A User Guide for Powerful Student Presentations Using Google Slides!
Google Slides is a powerful publishing and presentation tool when formatting is sharp and ideas are clearly communicated in clear and engaging ways. It is important for teachers to take the time to outline key design principles to allow students the creative freedom to express both their ideas and learning. There are so many different ways in which Google Slides can be incorporated in the classroom, from publishing a novel to classroom posters and taking the time to showcase the many features of Google Slides will be sure to promote top notch designs that allow students to thrive and be successful with their learning. The following Google Slides tips are designed in a slightly obnoxious way to drive home key components of a well designed and effective slidedeck.
Let me introduce you to some of the Do’s and Don’ts of Google Slides…
Black and white is boring! Leave it to the text in your Google Docs when you are creating clever pieces of writing. When working with Google Slides select two contrasting colours- I recommend a light colour (top row of the colour palette) for the background and a dark colour (bottom row of the palette) for the text. Please avoid placing primary colours together or any other colour combination where they are close together (ie. Blue/Green and Yellow/Red). The further away on the colour spectrum the better!
Take advantage of the built-in Google Search tools to ensure that you are including images that have high resolution (larger than 640×480), have a transparent background (png), and that are copyright safe. Students should always avoid low-quality images and ones with copyright imprints (ie. line layers or logos). Remember that Google Slide decks can be created in any dimensions so the resolution should be even higher for larger publications and posters.
For some reason students love to add animations into their presentations- it is important to remind students that anything added to a Google Slidedeck must help to enhance your message and not take away from it. There any many subtle and beautiful gif’s out there that can capture and entice the eye of your viewer! Random animations are distracting and take away from the power of your words.
Less is More
The information contained on a Google Slide Deck should be contained to around three strong and concise points. Use lists or bullets to help draw the viewer’s eye to where they should be reading. Placing oodles of information on a slide does not indicate you are working harder, it simply tells the teacher that you are having a hard time synthesizing and selecting key facts about your topic.
Shapes are great additions to titles, headings, and emphasizing a key point on a Google Slide deck. The rectangle tool is especially powerful in helping format your slidedeck and placing text boxes inside the shapes to contain your information and ideas. For additional effect, add a border or line colour to your shape to provide even more emphasis.
I believe Google is currently home to over 600 fonts and although I have many favourites to include on my Slide Decks it is important to select only one of two for your presentations. Selecting one font for your headings and one for your body of text is the way to go to ensure consistency between slides and making your presentation as viewer friendly as possible.
The more students practice their Google Slide formatting, the more they will be able to deliver and produce engaging presentations and publications. Saving examples of top-notch Google Slide designs and formats will encourage students to take their capabilities to the next level! Google Slides is always a powerful and engaging way for students to showcase and display their learning!
Certified Google Trainer & SWE17 Innovator
Middle School Teacher & Technology Support
Saanich School District 63