I had a remote. I lost the remote. I found the remote. It stopped working. I lost it again, and found it again, and forgot that it wasn’t working.
When you go somewhere to do a presentation, you never know what the setup might be. Sometimes your computer ends up being anchored to an inconvenient part of the room and a nice person volunteers to be your “driver” so you can stand in front of everyone. But then you find yourself using sign language or gestures that may look a bit awkward every time the slide needs to be advanced. Sometimes you can project on to a smart board, but your touch seems to send it into some sort of frenzy and advance your slides too quickly, making everyone wait while you try to find the previous slide and they don’t even care because it’s after school and they just want to go home and you break into a sweat trying to find the right slide and end up starting all over again and going really fast while you try to come up with some banter to distract everyone from the fact that you are a Loser of Remotes and Slides and Your Sanity.
At least that’s what some people tell me happens sometimes.
“Remote for Google Slides” is a Chrome extension that allows you to use any device with internet access to control your slides. I tried it out yesterday with my students who were doing presentations and I was pleasantly surprised to find this free tool worked so well. It didn’t completely eliminate awkward moments as there are a couple of steps you need to do before you start (see instructions here), but the actual presentations were smooth sailing once the remote was set up. Students could easily advance the slides and they seemed less stiff since they could move away from the projection screen as they spoke.
Since the extension requires you to use the same website on your device that will be the remote, you may want to just save the site as a bookmark to your screen. Then, all you have to do is tap the icon and enter the PIN that is on your presentation.
There is nothing fancy about this. You can’t use your device as a mouse, and I doubt you can click on links within your slides and then return to the presentation. But, if you have a bare-bones Slides presentation and want to save yourself money spent on lost remotes, this might be worth trying.
UPDATE 12/7/17: As one reader pointed out (thanks, Kim Nilsson!), there is a potential for security issues when using this. You can read this post here for more details. Whenever you give an extension access to your account, you should remember that granting access does make your account more vulnerable. Always weigh the benefits and risks before doing so.