Monday, May 13, 2019

A School App You Can Do

A few months ago, I wrote about creating an "app" using Google Slides, "Your Very Own App You Can Do". I focused on using it for our traveling purposes and even shared a template for one. There are many good ideas packed into that article.

I'm back with one geared specifically for a teacher to use as communication in and for the classroom. Newsletters are good, emails are better, digital platforms allowing direct communication even better, but to have something that will allow a constant stream of communication is ideal. As much as I love using Google Slides to create this method of communication, I firmly believe only YOU will know if it is best for your students, their parents, and your situation.

There are so many pieces to communicate as a teacher. But, as a teacher - one who uses these pieces every day multiple times a day - it doesn't feel like a big deal to navigate between all of them. As a parent, it's overwhelming and even aggravating! (Especially if you have children at different schools who use different platforms.)

Imagine this ... different pieces of your classroom brought into ONE location?!?!

It can be done!!! Using a Google Slide, you can organize, provide information, even link outside programs in a manageable way that makes it really easy for parents to navigate and use. And because it's a Google Slide, you can view it from the web, mobile, or tablets. You can also edit it from the web, mobile, or tablets.

I've created a template that you are welcome to make a copy of and hit the ground running! I've included instructions and tips for each slide, as well as the beginnings of ideas and placements. The beautiful thing about a Google Slide as an app, everything ... literally, everything, is customizable! The proportions, for example - I believe a useful app would be used mostly on a mobile device. You can change the setup of a Slide by going into "File", scroll down to "Page Setup" and then select "Custom". I maximized to proportions of the templates I created by customizing to 8.5 x 11 inches. However, if you believe most of your viewers will use your app on a computer, you may want to size it to maximize your dimensions to best fit a computer screen.

Check out "Your Very Own School App You Can Do" template. You can view it on your computer as a Google Slide. You can also click the blue "Use Template" in the top right corner and have a copy that is yours to adjust and manipulate to suit you.

If you click on this "Your Very Own School App You Can Do" link, you can view it on your phone like an app. When you open the link, it will open in your web browser, and then find the share button and then select the 'Add to Home Screen'. It will add it as an "app" icon to your mobile screen. This is a perfect option for parents, or students who use tablets. If
you want students to have quick access, post the link for them and then ask them to bookmark it. I'd even suggest you add a hyperlink to your email signature so that with every email you are sharing out a consistent way to communicate.

And to be honest with you, the biggest drawback to a Slides app is the lack of a notification button. However, if you create an email group for your class, you can email everyone when an important update needs to be shared.

Honestly, there are no limits as to what you share or how you customize it for your class. I'd be happy to help you build one, if you are interested. I'd love to hear how you've used it to improve communication with your students & their parents. 

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at

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