Making this interactive digital classroom for my students was so much fun! Google Slides makes it simple to create, and easy to share with my class. Here is a quick tutorial on how to make your own interactive digital classroom!
I have to be honest… I am getting a bit tired of Google Classroom. I think my students are, too! This offers a fun, personalized, and colorful way to send work and information to my students.
Use your virtual classroom every day, on days when you need a substitute, or just as a fun change to the normal routine!
To make your own interactive digital classroom, open Google Slides and use a blank slide. Click on the ‘Explore’ button in the bottom right of the screen. Do a search for ‘floor and wall background.’ Select your favorite!
If you are not happy with any of these, you will find many more options by doing a google search outside of Google Slides. Save the image on your computer and then insert it into your slide by clicking Insert → Image → Upload from computer.
But why settle for walls? Maybe you want an outdoor classroom! In the rainforest! At the beach! On the moon!
Now you are ready to fill your space. I found just about everything I needed for my room using the Explore image search from inside Google Slides. Many images already come with a transparent background, ready to go right into your classroom scene.
Some objects, I searched for in Google. If the object you want has a background, you can easily get rid of it by going to Lunapic, a free online image editor.
Here, you have the option of uploading a picture from your computer, or entering a URL for an online image. For best results, choose an image with a white background (to find them, include ‘with white background’ as part of your image search). Follow the instructions on Lunapic to eliminate the background, and then find the ‘save’ option below the image. Once saved to your computer, you can insert the object into your Google Slide!
What kinds of things can you put in your interactive digital classroom?
Anything you can dream of!
- Posters, art, or decorations on the walls
- Banners hanging from the ceiling
- School supplies: staplers, markers, crayons, colored pencils, lined paper, notebooks, binders, text books
- Student desk
- Computer, laptop, phone, iPad
- Subject specific supplies: dictionary, globe, maps, instruments, models
- Class pet
- Items related to a theme of the month or week – planets, animals, plants, math models, objects from history
- Magical things like dragons, unicorns, rainbows, clouds, shooting stars!
If you want your students to access information in a particular order, consider adding numbers somewhere in your room. You can put a number on each sticky note on the board, or anywhere! Add numbers (or any text) by clicking the text box tool (Insert → Text Box) and then clicking in the slide where you want your text to be.
Put Yourself in Your Interactive Digital Classroom With Bitmoji
I love having my bitmoji in my interactive digital classroom. This gives a personal touch, and is a great place for students to click and hear a message from me. If you have a SnapChat account, then you probably already have a bitmoji.
I did not! And that is okay. It is simple to make one!
On your phone or tablet, get the bitmoji app and follow the steps to create your own bitmoji (it is really fun!).
Once your bitmoji is made, there is one more step before putting into your Google Slide.
In order to use your bitmoji image on your computer, you will need this: the bitmoji chrome extension. Follow the instructions to install the chrome extension (you must use Chrome as your web browser for this!). When done, you will see the bitmoji ion in the upper right of your Chrome browser. Click on it, and choose your image! Right click to copy the bitmoji you like, and then paste into your Google Slide!
Most of the bitmojis are silly, or have words around them. I simply chose one and cropped out the words.
Don’t want a bitmoji? That is okay! You can find a ‘teacher’ image – or have no teacher in your scene at all!
Make it interactive!
Now that you have your classroom image, it is time to make it interactive!
First, you can click on any object in your scene, and assign a URL to it. Select the object, and go to Insert – Link.
Do you want just part of an object to be a link? Use the shape tool to make a shape in that location on the object. Make the shape transparent, with a transparent border. Follow the same steps to assign it a URL.
What URLs will you link to your classroom?
- Link a video of you giving instructions to your bitmoji!
- Link the day’s assignment to the white board!
- Link a Padlet to the sticky notes image!
- Link a Webquest, FlipGrid, Sutori or ThingLink assignment to the computer image!
- Link an assessment to the stack of books!
- Link a Turn In Google Form to the turn in basket! (Related: Use Google Forms to turn in digital work!)
Links are easy to change for each day or lesson.
Let your students explore the classroom to find all the links you have put there, or include instructions on where to look! The instructions can be inside the Digital Classroom (like the arrow over the turn in basket) or separate instructions on another slide. If you keep things consistent, students will come to know where to look for the links they need!
Either way it is always good to include extra links just for fun! Maybe to a silly gif or interesting YouTube clip. Keep them engaged by moving and changing the fun links each day/week!
Sharing your Interactive Digital Classroom is super easy. Share right through your Google Classroom, or give your students access to the share link though email or on your own class website.