Designing Your Own Virtual Field Trips

With the technology that we have now it is not impossible for students to be "standing" in Paris one minute and "scuba diving" around the Indonesia Islands the next. As educators we need to be deliberate about making our content come alive in the classroom. Whether it be students virtually visiting a historical site they are learning about, such as Machu Picchu, or walking around the streets represented in a story they are reading, all students need those experiences. 

If you haven't checked out my Exploring the World Through Virtual Field Trips resource, then I recommend you start there. This will give you an idea of all the resources available for you and your students. 

If you are ready to start creating your own virtual field trips or better yet have your students start creating their own, then check out the presentation below. I share my favorite resources, give a tutorial on how to use, as well as provide multiple examples as a way to inspire. 

Control Google Slides Remotely from Any Device

The Remote for Slides Chrome extension allows you to control Google Slides remotely from another device. While I am not a big fan of constant lecture from endless words on a presentation, there are times when you need to show information, images, etc. from a presentation and you don't want to be tied to your computer. Sure there are remote presentation clickers, some with fancy timers, but why pay money if you can use this for free.

Here are the steps to getting this tool up and running: 

  1. Install the Remote for Slides Chrome extension onto your computer
  2. From your computer, open up a Google slides presentation (if you already had one open, then refresh) and click the 'Present with Remote' button
  3. From your phone or tablet, open up a browser and go to 
  4. From your computer, hover over the loaded presentation and click on 'Show ID & Start Remote'
  5. Enter the displayed code on your phone or tablet
  6. You are now connected and can proceed through the slides from your phone.  

URL Shorteners and QR Code Generators Worth Checking Out

With shutting down on April 13, 2018 (read more here) it is time for many to find a new replacement for the one they have adored for years. While I am sad to see another Google service die, I am not overly torn up about it because I know there are others out there just as good or better. So before you get too upset about the death of, check out these replacements. 

Option #1: - 
Pros: create custom URLs, edit the URL at a later time, get click analytics, has a Chrome extension

Cons: doesn't create QR codes

Option #2: Yellkey - 
Pros: create a unique URL with key (password), no crazy letter combinations create URL for specific amount of time 

Cons: have to create new yellkey to share resource after 24 hours, doesn't create QR codes, no click analytics

Pros: quickly create QR code, scan a paper copy QR code with your webcam
Cons: doesn't create a shortened URL

Google Drive: Give Preview Access with Option to Make Copy

Forcing people to make a copy of a Google document, spreadsheet, drawing, or slide is a nice feature if in fact you need everyone to make a copy. But the force copy feature can be annoying to those that want to see the file first and make their own decision of whether or not to make a copy.

Instead of the force copy feature, consider giving people preview rights and allow them to choose to make a copy of the template.

To provide the 'preview' and 'use template' feature you must replace the last portion of the original URL starting from 'edit' with 'template/preview'.

Original URL


Please note, that your file must be shared with ‘anyone with the link’ or 'public' for this feature to work.