How to Use Google Slides in the Classroom
Google Slides is a presentation product; it is quite similar to the more-familiar PowerPoint. But since it is part of the Google suite of products, it is free to use. It can be a powerful classroom resource. Here are six ways to use Google Slides in the classroom:
First, there is simply no justification for giving a lecture in the age of Google Slides. Teachers can supplement what they are saying with a visual presentation that, research shows, will make it far more likely that students will remember what they have been taught since they will not only have heard but also have seen the information. Visual aids can also be added.
Second, Google Slides makes it easy to encourage student participation. Pear Deck and Poll Everywhere are two edtech tools that make it possible to solicit feedback from within Google Slides. These can be powerful tools for both formative assessment as well as increasing student engagement in the lesson.
Third, teachers can encourage collaborative learning in a number of ways with Google Slides. An assignment could be designed so that each student creates their own slides; once combined into one presentation, students can learn from each other. Or, small groups can collaborate on one slide presentation in real-time and then present their slides to the class, allowing for an engaging student presentation.
Fourth, teachers can use Google Slides to flip the classroom. The traditional model is to learn new material at school and then practice it at home, but Slides makes it simple to flip that model: students can use a teacher-created slide presentation to learn new material at home, and then they can practice it during class time. One great feature of Google Slides is that it is easy to integrate other Google products, such as Sheets (which are spreadsheets), charts, or graphs.
Fifth, students can use Google Slides as the digital equivalent of notecards in order to brainstorm, research, organize, and then present their research projects to the class. Or, Google Slides could become digital notecards used to memorize vocabulary or other materials. Google Slides could even be used as a log, journal, or tracker with a new slide for each day (or week) to track student performance, to write a daily diary, or to record books read.
Sixth, Google Slides have many of the features of a drawing program. This means that students can draw on a slide. Or paint on it. Or make shapes. Or create a comic strip. Since slides can be viewed out of order, students can even use them to create a “choose your own adventure” style writing assignment.