Google Slides: The New Microsoft Publisher

As a middle school teacher in 2005, I was all about the poster projects. Just give the students some gluesticks, a pair of scissors, a pack of markers, and a stack of National Geographic magazines, and you’ve got a masterpiece waiting to happen. (For some reason, though, the middle school boys were really interested in Nat Geo, haha.)

I remember those poster projects being fun…Maybe because I really gravitate toward hands-on activities. But, ultimately, it was just a really simple way to get students to create something original from the content I was delivering.

Now, in 2019, with Chromebooks literally all over the place, in almost every school, teachers are looking for a digital poster-making equivalent. Cue Google Slides, the new Microsoft Publisher. Google Slides is essentially a drag and drop poster solution (important note: it’s currently a top 10 Buff Nugget) where students have access to shape tools, text tools (boasting over 1000 Google Fonts), table tools, arrange tools and an explore tool that allows students to find images without ever leaving Google Slides. Because everything is digital, students can also easily add hyperlinks and embed videos.

If you’re intrigued, and you need some guidance on how to get started and implement Google Slides into what you’re doing in your classroom, you know you can count on Buff!

So, here we go:

1. Template Size:

The teacher can choose to create a template that already has the desired specific print-ready dimensions and directions. Even if you don’t want students printing their projects, an 8.5”X11” or 11”X17” canvas makes the project look like a real poster. In Slides, go to: File –> Page Setup –> Custom –> Your desired dimensions.

2. Template Directions:

It’s cool to have the directions already on the template, so students don’t have to continuously look back at Google Classroom or some other LMS.

3. Make A Copy:

In Google Classroom, teachers can “make a copy” for each student when attaching certain files like Slides, Docs, etc. That way, each student gets a slide with the correct dimensions and directions. It’s AWESOME!

As you continue to implement new, exciting strategies in your classroom, let Google Slides be more than just a presentation tool. Use it as a way to spark your students’ creativity, spurring them on to create beautiful and engaging content (posters).