Day 5 of Google 2020 – Google Slides

On Day 5, we will take a look at Google Slides. Let’s face it…organizing content in such a way that others are able to learn from can be a challenge. We are visual people. And sometimes, going beyond black and white can go a long way. The tips below are not ones that you always have to include when creating slide presentations. Just want to help give you an idea of what can be done.


Did you know that you can search for images to use in your presentations right in the slides tab. There is no need to open another tab and perform a google search. You can launch explore feature two ways.

1. Click on the explore icon on the bottom right corner. 2. You can find explore under the Tools menu.

Let Google know what you are looking for – find what makes the most sense for you and away you go, the image is added to your slide presentation. NOTE: Once the image has been added in the presentation, you will find that it is hyperlinked to its source.

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PDFlix: Providing ‘On Your Time’ PD Opportunities

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Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 6.42.02 AMOk, yes…the sound of Netflix went through my mind as I started typing. Each year, Jess Gilcreast (High School librarian), and I think of creative and different ways to provide professional development for the staff that we work with. We have tried it all, or at least seems that way. Whether it is providing ‘learning at your own time’ opportunities through Google Classroom, in person trainings, or online book chats through Twitter. We strive to keep things ‘fresh’ and continuously push the limits.

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Day 6 of Google 2019 – Google Slides & Audio

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 6.54.26 AMThe sixth day of Google focuses on how you can use Google Slides for podcasting or having background audio playing while presenting.

Audio in Slides

For several months, Google has been promising the ability to insert audio files in Google Slides. Have no fear, the time is finally here.

To insert an audio file, go to the ‘Insert’ menu, followed by ‘Audio’. Select the audio file from your Google Drive. You will notice that you are only able to insert audio files that live in your Google Drive. They must also have a file type of .mp3. If you have an mp4 file, you will not be able to upload to a slide.

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Day 5 of Google 2019 – Google Slides

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 6.53.11 AM.pngOn this day fifth of Google, we will take a deeper dive into Google Slides ( Some new features recently came out when presenting from a presentation that are definitely worth the mention.


Closed Captioning

Last year, Google incorporated closed captioning when a presentation is in present mode. To turn on this feature, select the caption icon in the presentation tool bar. Remember, there won’t be a transcript after from what was said. The computer listens to your voice and projects the words in real time and then it goes away. You now have the ability to move the captioning up to the top of the screen as well as increase the size of the text. This way attendees can fully see the text on the screen.


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Book Bento

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Throughout the year, I co-teach several technology graduate level courses through Fitchburg State University with a friend, Mary Marotta. For the past two weeks, we taught two full one week courses. Without a doubt, there are always a couple take-aways from the classes for me. I am going to address one of them in this blog post: #bookbento.


It is very rare for us to not address the idea and concept of Hyperdocs in our courses. For those of you who have not heard of hyperdocs, click HERE to learn more about them. Well, during this particular unit, one of our students stumbled across with #BookBento. (Thank you Sam Burns – as she shared this resource from Lisa Highfill). I am going to be honest, I hadn’t heard of the word bento until a couple of weeks ago. So, I was very intrigued when #BookBento was shared with me.

What is #BookBento?

To get inspired you can find excellent examples of a book bento from Instagram or Pinterest. Here is the quick breakdown. Typically in the center, you will find a book. Then surrounding that book, you will find different items, typically five, that have some sort of meaning to the book, giving a quick window into what the story is all about. You will also notice that the background color may also help paint a picture explaining what the book is about.

To take the picture to the next level, students can then pull this picture into a Google Slides presentation and make each of the items launch to something helping explain why those items were selected.

Here is my example of a bento book. I did it around the book titled One Grain of Rice, a story that I used to read to my Algebra II students when we were in the exponential unit. (In fact, students loved this day because I would set up the room where we would have story time, like back in the day in elementary school).

Some Things to Know

  • Have students take picture in square mode.
  • When using Google Slides, customize the size of the slide (in page setup) to instagram size – 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Use shape icons or an image as a way to launch other applications for explanation of item or information about the book itself. Once icon or image is there, make sure it is selected so that you can hyper link it.
  • Keep in mind that other tools can be used for explanations: Google Docs, Screencastify, Flipgrid, audio recording, Jamboard, etc. Basically anything that has a link.
  • As a side note, I provided a QR code for one of my items. If you have flipgrid app on your phone, launch the app. Then select the QR code button on top left corner on the home screen of Flipgrid. Once scanned, you will see a video response done through Flipgrid of me speaking. However, this video will show up through Flipgrid’s Augmented Reality feature.
  • Don’t want to worry about physical objects? No worries, you can always use digital images.

I am intrigued with the concept of #BookBento. This could be a great alternative to students writing a paper about a book that they read. Someone else indicated that this could be great for when students are asked to do independent reading on a book of their choice. I can also see this being used in other ways as well, beyond books. The theme can be a math topic, or historical time period. As always, if you have any questions or want to talk things through with me, you know where to find me.

And that is my Spiel…