Simplify Collaboration with Slides

Within the Visioning Document, we read these premises:
Article II: The New Learning Standards
II.f  New learning standards should re ect realities of the new digital era, where students are not just consumers of knowledge, but creators of knowl- edge.
II.g  Content standards should serve as frameworks that assist teachers and students in creating learning experi- ences that motivate student success.

Don’t you love the idea of collaboration in the classroom? I love the idea of it BUT….sometimes the division of labor wears me out. Add the element of technology and you have potential for even more excuses like group members sitting there while one person carries out the work on his/her device or individuals off task while they are waiting for their turns to come around. My favorite excuse? “Well…so-and-so isn’t here and the project is saved on his/her device.”

Google Slides squashes all of those issues!

I love that one person can open up a presentation (much like slides you are used to with PowerPoint and Keynote), share the presentation with all members of the group and then…wait for it…magic happens! They all can simultaneously co-exist AND WORK on the presentation at once.

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Picture this scenario: Students – we are about to start a new novel. Before we do so, I want you to build background knowledge for us about the author, era, movement, literature, and science of the time (we are currently starting Frankenstein but I’ve used Google Slides for a multitude of lessons). You have 20 minutes for your group to become the expert on the one subject I’ve given you (Group 1: Author, Group 2: Era, etc.). Each person in the group is responsible for creating at least one slide and presenting that information along with the other group members. Go!screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-2-50-39-pm

And they do. They go and work. Though they sit near each member of the group, moving from their actual seats to a group formation isn’t even necessary. When they did talk, it was subdued because they could easily see what the others in the group were working on. My favorite comment from one member to another: “Ummm, what else are you adding because my slide is after yours, and I want to build on the information you are sharing but right now you simply have a picture on the slide.”

I love seeing students empowered! Everybody is doing their part, time is reduced significantly and the presentation of information is smooth and seamless. In an earlier post, I mentioned my love affair with Showbie as a platform for submitting student work. When students were done, they submitted the presentation through Showbie groups, a fun new feature with Showbie’s fall update. Of course, just sharing the Google Slides with me means it could be presented easily from my laptop or iPad.

Regardless of the way that works best for you, presentations are a snap!

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