Today Google finally delivered on their promise to release an iOS version of Google Slides. It is free, available in the App Store right now, and joins Docs, Sheets and Drive as part of Google’s productivity apps for the iPad and iPhone. Is it any good? Here are some initial thoughts I had after trying it out this afternoon.
It is great to have the ability to create and edit Google Presentations on the iPad, but you probably won’t rush to uninstall Keynote, PowerPoint or even Haiki Deck just yet. Why? Well, although you do have some basic formatting and editing features built-in, Slides still lacks some basics that you might expect to find in an interactive iPad presentation app.
For instance, you only get one theme to choose from when you create a new Presentation. That theme is not even a theme really because it is just a collection of white slides. Another drawback is the inability to add images or video. There is no option to browse the camera roll for media, or even to copy and paste images from other sources.
When you come to present, you can see your speaker notes in the editor mode, but not in presentation mode. That’s a little odd. There are also no annotation tools or laser pointers that you find in the presentation modes of other apps. There are also no transitions or animations.
If you have ever longed for an iPad app to do 3D planning and modelling then Roomle is definitely worth a look. It lets you design, build and furnish home or office spaces with ease, and it produces results that will instantly impress. It’s a free app, and it could be a great way for students to explore some 3D modelling on the iPad. You might even use it to create your own learning space.
You begin your design in 2D and draw out a birds-eye view of the room or building you want to design. Walls are easily drawn with a drag of your finger with measurements and angles included to give as much realism as possible. Pinching the screen lets you zoom in and out of your floor plan as required.
When you have your basic layout drawn out, it’s time to add the details. The app has a library of different furniture and construction elements that can be added to your design. Chairs, tables, plants, flooring, appliances and more can be added. You can also add doors, windows, fireplaces and staircases. The library of objects may not have everything you want, but with hundreds of objects and accessories, there is a great selection that will doubtless have most of what you need.
Google Apps for Education schools have Google Forms for surveying staff and quizzing students, but you needn’t feel left out if you are using Microsoft’s Office 365. An Excel Survey does very much the same thing, and it’s easy to set up. You can even do it with a free, individual OneDrive account if your school does not use Office 365. Here’s what you need to know.
Note: An updated version of Excel Surveys – Microsoft Forms – is now available for schools who subscribe to Office 365 Education. See my blog post How to Use Microsoft Forms for more information.
Excel surveys are created online. So, you first need to log in to your OneDrive for Business account and click “new”. Select “Excel survey”, then give your document a name and click “OK”.
On the next screen you can enter a title for your survey and a short description or introduction for those that are filling out your survey. You can then click on the box that says to “Enter your first question here”. This opens a pop up box that gives you more options to do just that. So, enter your question, a question subtitle/help text (optional), and choose the type of question you want to ask. There are currently seven types of questions: