5 Ideas for Using Google Presentations with Students (*Bonus Videos Included)

I love using Google presentations! I use Power Point or Keynote when I present, but the collaboration feature and ability to easily publish Google presentations to the web make it my presentation tool of choice when working with students.

That said, students need to know how to begin a Google presentation. I love creating video tutorials for my students walking them through new routines online. I record short screencasts of online procedures, especially if students are completing work outside of class. I use Quicktime on my Mac or Screencast-O-Matic on a PC to do my screen recordings, then I upload them to my YouTube channel!

Students also need tips for creating a strong presentation that will effectively convey information without overwhelming their audience. Prior to designing their Expert Group Investigation Presentations, I recorded this tutorial walking them through some of the basic “dos and don’ts” for designing a presentation. I was pleasantly surprised by how much stronger presentations were after providing some basic guidance in the form of an online tutorial.

It is important to know that unlike Power Point or Keynote, Google presentations require Internet access. If you or your students create a presentation using Google, I’d always suggest saving them to a computer as another file type. To do this, go to “File”>”Download as” and select the type of file you want to download your presentation as. PPT or PDF are file the types I use most frequently and recommend to students. Alternatively, Google presentations can be “Published to the web” where they are viewable by anyone with the extremely long URL. (Note: Use Goo.gl to shorten long URLs.)

Although I use Google presentations for actual presentations, I have begun to use them for all sorts of activities. Here are 5 fun ways to use Google presentations:

1.  Students design a flipped classroom lesson, record their presentations and upload them to their YouTube channels to share.

2. Write a children’s book combining text and media. Use this as a way to motivate narrative writing.

3. Crowdsource information as a class by asking each student to contribute to a class presentation. Assign one slide to each member of the class and have each student research and design a slide. I use this strategy compiling presentations on academic vocabulary or figurative language.

4. Compile performances to create a collaborative movie! Ask students to perform a scene from a play or chapter in a book, video tape their performances and upload them to YouTube. Each acting group should focus on a separate scene or chapter, then insert their YouTube video into a separate slide on a single shared Google presentation. At the end, the class will have compiled a complete performance of the play or novel you’re reading.

5. Make students the experts! Give collaborative groups a topic to research collectively using a shared Google doc, then ask them to use their research to create a comprehensive presentation to present to the class.

If you are using Google presentations in creative ways with your students, please share your ideas!

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