When presenting about #StopMotionSlides, someone inevitably asks about cutting the background out of a picture so that it has a transparent background. Up to this point, my answer has been Microsoft Word, but I wasn’t satisfied with that since it wouldn’t work on Chromebooks or on computers without Microsoft Word. And then I listened to Episode 13 of the Shukes and Giff Podcast. In it, Kim Pollishuke shared about Lunapic.
Lunapic is a free, web-based photo editing platform. Along with a lot of other features (seriously, go to it and explore!), is the ability to make the background transparent. If it’s a solid colored background (i.e., green screen), there are tools that automate it. For images that don’t have a solid colored background (or have backgrounds that include colors that are in the main part of the image), you can also do it manually. Check it out in the animated GIF below! Side note: there’s even a Chrome extension so that you can edit images you find online more conveniently.
On the Google Teacher Tribe podcast and on his site DitchThatTextbook.com, Matt Miller shared about his recommended use of thought bubbles (and speech bubbles) in Google Drawings. When I first heard it, I thought – “Whoa! What a simple, but powerful application of a technology tool.” Think about it: students being able to comprehend a story or historical event well enough to synthesize the information back into what they predict a character/person may have been thinking or saying? Not to mention, it’s quick and it’s much more engaging that writing it on a worksheet or in a Google Doc. Matt recommends this as a Bell Ringer activity, which I think is an awesome idea, but certainly not the only way it can be used.
This can also be done in Google Slides–it would be neat to have each kid have their own slide–and through the “Insert > Drawing” option on Google Docs. Just like with Google Docs, you can have students make copies of your drawing to add their own thought bubbles or you can use them as assignments in Google Classroom or other LMS’s.
Check it out in the Animated GIF below and then, after the GIF, is a published version of that Drawing, just to show how easy it is to post the completed project.
Continue reading Speech & Thought Bubbles in Google Drawings
I’m not a big fan of homework, but I am a big fan of making sure that communication between teachers, co-teachers, students and parents is as convenient and efficient as possible without detracting from the learning experience. For many educators, their learning management system (LMS) or online gradebook already offer a platform for this. However, for those that may need an alternative solution – or just a differentiated form of communication – this idea for communicating homework (and/or details about what was done during class) is a good one! I heard it on Episode 39 of the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast, shared by Karen McKenna.
In Karen’s idea, teachers can use a Google Slides presentation and add a slide for each day of class. On that slide, they can include any important details from class that day, including the day’s homework. Putting the newest slide at the beginning of the slideshow would make it easiest – saving the viewers from needing to scroll to the end of the slideshow to get the most recent details.
I love this idea for its simplicity and flexibility. Need to email a parent what their kiddo missed when out sick? Send a link to the slides. Have a Google Site for your class? Embed the slides. Work with intervention specialists, tutors and gifted educators who need to know what you did in your class? Have them bookmark the slides. Check out this animation to see how you can set it up:
One of the more underutilized tools within Google Docs, Slides, Drawings & Sheets is the Paint Roller (Paint Format) Tool. It’s purpose is simple – when you want some text or an object to be formatted just like another set of text or an object, the Paint Roller is the tool that you need. Click once on the already-formatted object/text, then on the Paint Roller and then on the to-be-formatted object/text.
I’ve posted before about how it works in Google Docs, but I wanted to share an animated GIF about how it works in Google Slides! Notice that it works on text boxes, as well as on shapes, lines and images! With text boxes, you can even apply it to certain words in the box rather than the entire box.
Recently, I was fortunate to be a guest on the awesome Google Teacher Tribe Podcast. Not only are Matt & Kasey rockstars, but their show is my favorite education podcast. It was an honor and a blast.
It’s a tradition on the show for the guest to create a lesson plan that listeners can use. I chose to take a few ideas that I’ve posted about here and combine them into the Ultimate App Smash Lesson. The lesson combines #StopMotionSlides, Screencastify & FlipGrid. It can be used with any just about any content and is appropriate in most grades, starting in around 3rd grade.
You can find the lesson at bit.ly/ultimateappsmash. I hope you enjoy it . . . and I’d love to see some of what your kiddos create when you use it!
I’ve posted about #StopMotionSlides before and there are others out there (I think that Eric Curts’ and Matt Miller’s are both pretty definitive), but as usual – I like to encapsulate all good Googley stuff in GIF format. So here we go . . . some GIF-style tips for making really rad #StopMotionSlides projects.
Continue reading Tips for Creating Stop-Motion Slides
Have a Google Slides-deck that you sometimes present in 45 minutes and other times in 75 minutes?
Change up the slides that you use in each class based on formative assessment or student interests? Have a set of Slides that you use in two different classes, one with more remedial needs and the other with need for enrichment?
It might be beneficial to hide certain slides, either to simply not show certain content (in the 2nd & 3rd questions above) or in interest of time (in the 1st question above). Using the “Skip Slide” option will help you do this. Just right-click (or 2-finger click) on a slide on the left and select “Skip slide.” Check it out in the animation below:
Need slides running on loop during an Open House or other event? Here’s how to do it!
It’s super simple!
- File > Publish to the Web
- Link (not embed)
- Select the amount of time between slides (unfortunately, all slides have to be same length. Need some slides to show for longer? Duplicate them so that they show twice.)
- Decide if you want it to start playing as soon as you open it.
- Decide if you want it to loop (restart).
- Access the link. Hit the full screen button. That’s it!
Note: If you’d like it to be a slideshow of pictures that are in your drive, I recommend the Drive Slides extension (by Matt Miller & Alice Keeler) for getting those images quickly into a slideshow. It’s limited to 50 images/slides, but you could always make separate slideshows and then import the slides from one into the other.
Note: if this is for a permanent hallway display or sign, you should try out Chrome Sign Builder.
You can also select embed to easily embed the auto-playing, auto-looping slides into a non-Google Sites webpage, like this:
Continue reading AutoPlay & Loop in Google Slides
One function in Google Slides that most people don’t notice is there is “Edit Master.” This option is great for adding branding to your slides and much more. Here are some of the things that you can do in there, followed by a GIF of how to do it:
- Change the font style for all of your slides
- Add a logo or watermark
- Change background colors
- Make all slides match the theme of a lesson or presentation
- Change the layout (find that you’re always moving the title up to give more space to type? Do it here)
- Add new slide layouts (need a 3-column layout?)
- Change layout of all of your slides at once
- Lock objects in place (the pictures become part of the background!) for activities with students
- Create layouts for certain uses (i.e., Yearbooks, eBooks, etc.)
When I recommend Google Sites to people, it’s typically because it’s so easy to embed so many of the things that we regularly use. Google Slides is no exception. Here are a few notes about it, followed by a GIF animation of how to do it.
- Be sure that the Google Slides file has sharing settings that will allow the appropriate people to see it on the site. If your file is private and someone goes to your site, they’ll see a blank box where the slides should be.
- You can set the slides to auto-play when the site loads!
- With auto-play on, you can set the slides to auto-loop and modify the amount of time that each slide plays for.
- You can change the size and position of the embedded Google Slides presentation.