Tuesday’s Tool: Google Presentation

Collaborative presentations used to be a headache when students worked on a single PowerPoint (or equivalent presentation software) presentation. They either had to wait their turn to input their content or struggle with merging separate files. The end result was usually that one student took over and created the presentation on his or her own.

Getting past the obvious faults in cooperative learning design, Google Presentation provides an easy alternative to the scenario above. Multiple users can have access to the same presentation at the same time. Ideally, all members of a team can have their own slide or set of slides to contribute. Editing can happen in real time, simultaneously instead of downtime creating opportunities for classroom management nightmares.

Google Presentation has several other great features that makes it an ideal collaborative tool:

  • The “View Together” feature allows audience members to chat during a presentation, possibly adding to the presentation through viewer participation.
  • Hyperlinks can be inserted as a way to create a┬árudimentary website housed on Google’s servers.
  • Slides from other presentations can be added to a current presentation.
  • PowerPoint files can be uploaded and edited using Google’s interface.
  • A presentation can be embedded onto a blog, Moodle course space, or any site that incorporates HTML coding.

So, how could one use these features in the classroom? I have a list for that as well:

  • Collect content gathered for the purposes of a Jigsaw activity on one presentation.
  • Open up editing rights as a way to collaborative gather ideas, much like Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways project.
  • Collect scientific data to share with classrooms in other schools, towns, states, or countries.
  • I use Google Presentation to provide an agenda for the teachers I train.
  • Organize a WebQuest on a single presentation.

How have you used Google Presentation? Are there other collaborative presentation tools that work as well as Google’s? What other uses can you see for Google Presentation?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.