Using Google Slides to Make an Image Rotator

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I work with an instructor who has her students take pictures of themselves doing course activities, and she wants to share those pictures with the rest of her class. Without a learning management system, she would create a PowerPoint presentation and show it during class. Since she started teaching that class online, she would love to put those images online in a rotating slideshow that appears inside her course home page.

Google Slides has options for auto-advance and looping presentations using easily created embed code, so it is a natural choice to use for this purpose.

In the embedded video I demonstrate the following:

  1. Clicking the File menu in Google Slides and selecting Publish to the web...
  2. Selecting and then copying the Embed options for an auto-advance and looping slide show.
  3. Editing a page in Canvas and paste the embed code into the Insert/Embed media dialog box.

I find this works pretty well. The Google Slides presentation does not have to be shared, and the viewer cannot copy or download the presentation unless it is shared. New slides can be added at any time to the Google Slides presentation without needing to upload new files or change the embed code. Since PowerPoint files import directly into Google Drive, using extant presentations is easy. However, the slideshow controls do appear so the viewer could arbitrarily advance to the next slide, see the speaker notes, etc. That opens up the possibilities to add notes to students about each slide or image that could be used for all kinds of possibilities.

EDIT: This post (and video) updated to reflect the easily visible Insert/embed media button.

3 Comments
Community Member

Oh, thank you so much for sharing this, professorbeyrer@gmail.com‌... I used to use Google Slides for collaborative projects, but have not done so in a long time. With all the new improvements to Google Slides, that sounds even better than it did in the past. Especially with the poor support for images and multimedia in the Canvas Discussion Boards, having an option like this looks great.

Another good one is Padlet, which also allows students to share media in a way that is really fun and with a spirit of "togetherness" that the discussion board seriously lacks.

Is the instructor doing this as a collaborative document where the students are adding their own slides? I was not quite sure about that from your post. That was how I used the Slide option in the past, for student introductions at the start of the semester. Since I opened it to collaborators by means of a shared link, I never had any trouble with spam or anything, and it was fun to let the students add their own slides.

Thanks again for this very nice idea... I've gotten interested in Google Slides again from using the super-nice Canvas template for CanvasLIVE. Maybe I can think up some fun Orientation Week thing to do with students again like I used to!

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Community Advocate

Thank you laurakgibbs‌ for your question. In the example I shared the instructor had her students email the pictures to her, as she wanted to add a caption with the student's name and activity. The students are dispersed so each is in a unique location, and she includes that information as well. Giving students edit access to the presentation could work but I would worry about accidental changes or slide deletions. It would be great if Google had a way to randomize slide order, as each time the page is loaded it starts with the first slide.

Community Member

Ha ha, you know me: I love the power of random. One of the most user-friendly sites that has good randomizing tools is Tumblr. Lots of Tumblr themes have a random post option! 🙂