Getting Techy (Day 3): Using Technology to Showcase Mini-Research Projects

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SWBAT use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students will be introduced to more advanced features of Google Presentation, such as inserting pictures, to enhance the sharing of their knowledge of the inventions they have researched.

Enroll Students Into Learning

5 minutes

Today, to start our lesson, I remind the students of the work we have done so far, including going into Google Drive and setting up our own Google Presentations, as well as changing the text, background, and/or theme.  I ask the students if they’re ready to learn more about Google Drive today.  The students again enthusiastically give me a “Yes!”, so I know we’re ready to begin!  As I’ve mentioned before, incorporating technology into my lessons is always extremely motivating for my students, so their response is again really no surprise!

Experience Learning

5 minutes

To start, I pull up our school district website on our SmartBoard.  Today, I ask the students to walk me through the steps of how to get logged into Google Drive and find our presentation.  I do remind students here that their presentations were automatically saved yesterday in the “My Drive” section because they created the presentation.   

Once we’re logged in, and we’ve found our way back to our presentation, I ask the students to review for me how to change the text in our presentation.  I also ask them to explain the steps in how to change the background and/or the theme of the presentation.  Reviewing is a nice way to make sure all students have heard again how to do what we’ve experienced so far before we begin to add to our technology knowledge repertoire.

Our new learning today will be about how to insert pictures. 

A note here about inserting pictures into Google Presentations:

There are a few different ways to get pictures into a Google presentation.  However, I believe that my students are still a bit too young to go off into the world wide web to possibly encounter images that I’d like for them not to see.  So, I am a bit more controlled in how I offer image inserting into their work.  Here’s what I do:  I first spend some of my own time looking through Google image searches (of course using an advance search that allows me to use and modify images free of charge) and find images that would work for each of my students presentations.  If I need multiple pictures as choices, I create folders within Google Drive for each student or topic.  So, for example, let’s say some students researched the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell.  I would create a folder of pictures to choose from that are all of Bell and his invention.  Then I just share this folder with the those students ahead of our work time so that students can find them in the “Shared with Me” part of Google Drive.

Having already pre-selected photos and created and shared folders with students, I’m ready to show the students how to insert pictures into their presentations.  To start, I open up our presentation (see Image 1) that we’ve already started.  At the top, there is a box that says “Insert” (see Image 2), so we click on that because we want to insert a picture.  Once clicked, the box shows a menu option (see Image 3).  We choose “Image” because that’s what we want to insert.  Once we choose “Image” a new box appears.  This is where we have to locate the photo folders I’ve created for the students (see Image 4).  Since I have created and shared the folders with the students, the students need to click on “Shared with Me” on the left side, and then locate the folder they need.  (For today, I’m choosing the “Inventions Folder” in Image 4).  Once students choose the folder they’d like, it will open and any images inside will appear (see Image 5-there is only one image here currently).  Students can select the image they want to insert (see Image 6), and then click the blue “Select” button.  Once selected, the image will appear in the presentation (see Image 7).  Often times, however, the image won’t be the right size or in the right place, so the students will need to do some resizing and moving around.  Students can place their cursor above the corners and click and drag to resize the pictures and also click on the picture in the center and drag it around to a spot they would like it to be in (see Image 8).  Again, here I emphasize making a presentation that visually appealing, so consider how big or small the pictures are, where they might look best on the slide, etc.

Label New Learning

5 minutes

At this point, students know how to insert pictures into their presentations and just as yesterday, the kids are really itching at this point to get started!  I tell the students: “Alright third graders! I think you’re ready to add some images to your presentations!  We’re going to go down to the computer lab and get started!”  The students grab their notes from their research yesterday and we head down to the lab!

Demonstrate Skills

10 minutes

Once students are in the lab, I allow the students to log in and get started.  I walk around and provide assistance for any students that may need it, but I’m actually again surprised how well my students do!  They are in Google Drive before I know it and are already experimenting with inserting images!  I think this is a time that the students just love-getting to make their presentation truly their own and very “professional” looking with images now!  And again, this time is actually a great learning experience too, because students get to just get in and play around to see what works and what doesn’t!  This is such a valuable time for students to explore and expand their technology skills!  I just remind students to think about what would look nice and still be something their teacher (with her glasses!) could enjoy visually!

As yesterday, some students finish earlier than others, so I always have an additional task that students can do, including visiting our classroom website, checking out one of our virtual field trips, etc.  Be sure to plan for your early finishers!


5 minutes

At the end of our lab time, I ask the students to log out.  Before we do though, I remind the students that all their work is automatically saved and will be found tomorrow again under “My Drive”. Then, once students are all logged out, we push in our chairs and head back to our classroom.  I ask the students to again store their notes in their writing folders for use again tomorrow, because tomorrow we will work on learning one more of the features of Google Presentation-editing tools!