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Google Slides: Is the Future Paperless?

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I’ve always considered myself a Technophile because I’ve always been intrigued by technology.  When I was a kid (and still to this day), Star Trek had a big influence on my life because it showed a future in which not only was mankind at peace and lived on a paradise-like Earth, but technology had played a big role in that future. (BE sure to scroll down to the end for EXCITING NEWS about my first Cloud Based Google product!)

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I’m not quite a paperless classroom, more of a hybrid at this point.

So when my district decided to go “paperless” and adopt a 1:1 program using Chrome Books, believe it or not, I was skeptical!  How was I to create resources to use on the Chrome Books to replace paper and pencil tasks?  Only our math program has an online component (it’s ok, not great).  So, I just couldn’t see it.  But, then along came Google Slides!

The Move to Paperless

Now, I’m not completely paperless and don’t intend to be anytime soon because I still believe in the fact that children need to hold objects in their hands and manipulate objects in real space and that includes paper and pencil.  But, with Google Slides, I’m sure I can eliminate up to 50% of the paper and pencil tasks.  I recently blogged how I now give my students the spelling test using Google Forms (it will even correct it for you).  I also blogged about how I incorporated Google Slides into a hands-on math lesson on equivalent fractions.

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These are practice pages I created using Google Slides. It is a template with movable pieces so the students can manipulate a live screen (similar to the online standardized testing!).

Want the students to take notes?  Great! I created this template for Google Slides for students to take notes.  You can download this template as a FREEBIE by clicking on this LINK.

Here’s an example of a student who took notes on a video about the Spanish Missions.

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There are endless possibilities to using Google Slides and I am creating these cloud based resources all the time now.    For my RtI book club that is reading The Tale of Despereaux, I used Google Slides to create a character socio-gram, and a compare and contrast chart for light and dark.  For math, I created practice pages using Google Slides for comparing and ordering fractions, equivalent fractions and now I am working on creating slides for elapsed time.

Examples of Going Paperless

Here are examples I created for an Interactive Notebook on the American Revolution.  The online notebook featured 7 template slides, including this map and timeline:

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The student needed to identify each of the 13 colonies on the map.

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The student had to identify 4 significant dates about the American Revolution.

Here’s another example of an Interactive Notebook on the Spanish Mission Era.  This was my first attempt at an online interactive notebook.  It had 3 slides:  buildings the Spanish built, an interactive map with movable icons to place the missions on the map, and a schedule the students had to construct about the day in the life of a neophyte.  I later added another slide for the students to publish a narrative about the daily life of a neophyte.

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The students used their Social Studies book and other resources to write a description about each of the types of structures built by the Spanish during California’s Mission Era.

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The students used their Social Studies book and other resources to locate some of the missions, the presidios and the early pueblos the Spanish created during the Mission Era in California.

Of course with any new technology or trend, there is a “shake out” period in which you find out that the resource you created looks and works better in landscape than in portrait; or that some of the tasks take longer to complete on a Chrome Book than with paper and pencil; or that directions have to be more clear for students to complete the tasks independently.  Those are all the kinks I’m working out right now before I decide to put any of the resources in my TpT store.  I want to make sure that these resources will work as planned for any teacher who wants to make the jump to paperless.  Keep checking back at my store for updates to see when these resources become available.

Converting to Fillable Forms

In the meantime, though, I’ve also created Biography Templates that can be printed out for the student to complete.  This resource trains the student to take notes from online resources, then publish them on a template using paper and pencil.  The student does all the research online (or books, too!) using QR codes and takes notes.  Then the student organizes the information to put onto the templates.  They are trimmed and become a cool iPad or tablet looking book on a famous person. You can read about it HERE.

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26 Biography Templates.  QR Codes for research.  

But wait! I realized that I could covert the templates to a fillable form.  A fillable form is a PDF document that can be filled out online using a PDF reader.  So now, those templates can be filled in by typing on the Chrome Books!  It will take a while to convert all the templates to fillable forms, but I do plan on having a fillable forms version of Biography Templates available in my store by the summer.

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Students did research using QR codes, took notes on paper, organized the information and entered it onto this fillable forms template I created for researching an important person in US history.

Think about all the worksheets and assignments you might be able to convert to a fillable form!  But wait, I do caution you when you do that, you might be violating copyright laws.  The content I created was my own. I own the Biography Templates and can modify them anyway I wish.  But I do not own any content created by…let’s say..Scholastic.  Would I be able to take one of their PDFs and convert it to a fillable form?  Probably not, as you are modifying a copyrighted resource.  I am not a copyright attorney and I’m not offering legal advice.  Just a caution.  But that is why I am trying to create my own resources as either online, cloud based resources or converting them to fillable forms.

One last idea regarding the push for paperless.  When you operate in the cloud, your file is available ANYWHERE.  That means the student can also access it from home!  SO when students do not complete assignments in school, you can easily assign the same work for homework.  In my district, each student is assigned a Google account, so accessing my Google Classroom is as simple as logging into Google.  It’s also a great way for parents to see what the student is learning.  I plan also on having the Interactive Notebooks running in presentation mode on Google Slides during Open House so the parents can see what their children have learned and can do!

UPDATE 2/29/16

It’s ready and AVAILABLE now in my store!  Comparing and Ordering Fractions in the Cloud. and Equivalent Fractions.   Click HERE to see them!

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NOW available in my STORE!!!! 2/29/16

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NOW Available in my STORE!!!! 3/12/16

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