Group Playlist Concept

Our Wellness II teachers wanted to give their Mental Health unit a ‘refresh’ look and feel. In the past, students were lectured about the topic as well as participated in class discussions. Recently, I had heard Amanda Sandoval’s keynote at the Spring CUE conference where she talked about how she has designed activities for students based off of Catlin Tucker’s playlist concept. Hence, where Group playlist comes from. 

Inspiration…

In the keynote, Amanda talks about how she loved station rotations, pre-COVID times, where students would participate in different activities at the same time. Then when the timer goes off, students moved from one station to the next. This was an approach that we used pre-covid times as well (In fact, I wrote a blog post about this in Feb 2020). Amanda shared how she feels Group Playlist works a bit better because:

  • Not all stations use up the same amount of time based on the activity.
  • Groups can complete tasks in any order that they want to complete them in.
  • Teacher is able to assess work as students complete tasks. Groups let the teacher know when they are done to do the ‘assessing’. This saves time on the teacher not having to look at the work after hours and it also gives students immediate feedback. Win for both parties!
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Forcing Present Mode of Google Slide in Google Classroom

There are instances where I want to force participants to view a slide show presentation in present mode, rather than the ‘edit view’ mode where slides show up on the left column. One instance is when I want users to interact with the material – where they choose their own path.

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2021 – Day 4 of Google – Google Slides

On the fourth day of Google, we will dive into a couple of tips in Google Slides. Did you know…

CREATE YOUR OWN GRADIENT COLORS

Did you know that you could create your gradient colors? I actually didn’t until a week ago. There might be times where you want to have multiple colors show up in text. To make this happen,

  • Insert a word art cell with your text
  • While text is selected, click the fill paint bucket icon
  • Under the gradient menu, select the icon to create your own color
  • Select the color you want to start with. You will then add a new gradient stop color. Repeat this step as many times as you want with the number of colors you will want to appear.
  • You can determine the type of gradient from linear to radial.

In the example below, you will see that a rainbow effect was created. You don’t need to select all of the gradient stops that I selected. You could keep it simple and only have one gradient stop.

This is something that you won’t use all the time. For me, this was a huh moment as I didn’t know it existed. When the right time comes, I will be sure to use the feature however.

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Collaborative Class Podcast

In the next couple of weeks, I will be visiting a couple of humanities classes to help students take their written work and convert it into spoken language. Teachers are asking students to create a podcast episode to what will turn out to be a full class podcast. The 9th grade humanities teachers, Mrs. Devito, Mrs. McDermott, & Mrs. Kenney, want to be able to hear their students share their thoughts and tone. Another history teacher, Mrs. Gaudreau, wants to have her students interview a grandparent, or a friend of the family, to get their perspective of what life was like in a particular era. I am excited for the fact that for many of the students, this will be a new skill/task. They aren’t ‘just’ submitting another google doc or another slide presentation. They are learning how to share their knowledge or ideas in a different fashion.

THE TOOLS

In both of these scenarios, students will be using WeVideo to create their audio track (our school has the paid version of WeVideo). Students will have the ability to record right in WeVideo or upload a recording from their mobile devices into WeVideo. Once audio clips are stitched together, students will share their final recording on their own slide, in the class google slide. The gif below gives you an idea what it will eventually look like. Big shout out to Slides Mania for providing great templates to pull from. It truly is much appreciated. Click HERE to view in a different window.

Why WeVideo?

  • We needed a tool where students didn’t have to record all in one shot.
  • We wanted the ability for students to add sound bite/interludes.
  • We needed a tool that would allow for a range podcast length.
  • We also pay for the service.

Why Google Slides?

  • We wanted a space where students can provide a link for others to access.
  • We wanted a space for students to provide a photo and short description of the episode.
  • We wanted a space that easily allows for collaboration.

THE SUPPORT

In other to help support students, this resource has been created for students to help them throughout their podcast journey. Students are able to select the square they have questions on. The hope here is that students can quickly navigate to get the answers they need. There is a section on how to alter their own slides as well as how to use WeVideo to their advantage. (I like the look of the slide – got some inspiration from Amanda Sandoval).

I look forward to seeing how the class podcasts turn out. If you have any questions on how you can use this with your own students, you know where to find me.

And that is my Spiel…

Brochures in Google Slides

There are a couple of tools out there that help with creating brochures or infographics from pre-made templates. Sometimes, it might make sense to create a similar product in Google Slides. This could be because you might need the ease of collaboration. Sometimes it might be due to the fact that your district does not have a signed agreement with the edtech tool. Regardless of the issue, if you find yourself in a situation where you would like to use Google Slides, don’t assume students know how to use the tool beyond adding a slide, adding text in a textbox field, and grabbing pictures

Recently, our 9th grade humanities teachers wanted students to work collaboratively to create a brochure. Doesn’t really matter what the topic was as this could be adapted in any curriculum. What I wanted to focus on was helping make sure students knew how to be creative and manipulate their content to fit the brochure appropriately. Yes the information curated was important for the task at hand, but in my mind, it also needed to look visually appealing that someone would actually want to learn from.

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