Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Class Collaboration with Google Presentations

A few weeks ago I attended a tech inservice at school on advanced google apps and learned about Google presentations.  I had the idea that it only contained the common features: text, images, background color, font, sizes, etc. which we already have in our labs’ software (Hyperstudio and Keynote). However, it was nice to discover it can be a useful tool to create collaborative presentations with students.

What makes google presentation a great collaborative tool is that it can be shared and edited by any user even though the editors do not own a google account.  Anyone who clicks on the link may edit the slides. Since my students do not have gmail accounts, this was a terrific opportunity for them to work on a common presentation contributing with their own slides.

The lesson was an introduction to computer parts during our third grade tech class. Kids watched the video “The Magic School Bus Gets Programmed” and paid close attention to all computer parts that were mentioned. Right after the video came a short discussion about those parts. Students then got together in teams of two and worked on a slide using a link I had posted in my schoolworld website. This is the way the slides looked when students saw it first:

When I was creating the document, I set the privacy settings so that anyone with the link could access the presentation and anyone could edit it.

Each slide needed to include: name of computer part, image, description and function. In a few minutes, each group finished their slide and were able to present it within a single presentation right after.

It has been easy and fun to work with google presentations. Normally, students would have worked with separate slides, dragged them into a drop-box, and I would have had to put them together in one presentation.   Using this feature, the presentation was ready as soon as the slides were completed and the students were able to present it in that same period.

Several learnings took place in this collaborative assignment. On one hand, students learned from each other as each team presented their slide.  On the other hand, kids also learned that online web2.0 tools can help them work “together” without having to be in a same physical space.

We did have one little problem to troubleshoot.  To my surprise, the presentation's saving mode initially did not work and students were not being able to save their changes.  Since I had used my  school's google account to create those documents, I tried switching to my personal gmail account, created new presentations, copied the same settings listed above, and then fortunately, everything worked perfectly well!  

If you would like to share your experience using any other collaborative tools in class, please post a comment. I would love reading about it!


  1. You can view one of the final presentations at:


  2. Blogs are good for everyone where we get lots of info...Thanks for great presentation...
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