This idea–a true moment of educational duct tape (using technology to solve a classroom problem or goal)–actually came to me while recording an episode of my Educational Duct Tape Podcast!
In Episode 5, I played a question that Linda Hummer shared to the Educational Duct Tape Community FlipGrid along with Abbey Thomas’ answer. Linda’s question was, essentially, what is an alternative to Chatterpix that works on Chromebooks? Abbey’s answer was Blabberize. And the question was answered! Or, so I thought…
After the episode aired, Dan Gallagher shared on that same grid some words of caution: Blabberize’s Terms of Service indicate that it’s not appropriate for all ages. So, in Episode 6, I shared this and then, on the spot, found a hack for a solution:
I’ve posted about #StopMotionSlides a number of times (here are my tips for making them) and they make a pretty good solution for this. Put a picture into a slide, use some careful cropping and then leverage a stop motion technique. Not only can you make the mouth move up and down, but you can then publish the animation (#13 in these tips) and then record them with Screencastify (or your screencasting tool of choice) with a voiceover (#14 in these tips)!
Voila! Not as easy as Chatterpix, but at least it eliminates the need of adding another tool and another set of terms of service to what you use with your students: you likely already use Google Slides & Screencastify!
Plus, unlike ChatterPix or Blabberize, you can have multiple characters, your characters can move, the scene change… You–and your students–can get super creative!
Here’s an animated GIF of the process, followed by a step-by-step breakdown.
Continue reading A Google Slides Hack to Replace ChatterPix or Blabberize
Sometimes, I think a trick, hack or shortcut that I do with technology is unimpressive and something that everyone either knows or doesn’t care about. But then, when I mention it to someone, and they’re like “Whoa!” I think “Welp, this should be an EduGIF.”
Recently, I had the good fortune to be recording a guest appearance on the Shukes & Giff Podcast (er, maybe it’s the Shukes & Jake Podcast, now!? Kidding!). When I was chatting about Emoji Bullets with Kim Pollishuke (a.k.a. “Shukes”), I mentioned, “So, I’ll just click Shift+Command+8 and then…” and she said “Wait, What!?” And then I knew it, EduGIF time. So here it is . . .
in most Google Tools:
- Click CTRL (Command on Mac) + Shift + 7 for Numbering
- Click it again to undo numbering
- Click CTRL (Command on Mac) + Shift + 8 for Bullets
- Click it again to undo bullets
Here’s the EduGIF!
Want to add a little flair to your HyperDocs and some fun to your lesson plans? Ditch those boring bullets for some emoji bullets!
In many cases, this can obviously lead to a less-professional looking document or slideshow, but in the classroom . . . why not add a little fun? Our learners l-o-v-e emoji and it may just make schoolwork look a little more inviting. So, here’s how to use them as bullets in Google Docs & Slides. First up: a GIF animation, followed by the step-by-step.
- Click the appropriate button to add bullets.
- Add any of the default bullet styles.
- Right-Click (or two-finger click) on the first bullet and select More bullets.
- In the first dropdown menu, select Emoji.
- Now select your emoji!
- Right-click (or two-finger click) on the first emoji bullet if you’d like to change the size of the bullets.
Did you ever really, really, really want a student (or colleague) to understand your feedback on a portion of a Google Doc? Well, my friend, I have got news for you. Surround a word (or group of words) in a Google Docs (or Slides, Sheets, Drawings…) Comment with asterisks (*) and you’ve got bold text. 💥Boom💥 Surround them with underscores ( _ ) and you’ve got italicized text. 💥Boom💥
🤔❓Why does using the underscore lead to italicized text instead of underlined text!? I have no idea. Ask the Googs.❓🤔
Even more puzzling, there’s no option to create underlined text. But hey, 3 minutes ago, you didn’t know about how to do bold or italics, so calm it down, buddy.
Here’s the real head-scratcher: some people seem to want strikethrough text in a comment. 🤷🏻♂️ Why? I dunno. But it’s possible. Just surround your text with hyphens (-) and you’ve got strikethrough. Medium-half-excited-don’t-know-why-anyone-wants-this-feature-💥Boom💥. But again, 4 minutes ago, you were clueless that this was even within the realm of possibility, so turn your snark dial down, Francis. Anyhow, here’s a GIF. Please enjoy.
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