I have been toying with the idea of using Google Presentations as an ongoing science/social studies digital notebook this year for my 5th graders. I like how easily accessible Google Docs are in general, and having used Google Presentations with my students in the past. I believe it will be an easy transition for them, as well as increase their interest. (using technology of any kind tends to be a hook)
As I plan out my implementation strategies, I began to think of additional applications of Google Presentations and decided to experiment.I am lucky to have guinea pigs (test subjects) of varying ages to experiment with during the summer. My three kids tend to be the taste testers of all my classroom ideas. My seven year old has hypotonia which impedes her fine and gross motor skills. She does not like writing because the process is exhausting to her. Although she needs practice with hand writing in order to develop coping skills, I wanted to find a way for her to express herself without the physical exhaustion that accompanies the act of writing. Mya went to the beach with her grandparents and cousins earlier in the summer and I thought if I gave her a photo, it might inspire her to write. This is the first time she has ever used Google Docs. I was impressed at how quickly she learned to navigate through the slides. I set up the presentation, helped her select the pictures she wanted to use, and showed her how to drag them into the slides. She added the text for each slide. After she was finished writing, she helped me select the transition animation, giggling as the text and images slid into place. I believe Google Presentation has a great deal of potential for students at any age. I expect as the summer progresses, Mya will be able to create presentations entirely by herself.