One of my biggest concerns about utilizing our LMS more and more was the amount of text that pages would carry. We use Blackbaud, and if you’re unfamiliar with it….. well, let’s not make this a tirade against Blackbaud. Let’s just leave it at “I’m not a fan”.
Fortunately, the ISTE summer academy in which I participated proved to be a great resource. So instead of including a whole bunch of text with ugly links that are hard to distinguish, I do this:
Now, I’m able to group things in a way that is more visually appealing and easier to understand.
Oh, and I made it on Google Slides!
Wait, What? How’d You Do That?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
The first step is to make all the slides just like you would normally. Whenever I want a block of text to link to another slide, just right-click and select “Link”. It actually defaults to selecting another slide, so you just pick which slide you want to go to. If you want to link to an outside resource, just paste in the site address (maybe using a pasting tool?).
It does take a little time to copy and paste all those boxes, but once you’ve created one set of slides, you shouldn’t have a hard time using them as a template for future slide sets. Plus, I think it will save you time later when you’re having to explain which link is the right one over and over again in the future.
Time to Go Live
Once you’re ready to share your slides, you’ve got to do a little work to get them web ready. First, select “Publish to the web” from the File… menu.
Click on the ‘Embed’ tab, and click that you’re ready to publish to the web. You should get a little box that looks like this…
Copy that big ugly embed code. That’s what you need to bring your site to life on another page!
The Final Steps
The next steps will vary depending on where you want to put your slides. Basically, you need to find a button that says “embed” or “insert HTML code”. You’ll just paste that big huge code into the box that is provided, and you should be good to go!
Now for me, I occasionally have to do a little “trimming” of my box to make it fit a little better. Sometimes it will hang off, or occasionally it’s just too big vertically. I actually had to do it for this blog post!
If that’s the case for you, you can follow my same procedure. You see that fourth line in the image above, where it gives numerical values for width and height? Well, if you go into the code and edit those numbers, you can change how big your slides will appear. It’s not always an exact science, so you’ll likely have to play around with it. But with a little effort, you can make it look much better. And don’t worry about aspect ratios – your slides adjust pretty well by themselves, so you won’t be too stretched out or anything.
So there you go! A quick way to create a more visually appealing – and more user friendly – list of resources for your students. Tell me what you think! Have any questions? Any ideas on how to make it better? Let me know in the comments!