May 29th – Force “Make a Copy”

In the previous two post, I’ve talked about an assessment I gave to the students and they had to “Make a Copy” to share with me as they turned it in.  This usually leads to headaches as students can’t find the “Make a Copy” button or someone (if you’ve given editing rights) modifies the original copy.  Well you can only give people the ability to copy the document with a little trick – this will save a ton of time.

May 29th – Forced Copy

On any Google Doc (Slides, Draw, Sheets, etc…) you have a bunch of different “Sharing” options.  You can share with individuals, share with anyone in the organization, share with anyone with the link, make it completely public and share with anyone with the link (outside of the organization).  Typically we share by individual names/email addresses or with anyone in the organization.  But a little trick of changing the URL – just barely – will preserve the original and others can make a copy.

The steps:
1.) Create you document (I’d suggest putting directions on the original document)
2.) Share > Anyone with the Link (might have to select the dropdown, needs to be anyone outside of your organization)
3.) Copy the URL Google Drive gives you
4.) Change the last word “edit” to “copy”
5.) Reload the page and you’ll get the “Make a Copy” screen

Google Make a Copy

Like handing out assignments, students will just need to share with you and you have the original intact!


March 18th – A Week With Google Slides Day 7

On our final “A Week With…” Google Slides post we are going to look at an Add-On, but not within the Google Slides app.

March 18th – “A Week With…” Google Slides

I feel the biggest complaint about any presentation software is the lack of themes and templates.  The companies try to do their best but everyone has their own opinion.  Apple Keynote probably has the best presentation templates out there, but it’s also the focus of all of their products (the atheistic) where in PowerPoint and Google Slides are lagging behind.  Since Google Slides is an online product – you can easily download and open a Slides template from  anywhere and easily copy into your Google Drive.  One amazing place to find hundreds (if not thousands) of templates is Slides Carnival.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.26.36 AM
Slides Carnival Home Page taken March 21st

Slides Carnival is a website with presentation templates, but those templates are training documents within themselves.  Each template has a dozen or more slides with directions on how to use each one.  Each presentation is embedded on the website and you can scroll through any of them.  The best part?  It’s all free!

Take some time to browse through their products, select a few and try them out – hopefully you’ll get inspired and make your own – submit to Slides Carnival and become famous!

March 17th – A Week With Google Slides Day 6

On computers there are always multiple ways to accomplish any task.  This spirit is carried over to Google Slides as well.  You have keyboard shortcuts and buttons on the menu bar to accomplish basically the same task, but just different options.  Well sharing in Google Slides is somewhat similar in multiple ways to do it.

March 17th – “A Week With…” Google Slides

The traditional way to share a document or slides presentation was reviewed on March 12th but that was for more traditional means of collaborating with others.  Publish to the web allows you to embed the presentation in a webpage that people could access it that way.

Publish to Web
Publish to Web Option on Google Slides – Used the Embed option

To publish to the web (above) simply go Menu Bar > Publish to Web > select Link or Embed (my example is embed) and choose a size, then copy the HTML to the clipboard.

Then to use on a website (below) paste the HTML into the editor – I created a sample one in TextEdit and saved it as plain text and added “.html” to the end – and opened it up in Safari.  That way people can access and even pick which slide they want.

Publish to Web Pt2
Copy and Pasting into an HTML document

March 16th – A Week With Google Slides Day 5

On March 15th we looked at the ordering ability within Google Slides, it’s kinda of like putting stickers on a page, but you can digitally move and change the order of the stickers!

Let’s take that a step further – when we think of the canvas that each slide has, we typically want things to be visible, but what about something more interactive with students and being able to click and drag into the viewable area?  Could be a powerful way to interact with students by thinking outside the box, or “off the canvas”.

March 16th – “A Week With…” Google Slides

As an example, I think of molecules in a Chemistry class, they have physical representations that are connected to words a number of different ways (name, molecule composition, etc…) so students will need to memorize a couple different ways to represent.  On the sample Google Slides I created below, I have 3 slides of 2 molecules each with the actual names off the canvas so in a view mode students couldn’t see – give them time to guess and work with partners, then drag the correct name onto the molecule and share the presentation with them as a study guide.

Off Canvas Work
Google Slides Off Canvas Work – also a review in Ordering

The white is the visible, as you can see on the preview slides on the left and grey is off canvas.  Also make sure you have them in the correct order – the second half of the GIF I don’t, then just need to “two finger click” to change the order.

I’ve worked with teachers to do this with vocabulary words, parts of diagrams, I’ve used it with parts of a computer – this is a lot like a SMARTBoard document, without the price of the software and hardware.  Share in the comments if you’ve used this technique and help out your fellow students!

March 15th – A Week With Google Slides Day 4

Yesterday in our “A Week With…” series, we looked at using masks to enliven our mundane images.  Now we can take it a step further and use masks and transparency with borders to create something that really stands out.

March 15th – ” A Week With…” Google Slides

A well placed image in a presentation gets people thinking, rather than a distraction from what is actually on the slide (hint hint High Schoolers).  The image drives the person to think deeply and make connections to what the speaker is saying, but often times the image is poor quality and just squared off.  Now that we know how to use a mask, we can change the order and transparency to really create an effect.

I’ve taken that same Google Slides presentation as in March 13th and I’ve added a background picture by inserting the image and resizing over the entire page.

Transparency and Order in Google Slides
Changing the Order and Transparency in Google Slides

In the GIF above I:
1.) Change the order of the pictures by right clicking (“two finger click” on Chromebook, Control+Click on a Mac) and selecting the order which the images are stacked
2.) Open “Image Options” to get to Transparency, Contrast and Brightness options.

I understand that you can insert a background image for the entire slide, but then I couldn’t show you the ordering effect!


March 14th – A Week With Google Slides Day 3

In our “A Week With…” Google Slides series so far we’ve focused on the power to share, edit and link within the document.  These are all very collaborative stuff – but what about jazzing up the presentation itself?  A common practice among Graphic Designers is using “masking” and layering to create different looks – Google Slides can do that to!

March 14th – “A Week With…” Google Slides

Within Google Slides you can easily add images to make the presentation slightly more engaging (besides your amazing wit and writing ability) but you can take it a step further by using masks to enhance the look of each image (like a pro!).

Masks in Google Slides
Using a Mask on an image in Google Slides

Simply insert an image (Menu Bar > Insert > Image) and once you’ve selected it and pasted it, find the “crop” button (only appears if you’ve selected the image) and click on the arrow facing down to the right. Then you have the option to apply all types of different masks to the image to give it a different look.

Check back tomorrow for more image related tips and tricks!


March 13th – A Week With Google Slides Day 2

As we continue in the “A Week With Series…” with Google Slides, I’m going to discuss a tool that isn’t specific to Slides, but has the capability in all presentation programs.  Not only that, but this tool can teach students about website design and help them to organize and storyboard a website for themselves (and for you if you can’t start HTML right now!)

March 13th – “A Week With…” Google Slides

7 years ago, as I was teaching elementary school, I wanted to teach them about HTML, but never found they had the attention spans, nor was it the right time.  The iPhone had just come out so websites were part of our everyday life, but not in our hands constantly.  Plus I had only had these students for a year or two so I didn’t know what their tech skills were.  I jumped into TextEdit on the Mac and talked about brackets and opening and closing, correct line spacing and hyperlinks – the kids loved it, but when it came time to do it, they struggled.  Again, there were a lot of factors so I stepped back and decided to look at a tool that they knew, PowerPoint, and how we could use hyperlinks to teach website design.

In every product available you can select (or highlight) a word or phrase and create a hyperlink to another page (and in another “A Week With…” series we could do that within Google Docs), but it doesn’t feel like anything is changing.  With presentation programs you feel like things are shifting because you are jumping to a new slide with new information.

Hyperlinks in Google Slides
Links within Google Slides

To create a link within your presentation, simply select (or highlight) the word and create a hyperlink like you normally would, but notice the “Slides in this Presentation” option.  You can select the next slide, previous slide or the title of certain slides.

In my class 7 years ago, I had the students develop an “About Me” project with 3 slides about themselves, a “home page” and a landing/navigation page.  It was simple enough for the students to use the tool and helped me find a common language for when we moved on to more complicated HTML.

This is also a great tool for presentations with adults and having a “table of contents” so they can easily jump around, they’ll thank you for being prepared and know that you’ve thought about the lesson/training you’re about to deliver.