …])
Note from the formula above, that you can actually identify multiple criteria (such as Mr. Kotter’s students who scored below a 75%).
We all know from experience, as well as the infamously-hysterical and on-point “Death by PowerPoint,” that slideshows should involve minimal text. But, for many people, this is where cognitive dissonance enters. They believe this to be true, but need somewhere to plan what they will say.
Well, Google Slides has a spot for “Speaker Notes,” and here’s how you print them to have ready during your next presentation:
First off – I can’t take credit for this idea – just the GIF below. I’ve heard it mentioned most recently on the Google Teacher Tribe podcast who credited the idea to Jeremy Badiner.
There are a lot of uses, but here are the 4 main ones that I can see:
- Post a Google Form (i.e., an assessment) to your LMS early, but students won’t be able to access the questions until you give them the password.
- Set this form as part of a BreakOutEDU style activity – participants can only access the form once they’ve found the password in the previous stage.
- Make it so only your intended audience can fill out a form.
- Keep sensitive information within the form, just like a password-protected website.
One important note: setting “error text” is essential – otherwise it will tell the user the password.
When at conferences and other learning events, I see lots of people using a variety of different URL Shorteners and QR Code creators. I started to wonder… which is the best? Here’s a chart to help you decide… Continue reading Which URL Shortener is best?
One of the earliest edtech tools that I recommended to the teachers involved in the Writing Ourselves project, which I am the Technology Director for, was the DraftBack Extension. Once enabled, the extension allows you to playback your writing process for any doc that you are an editor on. Obviously, the best use case for this would be to have students do this.
What a powerful way for students to reflect on their writing process and for educators to assess (and offer feedback on) the way that they go about the writing craft. Awesome sauce.