Why Slideshare when you can Google Slide?

Slideshare is great! It’s an opportunity to share what you know and what you’re passionate about as well as the chance to improve your knowledge and explore new horizons. It is a great way to expand your personal network and to develop your professional brand. You can also embed Slideshare presentations into websites, blog posts, etc, and they can be accessed by most devices.

There are limitations in the file formats you can upload and share in Slideshare. Also, sometimes images can be distorted or you loose the fonts you so carefully chose once you upload your presentation or document into Slideshare. And, of course, there’s the matter of yet another social network login/identity to manage.

In an educational environment, we might want to share information or have students share information in a similar format to Slideshare but you might not necessarily want to jump through the Slideshare hoops (opening an account, creating a presentation in, say, PowerPoint, uploading the presentation, spitting chips because all your fonts have been lost, etc.) If you are using Google Drive, you can share content and embed in a similar way to Slideshare straight from Google Slides. Some of the advantages are:

  • Create and share straight from Google Slides
  • You’ll see exactly the fonts and layouts you used
  • After embeding, can be viewed on multiple platforms (e.g., Windows, Mac, PC, iOS, Android)
  • You do not have to create a different account with yet another service provider (plus, Slideshare has age limits depending on what country you are in)
  • You can add links to any slides you wish to (Slideshare limits which slides you can add links to)
  • You can limit who sees (and protecting students’ provacy) what by, say, embedding in a Google Sites website within your domain

Below I have embedded a Google Slide presentation demonstrating how to embed a Google slide presentation in a similar way to Slideshare presentations (yes, I know, that’s all a bit Matrix like but, trust me, it’s pretty simple!!)

By the way – if you like the template I’ve made it available in the Google Drive template gallery – click here to preview.

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iPads <3 Google Classroom

Google has been very busy updating their mobile versions of various apps and Google Classroom is no different. In an earlier post, I discussed how Google Classroom can be an aid in differentiation, particularity for assessment. Whilst the mobile app has been around for a while now, up until recently, the functionality was very limited.

All that’s changed, though, with the latest updates to the mobile app. Now, straight from your iPad or Android tablet, you can now:

  • create and edit assignments
  • add links, Google Drive documents, and photos (unable to upload ANY file like you can in browser interface; work around would be the upload to Drive and distribute that way)
  • view, grade and return submitted assignments
  • access for co-teachers from mobile app
  • communicate via private comment threads with students

I have not tried the new Android app but have had the chance to test out the latest iPad version and it’s great! Note: Google Classroom can ONLY be used by Google Apps for Education clients, is free, and needs to be turned on by the administrator.

Have a look at this terrific super-short video that walks though the new Google Classroom iPad app.

 

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Create a comic in 3 minutes or less with Google Slides (with bonus puppies!)

Who needs paid-for comic making apps or subscription services to online comic creators? With any smart device, installed with the Google Comics with bonus puppiesSlides app, you can now quickly and easily create your own comics on the go! You will need the latest version of the Google Slides mobile app, which now allows you to add your own pictures and photos.

Still not convinced? Have a look at the short video below where I demonstrate exactly how to do it on an iPad Mini in less than 3 minutes (it will work similarly on an iPhone or Android tablet or phone). Thanks to Mike Petty who gave me the idea during a presentation he made during a Google Education on Air session.

The tutorial co-stars my puppy, Spike, who patiently slept the whole afternoon while I made the video.

Applications for education

  • Create a single cell or a whole comic book
  • Great for BYOD/BYOT environments because the app is free in both iOS and Android
  • Can also work with Chromebooks (portable devices make taking pictures easier)
  • Great for creativity and literacy
  • Can also be applied to other subjects, e.g., for history, provide a series of pictures around a historic event in a Google Slides document and have the students create a comic
  • Use instead of posters, narratives, etc.
  • Encourage collaborations in pairs, small groups or even the whole class
  • For greater scaffolding, provide the pictures and had students add the captions

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More Google Classroom goodness – add a co-teacher

Yes, Google Classroom is a long way off becoming a fully featured LMS but Google keep adding amazing features that make is even more user (and teacher!) friendly. The latest one I found out about is adding another teacher as a co-teacher to your class in Google Classroom.

Below is a short video tutorial showing exactly how to do it. The steps are:

  • Login to Google Classroom
  • Select the class
  • Click on the ‘About’ link
  • Click on the ‘Invite teacher’ link on the left hand side of the screen
  • Select the person in your contacts you want to add as your co-teacher (must be in your Google Apps domain)
  • Confirm by clicking on ‘Invite’ in the dialogue box

Yet another reason to explore the possibilities of Google Classroom!

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Differentiation using Google Classroom

When I first heard about Google Classroom last year I was excited. Was this going to be a free LMS that integrated with the already excellent Google Apps for Education (GAfE) suite? Would it be bigger and better that Moodle or Edmodo? How would it integrate with Google Drive and Google Sites?

When Google Classroom finally hit the cloud, I admit that I felt it was a bit of an anti-climax. It was so simple with limited functionality. It didn’t take me long to realise the simplicity was actually a huge advantage, and I got excited all over again. It was so easy to create a class and enrol students, set an assessment, create a template to share with students automatically, provide links to resources, keep track of student progress and accept submissions. Better yet, since it’s initial introduction, it is now available as an app for Android and iOS as well as being browser based.

I still think of myself as something of a beginner when it comes to Google Classroom. I’m looking forward to further experimenting with its application in both high school and adult learning educational environments. I do believe that it is potentially a tremendous tool to support differentiation, particularity in mixed ability environments. Here is an infographic I have put together based on my experiences, outlining some ideas on how Google Classroom might be utilised to support differentiation.

DiffAndGoogleClassroom

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