Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Using Google Slides to Share Content in Class for the First Time #Analytics

Recently I had been looking for some free online sites/software that would allow students in my class to share graphics/charts so that they could be viewed in class on the lecture theatre's screen at the completion of an exercise. I had seen several brilliant instances in the past where teachers/lecturers used text sharing ideas like Padlet, and Stoodle. But I wondered would there be an easy way for students to (voluntarily) share graphics and create a slideshow. Enter Google Slides!

In a tutorial last week, I gave my class (50 students approx) a data set taken from the Met √Čireann website - the idea was that all students would use the same data source. The task was to draw at least one chart of choice to visualize some aspect of the data - students could have chosen rain, temperature, monthly, yearly date (and lots more). No direction was given as to what specific data to use - only that it must come from the file given. Students could plot bar charts, pie charts, line charts - anything that they wanted, the idea being to show how many different types of chart we could show from different students.

Students created their charts mostly in Excel and Tableau. They then copied and pasted the charts into a separate slide for each student via a link that I had previously set up in Moodle that gave them edit access to a blank Google Slides presentation. At the end of the exercise I viewed the presentation on-screen for all to see, and invited comment on several slides as they came up. Not surprisingly there were several different interpretations of the data, and many different types of chart.

I'll not show my class slideshow here, as it is confidential to my class. However, I did prepare and embed a Google Slide show using my own data/charts below, which was easy to put together. Google Slides has turned out to be a very powerful way to share simply students' work.

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