One Tool That Gets Me Through It All

Nearpod. Flipgrid. Jamboard. Canva. I hear so many tech tools being touted as the “best” tool for my classroom. Most of us have identified our go-to tool and we even get slightly offended if others disagree or believe there’s another one better out there. Every tool serves a purpose and we, as instructional designers for our classroom, have to decide what is best for us, our content, and our students. For me, that tool is Google Slides.

Now hush! I can already hear the groans and people trying to tell me all the things that Slides can’t do. But, for me, Google Slides holds the key to versatility. Slides can:

  • Present information,
  • Be interactive,
  • Encourage collaboration,
  • Pose as a journal, a way to create, and adds the ability to insert all kinds of media, and
  • Be used to assess students.

I will admit, there is a need to utilize other resources like chrome extensions, video creators, etc. to be able to include everything in my Google Slides. You would think this would be a negative aspect for me, but I still come back to using Slides for everything, or to look at it in a different way, to house everything in one place for students. The ease at which I can share Slides with students, provide them feedback in real-time, and “peak” in on them while they’re working trumps any negatives of Google Slides. I know that Slides is not as robust as PowerPoint or as fancy as Canva, but good news… I can create in Canva and PowerPoint and import my creations into Slides.

Using Canva Templates to Create Activities in Slides

One of my favorite Chrome extensions to use in combination with Google Slides is Record to Slides. You can find Record to Slides in the Chrome Webstore or by clicking this link. Watch the video below to get an overview of how it works.

Record to Slides Chrome Extension Overview

With Google Slides’ latest update, it has made the working canvas larger and given me the ability to “present” my slides while in edit mode. This is a huge update for me because I love to create interactive drag-and-drop activities and I’m constantly using the gray space. See what I mean in the video below.

Slides Gives the Option to Get Rid of Filmstrip View

I do love other tools and utilize many to create engaging activities for students. Who can argue with the stunning creations that Canva can provide? However, Google Slides will remain at the top of my list… for now. I can see Canva having an eye on my #1 spot, but I need to have collaboration and real-time viewing features before I move on from Slides.

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