EdtechRVA Recap: Get Interactive with Google Apps

Yesterday I had the privilege to attend EdtechRVA in Richmond, VA. This is hosted by the Greater Richmond Area Education Technology Consortium (GRAETC), and is a one day conference for folks interested in educational technology. It was hosted at Virginia Commonwealth University this year, and quite a variety of passionate educators showed up. It was my first time going, and I was able to pick up quite a bit. I also talked about hyperdocs to some folks, and saw familiar faces from VSTE.

There will be a few blogs that recap the sessions I went to, and these will be denoted with “EdtechRVA Recap” in the title. I can’t say how long it’ll take me to get them done, but when I finish the last post, I’ll make readers aware.

The first session I attended focused on Getting Interactive with Google Apps. Being new to Google this year, and a lover of hyperdocs, I was hoping to find some new tips and tricks for myself. By the end of the session, I’d found both. This particular session was hosted by Wendy Seger from Chesterfield County Public Schools. She works with a K-5 population, but you can certainly take her ideas here and modify to meet the needs of older students as well. She can be found on Twitter as well: @WendySeger.

She focused on taking ideas from interactive white board apps, and integrating them into Google Apps, particularly Slides. The idea itself seems like it should have been pretty obvious, but it was not. Just like with PowerPoint, Google Slides allows you to edit a master slide template. What this means is that you can use the master slide template to create slides that have locked down features that students cannot move. This is helpful when creating an interactive sort. Presentations that utilize the master slide template will only have certain pieces that can be moved, which means students won’t mess up the entire layout.

Students cannot complete activities like this in presentation mode, however. They must be in the regular editing view. The best part is that sort activities can be combined with other lesson activities, and I’m sure it would marry well with hyperdocs, especially the ones created in Slides from the beginning.

Teachers who create activities in Slides can send out the work via Google Classroom, and have set the assignment to make a copy for each student. Students can then complete the work and turn in to the teacher for grading or comprehension.

The best part was that Wendy shared many already created resources for K-5 classrooms. There are instructions to explain how to create an interactive Slides, templates, and sample activities ready to go. I mean, it’s pretty crazy the amount of stuff that is in this folder for teachers to use.

Check it out for yourself. Remember if you do use though, please give credit where credit is due. After all, she did make this whole folder free and I highly support the free sharing of resources.

Keep an eye out for the next update on EdtechRVA!


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