Student collaboration in shared Google Slides

Part of the reason social media has taken off so much are the connections. Seeing other people’s reaction to what you’ve shared. Learning from others. We can get the same attraction when we do collaborative learning in the classroom. Google Slides makes this possible. Really easy and quick, too. By creating a slide presentation and […]

I’m excited to present a keynote at the Texas Google Summit!

Date: May 19, 2018
Event: Texas Google Summit with Kasey Bell
Location: Austin, TX
Registration: Click here to register.
Comments (0) | | Posted in Events
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If you decide to purchase, think of it as a way of supporting Ditch That Textbook without paying anything extra! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Create a low-cost, printed school yearbook with Google Slides

Yearbooks that cost $100 or more are out of reach for many students. By using Google Slides and local printers, some schools are creating low-cost, gorgeous yearbooks instead. This post is written by Jennifer Scott, an English teacher and technology leader from California. She’s a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer. Find her on Twitter at […]

11 tips for creating stop motion in Google Slides

Creating stop-motion animation with Google Slides is easy! These tips will help your animations look phenomenal! This post is written by Jake Miller, a tech integration specialist from Ohio. He’s a Google for Education Trainer and a self-proclaimed spreadsheet nerd. Find him on Twitter (@JakeMillerTech) and at his blog, A note from Matt …I […]

5 Google Drawings features you (probably) don’t know about

Posters. Advertisements. Graphic organizers. Comic strips. Image annotations. Flyers. Google Drawings is like your digital poster board — or a big digital piece of paper. When students use it to create something with what they’ve learned, some very cool — and very memorable — learning can happen. The basics of Google Drawings are in plain […]

Learning in motion: EASY stop-motion animation with Google Slides

Let students put what you’re studying in MOTION. Animation is easy with stop motion Google Slides. (Icons via The Noun Project with NounPro account.)For years (centuries … really, millennia), students have had access to paper. And with that, they’ve been able to gather their ideas and turn them into static, two-dimensional images.To put those images […]

Google Classroom Time-Savers (GTT042)

Google Classroom has helped tons of teachers around the world manage their classrooms and their assignments digitally — and it’s made our lives much easier in many ways. There are ways, though, that we can make our Google Classroom lives even easier than that! By employing some time savers in Google Classroom, we can provide […]

The Google Infused Classroom (GTT041)

How can we hear from every student in the classroom? How can we make learning stickier by helping students express it visually? These questions are at the core of the book, The Google-Infused Classroom, by Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith. In this episode of the Google Teacher Tribe podcast, we talk about infusing lessons with […]

G Suite Creation Station: Creating, Not Consuming, with Google Tools

Find this page:

Hashtags for this session: #FETCcreate #FETC

What do you have students create with G Suite?

1. Caption This! / Annotation

Take the power of images and add some learning to it! Pull an image relating to your content (historical art/photo, current events, math problem, diagram, etc.) into Google Drawings/Slides. Add speech bubbles and thought bubbles (Insert > Shape > Callout) to tell what that person is thinking/saying. Add text boxes on the image to give him/her advice. Add Bitmoji images to add reaction! This is a great way to kick critical thinking up a notch and have fun!

More info: Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity

Twitter template:

Google Drawings templates by Ryan O'Donnell:

2. Comic strips

Comic strips captivated us as children. Tap into that energy in the classroom with Google Drawings/Slides comic strips! Drawings and Slides are a great medium for giving students this creative outlet. It lets them create a framework with shapes, add speech/thought bubbles, and insert images in one place.

More info: Crash! Bang! Boom! How to add Google Drawings comic strips to your class

3. Infographics with The Noun Project icons

Infographics are visually stimulating and force us to summarize well. There’s a reason you see infographics all over social media and beyond. They’re eye-catching. They summarize information succinctly. They’re very visual, whether you’re viewing on a page or a printed version hung on a wall. They’re easy to share. What if we did more infographics in schools and less research papers?

More info: Creating eye-popping infographics with Google Drawings

The finished product.

The screenshot before I got started. I drew boxes around the words I wanted to use before I began drawing lines.

4. Blackout poetry

Austin Kleon has made blackout poetry popular. (Click here to see lots of examples of his work!) Blackout poetry can be done with Google Drawings instead of a black Sharpie!

  1. Find some text online and take a screenshot of it. OR, take a picture of some text with your webcam (Insert > Image > Camera). 
  2. Insert that image into a Google Drawing. (Slides can definitely work, too.)
  3. Look at the text and find a few words that create an intriguing message. (I like to look at the page and let the words speak to me.)
  4. Use the line tool to "black out" all of the page but the words in your message. Draw lines and use the line weight tool (see image below) to change the width of your lines. (I alternated between 8pt, 12pt and 16pt.)
  5. Style the page any way you'd like to make it look the way you want.
  6. When done, download the image (File > Download as ... > PNG).

5. Google Slides stop-motion animation

This is a great hack (i.e. non-traditional use) of Google Slides that could take some time to complete but yield amazing results. Create a scene on the first slide of a slide presentation using images, lines, shapes, text, etc. Duplicate the slide. Then move something slightly. Duplicate again. Move something slightly again. Repeat over and over until your animation is complete! (For an example to replicate, check out the Battle of Little Big Horn below.)

6. Interactive posters

Google Drawings are great for bringing images, text and shapes together. Those elements combine for a great digital poster. But these digital posters are way better than a regular one made of poster board. Various elements in the poster can be clicked, delivering webpages and other online content to viewers.

More info: Google Drawings interactive posters: No glue sticks necessary!


Do you listen to the Google Teacher Tribe podcast? If not, you should!

The show, co-hosted by Shake Up Learning's Kasey Bell and Ditch That Textbook's Matt Miller, has new episodes on Mondays. In GTT episodes, you'll get ...

  • Practical ideas for using Google tools in the classroom immediately
  • Interviews with creative educators from around the U.S. and beyond
  • The latest Google news and updates
  • Great blog posts to give you even more ideas

Listen to the Google Teacher Tribe podcast using any of these links:

Google Play:

Other great creation ideas I love ...