Welcome to this next installment of my blog post series on creating your own Bitmoji or virtual classroom!
In this post we’ll explore one of the most basic elements of building a great virtual classroom- the background! Every classroom needs walls and a floor, even the virtual ones. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest parts of beginning to create your classroom in Google Slides, and the tutorial below will guide you step-by-step through the process.
First, create a new blank Google Slides document. It only needs one slide, and you can erase all of the text boxes and other elements from the slide. Change the “Untitled Document” file name in the upper left corner to something you’ll remember later. Your screen should look something like this:
Now, the fun part- find a background you like! The idea is to go for something that looks like walls- a solid color with trim, wallpaper, brick, etc. Choose whatever speaks to you- this is your classroom, and for once your aesthetic isn’t stifled by the often bland and unartistic choices made by whoever designed your actual classroom. That being said, also keep in mind that busy prints may be overwhelming or visually distracting, so if you go that route you may need to use some elements later on like a giant whiteboard or bulletin board to tone down the print. Up to you!
Where do you find these backgrounds? Google Image Search can be a good place to start, but I’ve also compiled a selection of over 50 possible classroom backgrounds for you to choose from in this FREE download on my TPT store! There’s a wide variety and something for just about every style, and each design links directly to the website where you can download the image for free.
Once you’ve found the wall of your dreams, make sure you save the photo file to your computer. If it’s one of my curated backgrounds, you’ll simply click the “Download” button on the image site. If you found your own on Google Image Search or another site, usually you just need to right-click the image and choose the “Save As” or “Save Image As” option. Save it somewhere you can find it easily!
Next, head on back to your blank Google Slide, which will now take its first step toward transforming into your new virtual classroom! In the Google Slides menu at the top, go to the “Slide” menu and select the “Change Background” option.
A small box will pop up with three options including changing the color, uploading an image, and resetting the background to the theme. Select the “Choose image” option.
A screen will pop up where you can upload the background photo you chose. You can drag-and-drop the photo straight from Finder/ your files, or you can click the “Browse” button to have Google Slides pull up Finder/ your files for you and select the photo from there!
Once you drag-and-drop or select your chosen background image, you’ll see your background show up on the slide behind the tiny “Background” box. Click the yellow “Done” button, and you’re all set!
You now have the beginnings of your own virtual classroom! Stay tuned for the next installment to learn how to deck out your new digital space with furniture, posters, knick-knacks, and all the instructional stuff your students could possibly need!