Use Google Slides in Breakout Rooms

No matter if you use Zoom or Google Meet or another video product to do breakout rooms with students, consider having a Google Slides per group.

First Slide

Built into my First Slide Add-on I have created a way to manage Google Slides for breakout rooms. Note that First Slide is NOT an official Add-on and highly unlikely that I will submit it to be an official Add-on. The only way to access the Add-on is by first going to When authorizing the Add-on it will let you know that the app is not officially approved by Google, this is correct. It is safe to install.

Pile of Slides

After authorizing the Add-on the options in the sidebar are “Choose a folder” or “Pile of Slides.” Assuming you do not already have a folder in Google Drive with a Google Slides per group you will want to choose “Pile of Slides.”

Create Group Slides

On the “List” tab, instead of a roster of student names put the group titles. Group 1, Group 2, etc… Tip: Before clicking on “Make Slides” in the sidebar, rename the spreadsheet. The created slides will be named the group name and the name of the spreadsheet.

Make Slides

Clicking “Make Slides” will create a folder in Google Drive that will contain the Google Slides for each group. These slides will be blank. The first slide will contain the group name.

Set Slides

Optional is to have a Google Slides with prompts and tasks to guide students while in the breakout rooms. Click on “Set Slides” to paste the URL of the Google Slides that you wish to push from. Use the Pile of Slides options to send slides to pre populate the slides before sharing with students.

Breakout Room Options

Scroll down a little to click on “Go to Breakouts.”

Distribute Group Slides

To distribute the slides to each group, click on “Share Spreadsheet” in the sidebar. This creates a NEW spreadsheet that is view only. Share the link to the spreadsheet in the chat in the video platform to allow students to get into the slides for their group.

Enable Editing

By default the slides created by Pile of Slides are private unless you added email addresses onto the spreadsheet for each group. Click on “Enable Editing” in the sidebar to make the slides “Anyone with the link can edit.”

Send Slide to Slides

From the slides you set, push a slide to each group slides to allow them to go to a new topic of conversation or activity. Click on “Send a slide to Slides.” You will be prompted for what slide number you want to push.

Time’s Up

Clicking on “Time’s Up” in the sidebar will push a message to each slide that time is up.

Slide Stamp

If you want to send a different message to students, use “Slide Stamp” to add a message on each slide. These text boxes can easily be deleted by students after they have read your message.

Disable Editing

After students are doing doing their group work click on “No Edit.” This will turn off the “anyone can edit” access. If the slides were shared explicitly with students they will still have edit access.

Webinar: Google Slides for Breakout Rooms

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