Monday, June 11, 2012

Google Presentations: Updated and Worth the Wait!



Google Presentations is a tool I use in my small corner of education for pretty much everything BUT creating presentations. That said, I've seen some folks do some really GREAT things using presentation. My daughter's first grade teacher uses presentation for "Kid Quotes," and to share "Themes and Units" with the parents. A few years ago (3+) Tom Barrett and his 80+ interesting ways to... showed how a collaborative slide deck could be pretty cool even if the tool editor was lacking in cool.
I can also remember the first time I saw the way that Chris Atkinson (#GCT) used it to deliver and share the nightly homework or project updates with parents a few years back; what a really great way to use this tool I thought. Then there are the teachers that have leveraged the "backchannel" aspect of the older version of the tool. A bit wonky at times, but still an early use of a backchannel tool and a great way to "view a presentation together"
Now though, you can actually use Google Presentation for, ahem, Presenting. :)
With updated themes and the new animation feature, it can allow for a much more aesthetically pleasing experience for the designer and for the participant.
There are a bunch of new and really useful updated features available in Presentations like presentation view with speaker notes, an updated commenting feature, new themes, ability to upload .pptx files, easier collaboration UI, and a cleaner revision history. I wanted to share quickly the animation feature, as I believe this could unlock some creative-ness in learners looking to share or "animate" their slides. (Stop motion videos anyone?)


mo.morsi.org (source)
Quick Tips: 
  • The three ways to open the Animations pane:
    • Select a slide. Then, go to the View menu and select Animations. The Animations pane will appear on the right side of your screen. 
    • Select a shape. Then, go to the Insert menu and select Animations. The Animations pane will appear on the right side of your screen. 
    • Right click on a selected shape and select Animate.
  • Animation display order is the same order that they will appear, disappear, etc. 
  • You can slide them up and down to change the order
  • You can delete them by clicking "delete" next to the entry.
Keep in mind that there is no limit to the number of animations you can include in a slide, although I would adhere to some semblance of an enjoyable viewing experience for your audience. :)

To learn even more about Google Docs features, tools, and latest nuances; join us at an upcoming Google Apps for Education Summit!
Register now for the CA Google Apps for Education Summit July 12-13th in Santa Clara CA and the Rocky Mountain Google Apps for Education Summit August 2-3 in Boulder CO.


Rocky Mountain Google Apps for Education Summit August 2-3 in Boulder CO.
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