Using Google Slides To Take Dynamic Notes in an Instant!

7 Tips for Creating Dynamic Polaroid Notes

THE BIG 3 - the What, the Why, and the How

  • The BIG 3 are the most important components of creating dynamic Polaroid Notes because the "Big 3" will focus your attention and keep you from trying to capture everything, including minor details.
  • Who and Where may also show up on the page but they will usually fall within one of the BIG 3.
  • I use one slide deck to cover the main topics of one BIG topic. There are obviously so many ways this strategy could be used, but here are a couple of basic examples.
    • Example 1: If you were taking notes at a conference like me, the title of the slide deck would be the Conference name and year, and the individual slides would represent each session attended.
    • Example 2: If you were taking Polaroid Notes for each chapter of a book, the slide deck would be the title of the book, and each slide would represent a chapter, or theme, or symbols, or any other overarching topics related to the book.

Stick to One Page

  • One Polaroid Notes topic really should not be more than one page. Think of it like a snapshot ...a summary that should tell the audience just enough for them to decide if they want to learn more.
  • Specific details should be accessible via other resources: hyperlinks, inserted images and/or videos, in lieu of a lot of text on the page.

Group Note-Taking

  • If you or your students are taking Polaroid Notes as a group, consider the following questions ahead of time:
    • Will the group all be working on the same slide deck at the same time? OR
    • Will the individual slides be assembled together into one slide deck once everyone is finished with their individual notes pages?
  • Make sure you determine the answer to these questions before you begin.
Image 1: Making Your Notes POP!
Image 2: Making Your Notes POP! Changing the Page Setup to 8.5 x 11

Making Your Notes POP! Insert --> Insert --> Insert-->

The Insert Tab in the Slides tool bar is your best friend! (See image 1 above.)

  • Insert Word Art for main headers and bold statements!
    • You can resize Word Art easily by dragging from the top, bottom, sides, and corners.
    • You can have different border and fill colors.
    • You can change the border dash and adjust the thickness of the border weight.
  • Insert images and even video that illustrate the topic or perhaps explain a big topic more thoroughly.
  • Insert shapes to organize and/or chunk the information.
  • Insert arrows, and/or callouts to draw attention to items you want to highlight. Ex. Tips and Tricks, quotable quotes, etc.
  • Insert links to other resources to provide the reader more information about the topic.
  • Insert tables to organize similar information.

Use a variety of fonts!

  • Avoid the standard default font, "Arial" at all costs! There are so many more fonts available in Google Slides. Explore the "More fonts" option to expand your horizons!
  • Use a theme/color that is relevant to the topic in some way. Usually I choose this based upon the speaker's presentation slide colors and images; or if he/she has written a book or blog, I may get my color palette from there.
    • For example, in my Polaroid Notes Slides presentation for ISTE, I used the rainbow stripes in a retro Polaroid camera as my theme throughout the presentation.
    • HINT: Add the Color Pick Eyedropper Chrome Extension to your Chrome Browser to customize the colors in your Polaroid Notes.

Sharing Polaroid Notes

  • Part of the greatness of using Google Slides for note-taking is having this one document that breaks down the components of one large topic into smaller chunks to serve as a SHAREABLE resource.
  • To make them in the best PRINTABLE format, change the File Setup to Custom, 8.5 x 11. (See Image 2 above.)
  • This is why the audience is so important. Polaroid Notes are meant to be shared with a group, a class, a team, a campus, or even the world!

Citing Sources

  • Suggestion 1: Put a short link under each of the BIG 3 components.
  • Suggestion 2: Have a designated section on the page for Resources.
  • Suggestion 3: To save space, and so the page doesn't get convoluted with a lot of links, create a separate works cited page/slide. This option would be most useful for an extensive project.