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Sharing Interactive Slides


Welcome to the 21st Century K podcast. I'm Hannah, I teach elementary school and I help other teachers bridge the gap between traditional elementary and 21st century expectations. In this episode, we're going to kick off a series of episodes with tips and tricks on how to best use interactive slides in your classroom. Hopefully, these will be things you can take back and put into practice immediately, starting with today's tip on how to share slide decks with co-teachers and families. Thanks for joining. In last week's episode, I talked all about how I use daily focus sides to keep my lessons organized and to share with co-workers, administrators and families. So for the first trick and tip to using interactive slides in your classroom, I want to talk about how I share slide decks that I've created with others, and there's actually several different options for sharing that you may or may not have known about or maybe forgot, and this will be a great reminder. The first way to share a slide deck or any other Google file is to click the share button within the file and send it to people within your organization by adding their email address. So when you do this, you have two options. There's a little drop down menu beside each email address and you can select viewer or editor. When you select editor, that gives the person who follows your link rights to make any changes within your document. So if you're sharing daily focus slides with a paraprofessional or a special education co-teacher who needs to go in and make changes, then that is the perfect link to give them. It's a perfect way to share. If you are going to collaborate on creating and editing the slides, you might also do that with another teammate who's teaching the same content or what have you. These people also may benefit from a copy link and you can choose that on the share menu as well, so that it forces them to make their own copy of your file. So this would take away the opportunity to collaborate within the same document, but it would give them their own so that if they personalize it or make changes to use in their classroom, they can do so freely without making changes to your original. Now, when you click the share button, you can also choose viewer from the drop down menu after you add the email addresses of people within your organization. 

The viewer link is great for administrators or other teachers who are just going to be looking at what you have or showing it to students reading it for their own knowledge or just checking in on whatever it is that you're teaching. This is the link that I use for substitute teachers. It's been really great for me to be able to leave that link or link it in a digital lesson plan that I share so that my substitute can pull up my daily focus slide and have it on the board when students come in. This really helps the subs lesson stay on track and it mimics what we would be doing if I was there. So it takes out a lot of those questions from the students like what are we going to be doing, or we should have been doing this, or Ms Stark says that we do it. This way, you can actively communicate through that daily focus slide and it really helps a subs day on track and it gives your students some comfort and stability that the day is going to go, maybe hopefully semi normal. So those are the share options within the Google slide document. 

Now I don't use either one of those share links with my families, and that's where today's tip and trick really comes into play. In my daily emails I include a link to my weekly focus slide deck. I have found that many families enjoy just reading up on what it is that we're learning. Some families may even be so inclined to click some of the resource links or help their child with some of the content, ask them about it, have a conversation about how they're doing, or access the resources when their child is absent from school, so that they don't get too far behind. It is just a really great and easy way to share with families every single week exactly what you're doing and using in the classroom, and I am all about transparency when it comes to teaching and when it comes to working with families and everybody getting on the same page and being on the same team for my students. 

I found while I was teaching kindergarten online that sharing that link from within the document was a little bit cumbersome for families. Even when I send the viewer link, when they open the slide deck, it still looks like it's in the Google Slides interface. So all the toolbars are still there, even if they are not available for use. All of the thumbnails are down the left side of the screen and sometimes the print is really tiny because there's all that dead space around where you've created your slides and it can just be ugly, for lack of a better word, and if something is not easy to use or pleasant to the eye, most people won't use it. 

So I started thinking about how I might be able to share my slide decks in a way that it looks more like a website, and that's when I started sending my daily slide deck link as a present mode slide deck. So you may or may not know that when you open your slide deck in the address bar it's this really long Google address for accessing your slide deck or your file. If you go all the way to the end and delete the text after the last slash you'll say it usually says like edit with some numbers and some coding. If you will delete all of that away and replace it with the word present P-R-E-S-E-N-T, and then highlight and copy that entire address from the address bar and use that as the link that you send to families, when they click it it will automatically open your slideshow in present mode and you can't get out of present mode from there. So what that does is it gives families the slide deck with none of the extra stuff around the edge. There are no toolbar showing, there are no thumbnails down the side, there's no dead space around the slides themselves. It just pops up the slide and everything that you've hyperlinked is accessible and they can click through if you have multiple slides and find what they need. They can also access embedded videos within the slide or even embedded sound bites, if you ever use any of those. It is pretty cool. 

If I do say so myself, when families click on this link it pulls it up and it looks kind of like a webpage. Now, if you're using interactive slides with movable parts that you want students to manipulate and change, this is not the best link to send, because obviously, in slideshow mode you cannot manipulate any of the pieces. You have to be in edit mode for that, unless you have a new extension that I can't wait to share about in the next couple of weeks that allows you to move things in slideshow mode. It's game changing. Anyway, I digress when it comes to sharing the present mode link with families. It just makes it so much easier. 

Now, if you want to take this trip, tip, tip and trick to the next level, then you could screenshot your slide and put a little image in your email and hyperlink the image with your present mode link so that when families open their email, there's the image. I think people are far more inclined to click an image than they are to click text. So when the image is there and you hyperlink the image and they click on it, it will pull up your slide show in present mode where they can access the resources and click through if they need to. If you are feeling like you can really take this to the next level, then you are gonna love this trick. This is the magical part to me. It's what makes my job easier. 

So what I have done is created one slide deck that I have named my Master Weekly Slide Deck and I have it saved in a folder on my computer In my Google Drive. For that particular slide deck, I got the present mode link. By going to the end, deleting the last part and replacing it with the word present, I copy that present mode link and created a shortcut bitly URL. So if you take that entire address, go to bitlycom and put your entire present mode address for your Master Slide Deck and on the Bitly site it creates a shortcut link. So I have a shortcut link that's bitly forward slash, stark, daily slides 2023,. Let's say, I create that shortcut link and then that's the link that I use for my emails and for any other place that I'm sharing my daily slides in present mode with my families, and this is where I save so much time and energy. 

I have a folder with a slide deck for each week of the school year. Every week I pull that slide deck up and make adjustments for the new year and then I copy and paste those slides into my Master Weekly Slide Deck. That means that when anyone clicks to access that Master Weekly Slide Deck, it will automatically have the updated slides for the current week. Oh, this means I do not have to remember to go back and link every individual weekly slide deck in my emails. I just use the same link every single time. It is the same link that I can leave for a sub if they just need to access it in present mode. It's the same link that I can send on a whim to a family if a student is maybe sick or absent for a long period of time. And it's the link that I put in my emails every single day. So I do not have to remember to change out my links, because every single week I just change out the slides. I have that same slide deck bookmarked at the top of my Chrome homepage so that when I get to school I click daily slides and up pops whatever I need for the week, right there before my eyes. I use the same shortcut link for families and they're able to click and access my daily slides at any given time. It has been a total game changer and it's been totally helpful for many of my families. I hope that it helps you too. 

So let's recap. The first tip and trick that we have learned for using Interactive Slides in the classroom is to share them. You can use the share links and the copy links within the Google Slides program to share with coworkers, co-teachers, teammates, administrators, substitute teachers and anyone else who may be helping in your classroom. But you can use that special present mode link to send to families so that they can click and access your slide decks from their phone, from their tablets, from work or from their home computer. Simply go to the end of the address bar and delete all of the text after the last slash and replace them with the word present P-R-E-S-E-N-T. Then grab that entire address and use that for your families. Or, if you're really feeling fancy, grab that entire address for your master slide deck, create a shortcut link and send the same shortcut link to your families, day after day, week after week, while you just change out the slides in the background to prep for each new week of school. I hope this helps and that you are ready to tackle your daily focus slides this week. 

Hey, have you ever thought about making your own interactive slide decks? Maybe the thought has you feeling overwhelmed because you don't understand the technology, or there are just so many options you don't even know where to begin. Well, don't worry, I've got you. I am working on an interactive slides masterclass, a one-time course you can take at your own pace to learn all the tips and tricks I know for creating interactive slide decks that you and your students will love. We'll talk about how to create interactive slides like my calendars and literacy reviews, and also daily focus slides that you can use in your classroom every day of the school year. We'll even talk about how you can come up with your own ideas to create slides that you can sell yourself. I mean, if we're going to do all this work for our own classrooms, why not help other teachers and make a little passive income on the side, right? CLICK HERE to learn more about 21st Century K's Interactive Slides Masterclass!

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