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Linking 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 continuing on in our series with tips and tricks for using interactive slides in the classroom, and today it's all about links. Thanks for joining. Are you ready to jump in and start making your own slide decks? Are you ready to take your interactive slide game to the next level? Well, I am here for you. Check out the show notes to find links to my new free ebook with the three easy ways you can start using interactive slides in your classroom today, including some of the things we've talked about on the podcast. You can also link to a brand new resource that is over 100 pre-designed coordinated slide deck backgrounds. There are some for every season and holiday. You can use them for lesson planning, for desktop backgrounds, for student activities, daily slides whatever you can dream up you can create with these pre-made backgrounds. Maybe you are really ready to jump in, but you need a little help and guidance. I've got you there too. Be sure to sign up on the wait list for my new course interactive slides master class that will be coming out in October 2023. Sign up on the list so that you'll be the first to know when it's ready. 

Welcome back on our series of episodes with tips and tricks for using interactive slides in the classroom. Two weeks ago, we talked about using daily focus slides and how I started using them back during the pandemic and continue to use them teaching in person, to keep my lessons on track and focus and to keep my online resources right there at the click of a button. Last week, we talked about sharing those slides with stakeholders, from administrators to subs, to co-teachers and even to students and families. Today, we're going to backtrack a little, because maybe you haven't started using interactive slides or maybe you need to up your slide game. So this episode is all about links and how to add links to your slides and what to link so that you can get what you need in one click of your mouse. 

So if you're using slides for teaching, whether it be to organize your daily lessons or to create lesson plans, you really just need to hyperlink text. So if it's for the teacher, for instance, I use a slide deck for my lesson planner. I have a template and I create text boxes and I type in what I'm doing for each part of each day each week, and so sometimes I want to link up a website or a video or even another slide deck or another place within my Google Drive. To do this, all you have to do is add a text hyperlink. You highlight the text that you want to become your clickable button, if you will, and then you click the link button. Or you could right click and add a hyperlink and then you paste in the address of wherever it is you want that link to go. So that would be, I think, the best way to link something within lesson plans. Now, if it's for display, like your daily slides or something that you might send to parents or students, you most certainly can link text in this way. But another thing you can do is link an entire text box. So if it's something that has a lot of text in it, you can highlight and link the text, but you know it turns it blue and puts the line under it. It kind of changes the aesthetic of your slide. So if you will just select the text box and then add your link in the same way, it will make the entire text box a link so that when they click on the box it will take them wherever it is that you want them to go or that you want to go. 

The other way to add a link easily is to add a hyperlink to an image, and I do this a lot. I do this in my daily email when I link the screenshot of my daily slides. I do this sometimes in my lesson plans. If I've created a little button and I want that button to go somewhere, I might add a hyperlink to an image. I do it a lot with my daily slides. So if we have books that we're going to read for the week, or if we have another slide in our slide deck that I want to make a button or an image for, then I would link the graphic on the slide. It's just the same as linking text. So you highlight whatever image you want to create a link for and then you can click the link button in your menu, or you can right click, add a link and put it in that way, or two fingers click. 

If you're working on a Chromebook with a touchpad and maybe you're not a right clicker anymore, that's kind of going away, I think, because people are not using mice regularly, so the two finger click is just as important as the right click anymore. So that would be how you could add a link to your images. So if you're sharing with students maybe you have every week I have a little bookshelf on my daily slides and I just go to Google and I copy images that are the cover of the books that I'm going to use. I find the best videos on YouTube or record my own, and then I go back and link those to the image of the book cover so that when my students or I or their families click the picture of the book cover, it takes them to the video with that story. So pretty cool. In my plans I would just link, obviously, the text if I put the title in, but when it comes to presenting on the screen or sharing with students and families, I might add an image and hyperlink the image. 

The other way that you can include things by linking them in your slide decks is by embedding them, and so if you go to your insert menu on Google Slides, you can choose to add a video or add a sound, and when you choose from there, you are prompted with a box where you can add either the link to the video that's in your drive or the link to the video that's on YouTube and when you click Insert or Add, that video sort of pops up like a rectangle that looks like the actual video and has a play button on it, and this is called embedding the video. So what this means is when you embed a video, they're gonna watch it within the slide deck. So before, when I just hyperlinked that little book cover, when I click on that it takes me out of Google Drive to YouTube or wherever. The video is kept in a new window and I'm looking at a totally different site. When you embed the video, it stays right there on the slide and it is viewed within your slide deck. The cool thing about this is that you can resize embedded videos so you can make them, if you get really fancy, fit to the size of a little clip art you have that maybe looks like a TV screen or a smart board screen or a computer screen, or you can fit it inside a frame, or you can make it as big as the screen or almost as big as the screen, so that students could watch it right there. The beauty of this is, when using interactive slides with students for their use, you keep them right there in their Google Drive on their slide deck. They're not going out to YouTube where well, let's face it, who knows what could happen? When you keep them right there embedded in your slide, then you know they're not going to stray or wander to other videos because it's just going to show that video right there on your slide. 

For my lessons I use this all the time. For my daily slides I use it as well. I have embedded a little 10-minute timer YouTube video with some music and it's on a little clip art computer screen on a little desk in my little Bitmoji classroom. That is my daily focus slide when we are working on our journals each morning as our bell ringer when we start the day, I just click play and it plays that little 10-minute timer YouTube video right there on the slide. My students can still see everything else that's on there as they're getting settled for the class period. They can read our to-do list, they can see what stories we might read and they can watch the timer all as it counts down all at the same time. So embedding videos is very useful when you are going to have students interacting with YouTube while they're at school or working on an assignment. It goes for any other videos as well. You can embed them just the same way and they will show up. During the pandemic I recorded myself teaching 100 phonics lessons and I saved those videos and can still use them today, and I embed them into a slide that has other phonics resources on it and my students could watch it right there on the slide. So pretty useful to be able to embed videos for your students. Now, what might you want to embed or what might you want to link besides just a YouTube video, because I know we use those a lot as teachers. 

But there are lots of other things that you can link, either within your teaching and student slides or within your own lesson planning slides. I love to link videos, obviously, but also I link a lot to other files within my drive. So if I have another slide deck that's created with, say, all of our anchor charts, I will link an image of the anchor chart on the daily slide deck so that when I click it it pops up in present mode and there's the anchor chart filling the screen and we can discuss it, or my students can access that anchor chart resource for themselves to help them do their work. In my lesson plans. I also link other resources that I have saved in my drive. So on my lesson plan slide deck I will have a link each week to my focus slide deck so that I can toggle between the two really easily. 

And once you get adept at making links and you're thinking about what could you link up, you'll think of lots of other things that you might want to link. 

I'll link teacher pay to teachers pay, teachers resources that I've purchased in my plan so I can go straight to that file and grab what I need. 

I will link to a co-teachers plan or link to the actual unit we've created from my lesson plan so that if I need a more detailed picture or my administrator does, they can go straight from my plan book to my bigger unit plan. 

I also link to places where I might keep student names or class lists or other information, as well as the things that I'm going to assign to my students, so I can find them easily, to update them and make sure when I assign them in Google classroom I have exactly what I'm looking for. So the tip for today is to link text and images on your slide deck and a great trick is to embed those videos, especially when students are going to be using the slide deck to access something, a video on another site. This keeps them focused on the lesson and keeps them in their Google Drive, where it's much safer, and they're less tempted to wander and stray off to other videos or other sites. What other things can you think of to link up? I'm sure there are tons of resources, tons of slide decks, tons of videos, websites and games that you might be able to link for yourself and for your students on your interactive slides. I hope this helps. Thanks for listening. 

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 REGISTER!


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