Friday, September 2, 2016

Writing On Google Slides

Have you ever had one of those moments...where you accidentally do something, and it turns out to be one of the best things ever? Today, my friends, was one of those days! Kate and I were literally jumping up and down and cheering (all while our students laughed hysterically at us!) Now, perhaps some of you already have figured out what we did today, but if you haven't...for us...this is LIFE CHANGING!

We have always been frustrated with the fact that you "can't" write on a Google Slide Presentation when it is in "Present Mode" on our SMART board (I'm honestly not sure if it is the same problem with Promethean boards?) We absolutely LOVE the ease of making our mini-lesson slides with Google. We love that we can share them digitally with our kids...Kids can work through things at their own pace, view from home while sick, traveling the world, out of state for an athletic meet, or just for review. BUT...when we are can't write on the board while in present mode. You can't model things. Write problems. Have kids draw something or share. It has always frustrated us.

Today...on complete accident...we figured out THIS:
What? You don't see it yet in that tiny tool bar? Let me blow it up larger for you...
When you click that part of the tiny tool bar, It takes it out of "full screen", but still keeps it in "present mode." The main difference is that you see the "tabs" in your web browser. It looks like THIS: Still WAY larger than in your regular view (before you hit "present") and only slightly smaller than full "present mode."
Voila! And just like can WRITE ON YOUR SMART BOARD! Because it isn't in "full screen", I think it somehow tricks the SMART board into allowing an "ink layer." It won't "save" your writing on the slide like it would in SMART Notebook software, but it is still LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than what we were dealing with before.

Maybe we are the last teachers on Earth to figure this out. Maybe we aren't. But seriously, friends, this was a highlight of 2016 for us! Total game changer in how we work with kids in the classroom!

So, in case you didn't know either, we hope you are as excited as we are! If you did know about it...SHAME ON YOU for not showing us all sooner ;) 

Hope everyone's first week back was amazing! We have LOVED looping with our kiddos!

Happy Teaching,



  1. You two are my hero! I have been so frustrated the last two days of not being able to write on the Smart board while using Google Slides! I never knew this trick!

    1. Oh, WHEW! We were afraid that we were the last people on the planet to figure this out! Glad we weren't the only ones ;)

  2. So excited! This has always been so frustrating! Can't wait to share with everyone on Tuesday!! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Happy to help! Let us know how it goes! :)

  3. Has anyone yet figured out a way to save the ink to the slides in google slides?

  4. Hi Zchetta,

    Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we have not figured out how to save the ink. We are assuming the ink is layered on top, almost like a transparency slide. Please let us know if you find any add-ons or extensions that allow it to stick.


  5. Thank you so much ....... know I have to post this after reading :

    "So, in case you didn't know either, we hope you are as excited as we are! If you did know about it...SHAME ON YOU for not showing us all sooner ;)"

    here is another way, hope it helps :

  6. After you write, you will find a small pen icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. This allows you to clear ink, capture the ink, or turn off ink. Have you figured out how to go from slide to slide without clearing the ink first? My ink stays there as I switch slides. If you double click on the regular pen icon you have other options....Window shade - cool pens.

  7. My best solution so far: after you have drawn on the slide in Present Mode, push the Print Screen button on your keyboard to take a screenshot. That puts the screenshot on your clipboard. Then you can use Ctrl+V to paste the screenshot into your presentation as a new slide (I insert it immediately after the unmarked slide).

  8. Hello! I do have access to ink while in presenting mode in Slides... Maybe one or both of them updated their software? But the annoying part for me is that all of a sudden, while writing, the touchscreen reacts as if I was changing slides? Do you know how to avoid that? Thanks!