Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Interactive Q & A with Google Slides

Q & A on Slides

There as been much said about the new feature of question and answer on Google Slides. I'm probably a little late in the game as many videos and blog posts have been pushed out about it. However, I typically am not a headliner when it comes to the newest and latest. I pretty much reserve my posts for things that I believe will work really well for my teachers and students. 

So here are my thoughts on the new feature and training needs for teachers:

1. The Q & A feature is not available on all Google Apps for Education accounts. In order for me to make my video, I had to use a personal gmail account. I'm sure that this update could be pushed out more rapidly if I would turn on the rapid release in my school district's Google Admin Panel.  A way to tell if it is working is to start up a Slides presentation and see if the laser pointer and presenter view options are available on the bottom left of your slides when in presenter view. If the new feature is not there, teachers could share their slideshow with a personal gmail account and launch it from their personal account. 

2. I hope there is an option to turn off anonymous questions on the Google Apps for Education version. Part of what we teach students in digital citizenship is that all things they do online are traceable and recorded. Any actions should be carefully considered before posting or participating online. Also, teachers like to have that sense of control that they can at least know who is participating inappropriately when a name is attached to the questions. Some teachers feel much more trusting of their classes depending on the class dynamic and connections they've made with students. If you are one of these teachers, Q & A is for you. Also, keep in mind that the teacher can shut down the Q & A session at any time if there are any issues. So very quickly the teacher can stop the session and students can no longer submit questions. The Q & A feature certainly lends itself to much discussion on digital citizenship and displaying good character. 

3. Users will need to know how to use an extended desktop on their device. Most users I interact with only mirror their devices to an external monitor or projector. Since the presenter controls are in a separate box from the slides presentation, they will need the control on their main device and the slides on the extended screen. This isn't necessarily a big problem, but just another topic I'm mentioning as I will be training teachers to use this in the future.

4. Q & A provides a totally new dynamic for students and teachers when presenting material. No longer will students be limited to creating a linear presentation for the entire class to follow. The option to move in different directions will play a big part in the preparation for users. The presenter will need to have a much better understanding of the content.

Want to see how it works?