Sep 23, 2016

Google Slides - Making Presenter View Work for You

Recently, a reader posted the following question for the Techy Coach:
"I watched your video on the new back  channel available in the presenter view with Google Slides.  How do you as a presenter see this view without the audience seeing it also?"
This question comes up quite often, so I thought I would post this updated explanation about Presenter View to cover some of the features involved.

What is Presenter View for Google Slides?

Several months ago, Google released an update to Google Slides that allows presenters to take questions from the audience.  But its much more than that.  In addition to taking questions from the audience, you can control your presentation from the Presenter View Dashboard, use audience tools to display questions from audience members to the entire audience, and access a back-channel of questions from any presentation in the future.

Getting Started...

To use Presenter View...
  1. Open any Google Slides Presentation.
  2. On the Present button, click the Drop Down menu and Choose Presenter View
  3. Click Start New

Google will provide a URL address at the top of your slides that audience members can use to ask questions.  They can access this address from any mobile device.  Audience members can choose to ask questions using their profile name, or anonymously.

As audience members ask questions, they will appear in the Audience Tools pane.   If you want to present an audience member's question, you can click the Present button beneath their question.

Additionally, you can control your presentation from this window by using the presenter tools.  This allows you to move forward or backward in your presentation, and access speaker notes if you have them.

At any time, if you want to stop taking questions, just toggle the On/Off switch, and the URL will disappear from the top of your presentation, and Slides will stop taking questions.

How Do I Present My Slide Show?

The main question that pops up when using Google Slides Presenter View, as shown in the question at the start of this article, is how to display without your audience seeing your presenter tools.  

The quick answer to this is to change the display settings on your device to Extended Desktop.  However, there is not a quick way to explain how this works on different devices.  Here are a few explanations.

On a Chromebook, you can simply follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Status Area in the bottom right of your display (clock).
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Choose Display Settings
  4. Change Options from Mirroring to Extended Display.

For a Windows
  1. Right click on your display.
  2. Choose Graphic Options > Output to > Extended Desktop.

By setting up your device and projector as Extended Desktop, you can then present your slide show on the Projected Screen, while viewing the Audience Tools on your device.  

This allows you to see your presenter tools, questions from the audience, and any speaker notes you need to access while all they see is your slide show.

Accessing Questions from Previous Sessions

As you use Google Slides Presenter View over and over, you will notice the option to Continue Recent or Start New.  As a result, you can continue a previous session, adding new questions to old questions, or you can start a fresh session with new audience questions.

As for old sessions, you can access questions from previous sessions at any time.  To do this:

  1. In the Google Slides Editor, Click Tools
  2. Choose Q&A History
  3. A pane will open at the right of your slide show displaying your Q&A History from previous sessions.
  4. Click on any date to view audience questions.

Hopefully this helps to answer questions you may have had about Presenter View on Google Slides.  This is a great tool that has many great applications including fielding questions from:
  • Audiences at Conferences and Exhibitor Shows
  • Students in Class
  • Faculty and Staff during Professional Development
  • Google Hangouts / YouTube Live
  • Parent Meetings
However you plan to use it, always make sure to test it out in advance so you are comfortable with use and settings involved.

Happy Presenting!

Sep 21, 2016

Tracking Student Progress and Attendance in Google Sheets

This week, a question to the Techy Coach asks how a coach or teacher might use Google Sheets to track student progress, as well as attendance.

From this I know that there are many times as educators that you want to log data regarding student performance.  Specifically you may want to track Reading Fluency or Cross Country/Run Times, while still having the ability to see a visual of their progress over time.  Google Sheets can help with this, as well as Attendance needs by using a few simple tools.  The video below will specifically cover:

  • Sparkline Charts
  • Data Validation
  • Conditional Formatting
Take a look and see how Google Sheets can help you with your club sponsor and coaching needs.  Design  your Google Sheet to fit your needs, then once you have your sheet setup, you can access it on a phone or tablet as you meet for practice or meetings.

Sep 19, 2016

Using Microsoft Files in the Cloud - Effective Use of Google Drive

Recently in working with a Local Education Co-Op, we ran across an issue that may be important to several of you out there.  While I am a big proponent of using Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides) for classroom solutions, there are often times when due to Macros and other features, you simply must use a Microsoft file such as Excel.  

In this case, an Excel Spreadsheet was being shared between several users across Google Drive.  Users were using Google Drive Sync on Macs and PCs to share and back up their files.  One issue they ran across is that several temporary files would popup as a result of opening, editing, and using the Excel sheet in the cloud.  As well, they found that sometimes, people would lose access to the file, as some users would click File > Save As on Excel, rather than just clicking Save. 

As a result, they often found that even though the filename may be the same, users lost access because Save As would overwrite and replace the file.  This is because Google Drive can have several files of the same name, but what makes them different from one another is the URL and the Unique Identifier in the URL Address.  

So if you are a Google Drive user, but you have a need to share and use a Microsoft file, here are a few tips:

Access Everywhere

Sep 12, 2016

Google Forms Quizzes for Early Childhood

For years, teachers I have worked with have asked if you could set up a Google Form of K-2 students so that they could click on a Shape to answer a question.  This request made sense, as for years companies that sold clickers offered handheld devices using colors and shapes, rather than numbers or letters to answer student response questions.

With the new ability to add images to questions in Google Forms, what many people may have overlooked is that you now also have the ability to add images to responses.  This means that the very thing so many Early Childhood teachers have been asking of Google Forms, is now available.  See the Video Tutorial below and the following quiz sample to see what I mean...

Sep 11, 2016

Back to School with Google Classroom

Now that school is back in full swing, this is a great time to take a look at some of the benefits of using Google Classroom.  Whether you are a veteran user or new to Google, there are some awesome features that will help you save time, and communicate better with parents.

Getting Started - Archive Old Courses

As you start the new year, you may be faced with re-using an old course, or archiving the old ones and starting new.  My best advice to people is to archive them.  Many people say they want to re-use their course so they don't have to re-enter lessons from last year.  However, re-using the course can actually create more work than if you archive, because you have to change the dates on every entry, post them to the top, and all this in addition to deleting students from the course. 

By Archiving a course, the course is removed from your dashboard and students are un-enrolled.   However, all is not lost.   As you start your new course, you can re-use old posts from any class - current or archived - by using the Re-Use Post option in Classroom. 

Classroom Communication

As you add items to your Classroom stream, there are several ways to maintain communication with students so you know they are up to date on what is due and when.  The first of these is the class calendar.  With every new Classroom created, there is also a corresponding Calendar.  This calendar appears in the Google Classroom Menu.  Students can view assignments and announcements for your classroom, as well as any other classroom they are enrolled in.  

Additionally, all Google Classroom calendars appear in Google Calendar for all teachers, co-teachers, and students linked to the classroom.

Parent Communication

One criticism of many teachers toward classroom was the inability of parents to see how their student was performing, and what assignments were given in Google Classroom.  For a long time, I told teachers to share their Google Classroom calendar with parents to solve this issue.   Thankfully, as of this Summer, Google has added a feature allowing teachers to invite Guardians to connect with Google Classroom.

Once invited, parents and guardians can see daily or weekly digests of student work.  They can also get information on missing work, upcoming work, and class activity.  At the end of the year, they can unsubscribe from the class.

Schedule Posts

Finally if you are the kind of teacher that likes to get work done ahead of time, there is an option in Google Classroom allowing you to schedule assignments and announcements ahead of time.  For instance, lets say you are sitting at home on Sunday night, and you want to plan your week.  Use the Schedule Post function to get your classroom ready for the week.

Hopefully these tips have served as new information to help you be more productive with Classroom, or at the very least, remind you of some functions you may have forgotten about over the Summer.  

Here's to a great school year, and great Googlin'!