Google Voice Typing Now in Google Slides

Google Slides Tools Menu

Many of us have been using Google Voice Typing with Google Docs.  It is now available in Google Slides also!  Find it in the same location: under the Tools tab.  It’s important to note that the Voice Typing will  only input text into the Speaker Notes section, however a simple “copy + paste” will allow the text to be transferred to the slide.  This can be a terrific solution for some students who struggle with writing, especially keyboarding and handwriting.

Find more information and “how to’s” at this link for Google Voice Typing Support.

Google Docs Accessibility

grackle docs

Google Docs has become an essential tool in our classrooms, utilized by educators and students for everything from instruction and collaboration through assignment completion and more.  This makes it increasingly important to evaluate the accessibility of the documents being created and shared.

How can you ensure that your documents are accessible to everyone?  And what features should we be teaching our students to incorporate?  Here are the key areas to consider:

  • Use of Headings and Lists or Bullets when formatting the page content
  • Adding Alt Text to images, tables, charts or graphs
  • Structuring hyperlinks
  • Utilizing contrasting text and page background

How do you know if your document meets accessibility standards?  Grackle Docs is a Google Docs Add On that will check your document for accessibility errors, and help you repair them.  It’s a free and intuitive tool that will help you reach all users.  Download it from the Chrome Web Store and give it a try!

 

Magic Scroll Chrome Extension

magic-scroll graphicMagic Scroll Web Reader is an extension for the Chrome browser, free in the Chrome Web Store.  Once downloaded, simply open a web page with text, click on the Magic Scroll icon in the upper right portion of the browser bar.  A clean view of the text is displayed as consecutive pages in a book.  Click the play arrow, lower right to begin scrolling vertically through lines of text.  Adjust the speed with the + and – buttons, also lower right.  Use the slider tool, upper left, to adjust settings such as font size and color scheme.

Magic Scroll can assist with visual focus while reading text on web pages, with options to adjust features to meet the needs of various users.  The user can even pause scrolling and utilize a text to speech extension, such as SpeakIT! to hear the text read aloud.

 

Google Slides – Features You Need to be Using!

google slides graphic

Google Slides – If you haven’t been using it, then you should be!  It is a terrific tool for both Teacher Presentation, Student Creation and Instructional Materials.  So much easier and more collaborative than PowerPoint!  And, there are some great newer features you might not have used:

Q&A featureIf using for class lectures or instruction – activate this feature to allow students to ask questions, answer questions, vote on topics, make comments, etc. Simply go to the small ‘down arrow’ next to PRESENT in the upper right corner of the slide deck, and activate the Q&A feature.  A short URL will automatically be created and added to the top of each slide.  Student submissions can be displayed (or not), and they are saved in a history to be viewed later.

Read text out loud – If you are using the  Read&Write for Google Chrome extension, you know that it reads the content of Google Docs (and websites) out loud.  Did you know that it now reads the text on Google Slides?  This is a great support for students using teacher-created presentations, or other slide presentations as instructional material, Google Slide ebooks, etc. Try it here with these Google Slide examples:

I Can Use My Words” (You must have the extension downloaded from the Chrome Web Store)

Because of Winn Dixie (story review student assignment)

United States Government Texbook Chapter

Sharing and Collaboration: And of course – Google Slides are automatically ‘shareable’ due their location ‘in the cloud’.  Just set the sharing settings so that others can view or comment.  Post on your class website for 24 hour access to materials, and terrific student/family collaboration!

Add Images to Google Form Answers

fruitGoogle Forms now allows images to be added as answer choices. The option for pictures to be embedded in the question has been available for some time, however this new feature really opens up this tool for differentiation!

Students can choose a visual response in the multiple choice or checkbox question types.  This is a terrific option for young learners, struggling readers, English Language learners and others.  Using Google Forms, with image responses, can be used for assessment & check for understanding as well as student surveys, voting, lunch choice – the possibilities are endless!

View this how-to from Google – linked here.  You can also read more and view a video tutorial at Freetechnology4teachers.com. (@rmbyrne)