For each of the next several posts, I will be discussing one particular Google Apps function and explain how to use it in a real classroom setting. I think knowing what a tool will do and understanding just how it can be used in your classroom are two different things. Please feel free to give feedback as you wish.
If you have ever divided up material to students in order for them to each (or in groups) research or produce a presentation project, and then share with a class, consider trying the shared presentation.
How it works: You start a presentation with the title page and any other items you want to have part of the overall presentation. Then share the presentation with all of the individuals or groups who will be working on it. Each group will use their slides to do their presentation (whether on the same day, or spread out over time). In the end, make sure the slide-show is shared to every student, which makes a great review tool; kids can see all of the material presented as they saw it the first time, in order.
I use this with a couple of research projects. In one, I assign each of 10 groups a chapter from a book. Each week, one group presents, and I teach from their lesson. They are responsible to get the additional info on the presentation. At the end of the unit, nearly a semester of time, I make sure they all have access to the presentation, and they can review for a test in this manner.
There could be many variations of this. I could see a whole class in a lab working on this together. They would have to make sure they labeled each slide, and I think they would re-arrange slides so it would make sense. If necessary, the teacher could go through and make sure the slides ended up in the correct order after the fact…
Additional note: They could also produce the slides in Powerpoint, and upload, convert and import if necessary, though this would take a bit more finagling.