5 Ideas For Using Drive Slides

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo DeVinci  

When selecting tools to use with my students, I look for ways to reduce time on the busy tasks. After trying this approach for a few years, I've learned that the shiny things aren't always the best for my students. The tools that simplify our workflow often win.

One of my new favorite tools is Drive Slides, an extension by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler. Although it's simple, Drive Slides has so many possibilities. I haven't explored all of the following, but my wheels were burning the first time I tried it.

What's The Appeal?

My classroom already uses Drive folders to share work as a class, so an extension that makes a slide presentation from images in a folder hit home for me. For example, my students share image summaries to review and reflect on lessons and units. Now, these images can be in a Slides doc with one click of the extension, and that's just the beginning.

I realize that in theory it's not hard to share a slide presentation with my students in which they can add the images and skip the Drive Slides step. The problem is that in practice kids are not all proficient with mobile age technology like so many people claim. Plus, I want my students to focus on the image search to develop Web literacy skills, not making a slide presentation.

Here are some of my ideas for using Drive Slides.

1. Images Summary

Share a Drive folder via link with editing permissions. My classes all have a file share folder accessible through the About page on Google Classroom. Students add images based on a prompt, and let Drive Slides do the rest.

2. Rethink PPT

So many slide presentations have been clipped, and the remains are all over Google Images. Ask students to find slides in image format to construct a quick slide presentation of the best content they can find.

The image below is a screenshot of an image search. The images with the red boxes are slides from presentations that have been clipped.

3. Share Work  

Take photos of paper-based work or screenshots of digital work to upload to a Drive folder. The extension saves a lot of time form fumbling with technology when the purpose of the activity is for students to practice presenting their work.

I particularly like this approach to sharing work because it allows my students to learn to focus on the evidence of their learning. After they work on a 10- to 15-minute activity, it's important that they know whether they met the expectation or not. Flipping through a handful of slides is a great way to support the need for feedback.

4. Q&A

Slides Q&A was made to allow the audience to ask questions during a presentation without disrupting the presenter. It can also be used to gather questions as the primary focus of the lesson.

Display an image on your swiftly made Slides doc, and instruct students to respond based on a thinking routine. Then, ask them to vote up the most helpful responses to the discussion. The images can be contributed by students like in the first item on this list.

5. Lab Notes

Whether the lab is done on paper or not, images of the results or process can be uploaded to a folder. Once the Slides doc is made, the presenter notes provide a space for description of methodology, observations, and conclusions.

Take advantage of the print options such as printing one slide per page with speaker notes.