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  • Writer's pictureStacy Crouse

Tips and Tricks for Using Google Slides™ In Teletherapy

I'm not quite sure how I have done 6 years of teletherapy without using Google Slides. But luckily, those Google Slides-less days are gone. I have been exploring speech therapy Google Slides activities this summer and I am HERE for it.

The ability to quickly add pictures and videos to speech therapy activities. The simplicity of storing resources in my Google Drive without having to download all the things. The capability of moving pieces and fillable text boxes. The versatility it brings. These are a few of my favorite things (about Google Slides).

Musical films aside, I acknowledge that using Google Slides for teletherapy isn't exactly intuitive. Especially since SLPs aren't used to making and giving presentations (thank goodness!), which is the primary purpose of Google Slides.

So I'm sharing a few (ok, more like a dozen) efficiency tips for using Google Slides in speech therapy, be it teletherapy or on a computer in an in-person session.

Helpful Tips for Using Google Slides in Teletherapy

Check out these ways to engage students in fun, digital activities, save time, and make your SLP life easier. Learn more about a tip by watching the linked videos.

Name a version and revert to it later.

First things first. Saving an original version of a Google Slides activity (before you even use it) will save you so much time and sanity in subsequent uses. It makes resetting a digital activity (such as this language tile game) between sessions so much faster.

A language activity in Google Slides being played on a laptop in a teletherapy session

Undo or redo moves.

Another way to "clean up" a Google Slides activity is to repeatedly click the "undo" button. This is especially fun for kids to watch the activity "rewind" at the end of their session.

Change the view of the Google Slides activity.

While Google Slides is designed to be a presentation platform, most teletherapy activities are not suited to be presented as a full-screen slideshow. Instead, keep the presentation in 'Edit' mode so that you and your students can manipulate the pictures and text boxes.

See how to adjust the view of Google Slides activities to make them easier to read and use.

Create and format text boxes.

For teletherapy students who can read and type, you can utilize text boxes for interacting with the activities. Learn how to create and format text boxes to overlay any Google Slides activity (such as a set of digital postcards for practicing past tense verbs).

A Google Slides teletherapy activity targeting past tense verbs by writing post cards

Take a closer look at (and see an example of) creating and formatting text boxes in Google Slides.

Use Google Slides as a whiteboard.

Pre-made Google Slides activities are wonderful to have on hand, but you can also create your own Google Slides activity. Start with a blank slide and add text boxes, images, shapes, and lines. Just like a whiteboard in speech therapy, the possibilities are endless for teletherapy!

Copy and paste images and text boxes.

One of the beautiful things about Google Slides digital activities is the ability to copy elements as many times as you need to. It comes in very handy for digital sticker books and teletherapy games.

A digital sticker book used with star stickers in Google Slides in a teletherapy session

Get a free digital sticker book, and see how easy it is to copy and paste images (such as the stickers) and text in Google Slides.

Insert and Layer Images

The world (of Google Images) is your oyster! In addition to copying images, you can add new images from your computer or a quick Google Image search right within the presentation.

In this quick video, learn how to insert images into Google Slides and change the order of the layers of those images if you need to.

Replace an image.

Some activities may suggest changing pictures for ones on your computer or the web. For example, placeholders in a Google Slides template (such as an editable get-to-know-you activity) can be swapped out for your own photos or images.

An editable Google Slides presentation used in teletherapy as an introduction back-to-school activity

Embed a Video in a Presentation

Text boxes, and images, and now videos... oh my! With just a couple of clicks, you can add a video from your computer, a website, or YouTube right to a slide. This is a great way to customize a speech therapy activity and keep all your lesson's content in one place.

Use folders to organize your Google Drive activities.

Google Drive can get a little out of hand without some organization, but have no fear! You can keep all that Google amazingness looking pretty good by using folders!

You can create folders based on type of activity, theme, age group, etc. Then click and drag files into the folders you've made. Watch how to make Google Drive folders.

The 'search' function in Google Drive can help you find what you need quickly, so rename your Google Slides files in a way that describes what you'll be searching.

Create a PDF from a Google Slides presentation.

There may be instances where you want to create a PDF from a Google Slides activity (such as needing to print it or share it with a student). Watch how to save each slide in the presentation as a page in a PDF with just a few clicks!

Google Slides is a flexible tool that can make sharing interactive, digital activities with your students super easy and flexible. Your teletherapy room will be alive with t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶m̶u̶s̶i̶c̶ all the interactivity the app offers! (Sorry, I couldn't resist). See all these Google Slides tips in action with video demos.

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