Chromebooks · Google Drive · productivity

Create eBooks using Google Slides

Students have a lot of familiarity with Google Slides.  Slides is a versatile tool and while students and teachers can create great presentations using Google Slides, it can be used for much more!  For example, Google Slides makes a great platform for creating eBooks.  There are a plethora of elements that can be added to Slides: text, links, audio clips, videos, shapes, tables, charts, diagrams, word art and animation.  These elements can help students create engaging and dynamic eBooks in any content area.  Once created, slides can be published to the web, providing a shareable link and page by page viewing.

Check out this example.

Want to get started, check out this tutorial.

The possibilities are endless!

Chromebooks · productivity
Looking for a way to support diverse learners?  Did you know students have access to a built in accessibility feature on Chromebooks that allows for speech-to-text anywhere a student accesses a text box for typing?  This is great for students who struggle to get ideas on paper (writing or typing) and is engaging for students who use speech-to-text features on their mobile devices in their everyday tasks.  Once ideas are there, it easier to edit and refine them!  Help students turn on the Chromebook On-screen keyboard.

Check out this brief tutorial for activating & using On-Screen Keyboard.


More of a reader than a visual learner, follow these steps:

Enable the Chromebook On-Screen Keyboard by going to:
Settings > Advanced > Manage accessibility features > Keyboard > Enable on-screen keyboard


Google Drive · productivity · technology integration

2 New Features in Google Slides

Google Slides are super easy to navigate and versatile in how they can be used!  If you are looking for ideas on how to use slides to really get at the “M” and “R” levels of the SAMR model, check out this great blog post by Matt Miller, 10 Google Slides activities to add awesome to classes.

Two new features were recently pushed out to Google Slides and we got access to them today:

What makes these features great?

Inserting Diagrams to Slides

How do you insert a diagram on a slide?

  • When on a slide, go to: Insert > Diagram
  • A side panel will open, from which you can select a diagram to include on a slide.

Templates include hierarchy, timeline, process, relationship, and cycle.

Why would you or students want to do this?

Visuals provide access to information in a way that text does not.  Many learners benefit form seeing and sharing complex processes visually.  The provided templates are easy to modify so user time is spent developing content, not drawing or importing shapes to create diagrams.

Add content from Google Keep Notes to Slides

How do you add Google Keep Notes to a slide?

  • When on a slide, go to: Tools > Keep Notepad.
  • A side panel will open, displaying all of your Keep notes.
  • Click on the three dots at the top right of a given note to add note contents to a slide.

Why would you or students want to do this?

Often times users get wrapped up in choosing design elements when creating slide presentations at the expense of content.  Teachers can have students take notes for presentations in Keep, where the focus is on note taking, and then easily transfer them to slides for the final phase of a presentation project.

The features within notes:

  • share for collaboration
  • color code for organization
  • add checklists for items
  • include images
  • add drawings (though these don’t import to slides)

make notes a great place to store information that can seamlessly be pulled into various presentations quickly.

Google continues to enhance their GSuite tools, providing a wealth of opportunities for teachers and students to create, share, and engage with meaningful content that supports student learning.

Google Drive · productivity

Google Comments Tip

I learned something new this week!  I love using Comments in GSuite apps when collaborating with others.  Did you know you can tag others in a comment so they receive an email notification that a comment has been made?

Here is how:

  1. In your Google Doc, Sheet or Slide, start a comment – highlight what you wish to comment on and  (I love keyboard shortcuts!) press CTRL + ALT + M.
  2. Type a “+” then the name of the person you want to tag.  When his/her name pops up, click on it.  You can tag multiple people in a comment.
  3. Type your comment, clicking Comment when done.
  4. The tagged individual(s) will receive an email alerting him/her/them that a comment directed towards him/her/them has been made.

This great feature enhances the workflow on documents/sheets/slides on which you are collaborating with students or colleagues.  Happy tagging!

Chromebooks · Google Drive · productivity

Two more reasons to love Google Docs


As if Google Docs wasn’t already fabulous, I learned about an extension and a feature enhancement this week that make me love Google Docs even more!


Draftback, described as “the archaeology of great writing,”  is a Chrome extension that, once installed, allows you to watch the revision history of a Google Doc play back as a movie!  How cool is this?!?  It is like being able to look over the shoulder of the author and watch his/her writing process.  This can be enormously informative when looking at student work, as well as a means of virtually modeling the writing process for your students.  Along with watching the writing evolve, users can access document data and statistics to see a timeline of activity, note where in the document changes have been made, and view a table of writing sessions indicating the length of each session and number of revisions a contributor has made.

Want to learn more?  Check out this brief tutorial.

Ready to try it out?  Get the extension here.

Google Voice for Formatting & Editing

Enhancements have been made to the Voice Typing feature in Google Docs.  Not only can you dictate your document, now you can format and edit text with voice commands as well!

Check out this list of voice commands that includes everything from copying and pasting to changing font color to inserting tables to navigating a document.  Voice Commands are great for busy students and teachers, providing opportunities for on the fly authoring, as well as removing access barriers for students with poor keyboarding skills and motor challenges.

Learn more by watching this demo video:

voice command.PNG

Google Docs keeps getting better and better, providing an efficient and enhanced workflow.


Chromebooks · Google Drive · productivity · technology integration

1:1 Tip of the Week

Did you know that Google Docs has a feature that allows you to convert speech-to-text (think Siri)?   Using the Chrome Browser on a computer/laptop with a microphone (Yogas & Chromebooks), you can:

  • Open a new Google Document
  • Click on Tools.
  • Select Voice Typing
  • A microphone appears in the margin – click on it and start talking!
  • Your words appear on the page. You can say “period” to punctuate a sentence and “new line” to jump to a new line.
  • Click on the microphone to turn the feature off.

This feature can be a huge time saver for you, and a great way to get reluctant writers started on a document!

Here is a brief video tutorial showing how the tool works: