Thursday, February 16, 2017

How to Set Up a Slide Template for your Students (Google Classroom and Google Slides)

For the last three weeks I have been experimenting with using Google Classroom in the Junior Primary grades. I started with Grade 3, my 'oldest' bunch of students. They took to the whole experiment like ducks to water.

The first thing I did was log each child into their browser, which I detailed in my previous post -How to log into the Chrome Browser (and Why). This meant that children didn't have to log into any Google services, their browser remembered who they were. I also set the Google Classroom website to be a bookmark on each student's bookmark bar. All of this has turned out to be a huge timesaver, we now just double-click on our Chrome shortcut then click on our Classroom bookmark to get to the work that we are doing.

How to Set Up a Slide Template for your Students:

I started the Grade 3s off with a Google Slides assignment which I had already ready for them. I chose to start them off with a pre-built slide deck. This is because last year we worked on a local network drive and my students were used to the concept of opening up a template file from me and completing their work on it. This method offers some guidance for younger students rather than just letting them create from scratch.

Step 1: Create your template using Google Slides

I kept my template very simple, I set up a simple first slide (title page) and a number of blank slides.

A simple first slide and some blank slides.

This gives an idea of how the slide view on the left hand side is laid out, and hopefully provides inspiration for their presentation.

Step 2: Create a New Assignment on Google Classroom

Leave your Slides template and go to your class on Google Classroom. Look for the Plus icon which lets you add something, and select Assignment.

The Plus sign is for adding new content to your class.

Step 3: Fill in the details of your assignment

Use a clear naming structure in your titles, so that students get used to it and can find their work quickly. I use the description in this case to help students find the right place to click on in order to open their copy of the slide template. Click on the Google Drive icon to attach the Slides template you created.

The triangle is the Google Drive icon.

Step 4: Upload your template and set how students get their copy

Find your template and click on it so that it is selected in blue. If the file doesn't appear in Recent you might have to look in My Drive.

Find your file and select it.

Then click on the Add button.

You will be taken back to the Assignment screen where you will find some options about how the students will get a copy of the file. For this to work as a template and for each student to be able to work on their own slideshow you need to change the default option. Click on the drop-down arrow next to "students can view file" and change it to "make a copy for each student".

Find "Make a copy for each student" and select it.

Finally, click on the blue Assign button. Congratulations! You've set up a Google Slides template for your students to access.

I will show you in the next post the student side of this process, what they see and how they submit their work to you.

Friday, February 03, 2017

How to Log into the Google Chrome Browser (and Why)

After passing the Google Certified Educator level 2 exam at the end of last year, I have been getting more comfortable with the idea of starting to use GAFE (Google Apps for Education) with younger students. The Twitter chat-tag #GAFE4littles has been invaluable in giving advice and ideas in this project, many thanks to everyone there. I highly suggest you check it out if you are also trying to get Google Apps into the hands of youngsters.

The situation:

I manage a computer lab of 26 Windows desktop pcs. Last week, I manually logged each Gr 3 child into their Chrome browser. I was able to do this because each student already has a unique desktop login so their browsers will remain separate. Logging into Chrome is a great step because my default it logs you into any Google website you visit, like Google Classroom or Google Drive. With younger children this is a great timesaver and will prevent you going grey trying to get them to learn yet another login!

How to log a GAFE student into their Chrome browser: