How to Create a Meme in Google Slides

Google Slides is so versatile within GSuite for Education. It is so much more than a presentation too. I gave the first iteration of my popular Google Slides presentation, Beyond the Presentation: Creative and Innovative Uses for Google Slides way back in 2015 at a district-wide professional learning session. It has evolved some since then and creating Memes is a great introduction into the versatility of Google Slides.

Creating a Meme in Google Slides with your students allows you to introduce various capabilities of Google Slides that can then be applied in different projects. Skills such as resizing the canvas, searching and adding images (along with a digital citizenship discussion regarding copyright, resizing images, adding text, the fill tool and so much more are introduced while making a Meme in Google Sldies.  

My YouTube Channel has a popular video from 2015 with the steps to Create a Meme but it doesn't contain any audio and has the older GAFE interface. So I decided to update it for 2020 with some clearer oral instructions and captions of course as I show you how to create a meme in Google Slides.

Memes can be applied in so many subject areas and classrooms. I've seen them applied to classroom rules, historical subjects, book studies, personal reflections, and so much more. How will use them in 20-21?

How to Add your Bitmoji to Google Slides

There's a Bitmoji for That!

Looking to spice up your Google Slides especially for distance education?  Adding your Bitmoji is a great addition. Bitmoji's can personalize Google Slides that you are using for instruction or even used as "virtual stickers" when providing feedback on student work. As students are working in a shared slide deck during synchronous, virtual instruction, adding a "Great job!" or similar sentiment Bitmoji helps liven up everything.  You can even add additional text to your Bitmoji!  So "Great job!" can become "Great job, Melissa!" which further personalizes your feedback.

If you haven't tried this, it's super easy. Here's the steps to get started.

How to Add Animated GIFs and Animated Stickers to Google Slides

Laser Cat GIF with the Words Cat GIFs are awesome!

Text on slides is boring.  Text on slides during distance education is even more boring. GIFs can be used to emphasize ideas in your content or even as "digital stickers" as you're providing feedback on students work.  Animated Stickers can serve the same function.  It's one thing to type, Yeah! as students successfully model a math problem and an entirely different thing to add an animated sticker to their slide while working collaboratively.

Customize your Desktop Background Using Canva

Coffee Cup with Quote, "With enough coffee, anything is possible."
Working from home the last few months, I have thought lots about the physical environment and have set up multiple home office workstations until I settled on what worked best for me. I never though much about the look and feel of my digital environment until I came across some YouTube videos on Mac Customization Tips & Tricks following the purchase of a new Mac to meet the demands of distance education. 

If you search YouTube, you will find lots of these videos! The first one I found and used was by Julia K Crist. I particularly love the digital clock screensaver and have already customized my folder icons as coffee cups. (Surprise, surprise!) She talked about custom desktop backgrounds and even had some available for free download but the style wasn't mine. And, then I remembered Canva which always seems to have templates for absolutely everything. Google Classroom Headers, anyone?

Of course, Canva did in fact have custom desktop backgrounds. I have no idea why I never bothered to change the background on any of my devices up until this point but given my appreciation for the other digital environment customization tips, I did create a custom desktop background in Canva. It was super easy and fully customizable. And, I look forward to changing on a semi-regularly basis to reflect the different work seasons and my needs.

Just like how the look and feel of our physical environments affect our work and productively so can our digital environments. So if you're looking to freshen up your digital environment, check out Canva and create a custom desktop background today.

Oliver Sheets Week

Oliver Sheets Week on blue background with Green Sheets Icon

The idea for Oliver Sheets Week was created during the time of distance learning. I love Google Sheets and use it A LOT to organize data and information for my team. They asked for me to teach them what I knew and Oliver Sheets Week was born back in April. And of course, I needed to create a cool graphic inspired from the Discovery Channel Shark Week. 

Oliver Sheets Week was a 5-day series aimed to improve teacher productivity and efficiency by increasing knowledge and skill around Google Spreadsheets in short 30 minute online sessions. Day 1 occurred on a Monday which meant I had the weekend to prepare and create a companion tutorial available on YouTube for later viewing. Days 2-5 didn't have companion YouTube tutorials due to the demands of distance learning. Now with Summer officially begun and staying safe at home, I'm happy to report that Oliver Sheets Week Playlist (embedded at bottom of post) is now available on YouTube. And, I am actually posting to the blog for the first time in almost two years!

Interested in learning more? Here is an outline of skills and topics covered each day. Each video has a sample spreadsheet linked in the description to copy to follow along with the video tutorials.