My 5th graders are polishing up their Genius Hour presentations, and one of the students was trying to incorporate a poll into his presentation. He was just going to switch windows in the browser during his presentation, but I was sure there must be a way to actually embed one into Slides. We did some research and found a Chrome extension for Poll Everywhere that does allow this. However, there were still a few more hoops to jump through to accomplish it than I thought necessary, including setting up an account.
The very next week, Google announced a new Q&A feature for Slides. “Exactly what I was looking for!” I declared, and then proceeded to try to use it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it – and all of the articles I found announcing Q&A’s arrival failed to mention how one could actually activate the feature. I became more and more frustrated which is taking less and less time lately as the it’s-the-end-of-the-year-you-better-get-it-done-now feeling is currently commandeering more and more of my brain cells each day.
Twitter to the rescue. Someone quickly responded to my tweet for help that I needed to be in presentation mode to activate Q&A. And they said it nicely, which was kind of them since I probably should have figured that out in the first place 😉
I still don’t think Q&A actually fits what my student and I envisioned, but it does allow you to ask a question and have people respond, with the responses being listed in order of popularity (the audience can “like” each other’s responses). When you activate Q&A, a link is shown at the top of your slide so the audience can type it in to record their response. You could also use this as a backchannel where audience members can ask questions or make comments.
This article by Jonathan Wylie gives information about how to use Google Slides with an iPad or iPhone. You might also want to read this blog post from Google that shows different uses for Google Q&A. To use Q&A on a desktop or laptop computer, start Presentation mode, and then go to the bottom left of the slide, where you will see a “Presenter View” option. Click on that, and then choose the tab for Audience Tools. (By the way, there is a new laser pointer tool that’s kind of fun to try, too!)