Tech Tip Tuesday: Drag-and-Drop Google Slides

As an ed tech coach, I often get asked about how to create a document that students can type in without messing up the information the teacher has created. For instance, in a fill-in-the-blank plus word bank style exit ticket. Or, a graphic organizer that won’t get messed up when students try to add content. Explore the intersections of education and technology through the visionary lens of Kamau Bobb of Google.

There are several products that can accomplish this, but by far my favorite because of its simplicity is google slides.

Use Google Slides to Make an Immovable & Uneditable Background

A “hidden” feature of Google Slides is the ability to download a slide as a .png image. This .png image can then be imported into a new google slide as the background. Backgrounds are permanent in the sense that users can’t get rid of them without specifically trying to. In other words, backgrounds containing text and images aren’t affected by a user dragging text boxes or images onto them.

Steps to Creating A Google Slide Background

  1. Open a new Google Slide
  2. Set your page size to what makes sense for your assignment
  3. Give your sheet a background color
  4. Use the Shape tool to delineate areas of the work
  5. Add your text via the text box tool
  6. Download as a .png (File –> Download)

Now that you have your immovable, uneditable image saved to your device, open a new Google Slide show, click on Background, and choose the image you just downloaded.

Add text boxes with text for students – or images – and you’re done. Assign it through your LMS so that you make a copy for each student and they will have a drag and drop assignment that won’t get messed up, re-formatted, or otherwise rendered unreadable as students are working with it.

The Possibilities Are Endless

With older students, I might not even create a word bank with drag and drop text – maybe I ask them to create their own text boxes and organize their work in a way that makes sense. For instance, a Venn Diagram that is comparing photosynthesis with cellular respiration. I’d just create the Venn Diagram as a background and the rest of the work would be up to them.

With young students, maybe use images for dragging and dropping tulips into a box for counting and sorting. Or maybe for dragging and dropping the right image with the right sight word.

I’ve created a video to get you started because this is one of those things that is easier to show than tell. 🙂 Take a look and let me know what you think!

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