TESOL 2018 Highlights: Creativity Through Collaboration

For the second year in a row, Mary Allegra of University of Carabobo in Venezuela enticed me into the Electronic Village with her session title. Last year she co-presented in the EV about Quizizz (read post). This year she teamed up with her colleague Monica Fernandez to demonstrate possibilities with Google Slides. Their session was titled Enhancing Creativity in the Classroom with Google Slides.

Mary and Monica prompted teachers to consider creative group work based on Google Slides presentations. They reminded us that the web-based tool is free and easy to use.

  1. Posters. The presenters showed samples of student work. In past projects, these two teachers guided students to produce motivational posters. The teachers observed how the process of creating a poster promoted discussion and creative thinking. Students used a variety of media at their disposal, including photos from cell phone cameras, word clouds, and GIFs. (See GIPHY.com.)
  2. Flashcards. Single slides or pairs of slides can become flashcards. Mary and Monica have had students create flashcards to review key concepts. Working together, students can create a library of cards that is on-demand for anyone with the link. Again their students have tapped into their creative skills and produced media-rich images on their flashcards.
  3. Interactive Stories. This was by far the most interesting project that Mary and Monica modeled. By inserting hyperlinks on slides, their students were able to create and share digital stories in the format of “choose your own adventure.” Collaborative writing kept the ideas flowing. The end product allows the reader to choose options at key points in the story, so a different plot can result for different readers. One approach is to base the story on a well-known legend or  fairy tale. A group of students at University of Carabobo published “A Different Cinderella Story.” Naturally, the stories are best supported by rich visuals. On Google Slides users can easily upload or search online for still and animated images.
  4. Comics and E-books. Mary and Monica also mentioned these two formats for student publications. For more details you can view their full presentation here.

I’d like to thank Mary and Monica for generously sharing their tips, their students’ work, and their own presentation slides from TESOL 2018. Mary recommended Eric Curts’s blog post for more ideas.

This TESOL presentation inspired a new project for two of my private students who share a weekly lesson. They’ve just started to build a presentation together via Google Slides to address a common problem and propose two possible solutions. They’ve presented individually to each other in the virtual classroom on different topics, but this is the first time I asked them to collaborate on a short presentation. They’ll have to communicate between lessons via email, Skype, or Facebook messenger. The deadlines I’ve set are for the topic and outline, the first draft of their presentation notes, the actual slide presentation, and then the live presentation. My practice has been to provide feedback based on the live presentation. They then record their audio, and we put the audio together with the slides as an MP4 that is uploaded to our private FB page.

Do you have more ideas for using Google Slides collaboratively? Please share!

Photo credit: Social Media, Personal by Geralt. Retrieved from the Public Domain at https://pixabay.com/en/social-media-personal-2457842/.

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