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Better than paper strips: Use multimedia in class without a projector

Here’s a simple trick you can use in Elders Quorum or Sunday School:

I’m a big geek—let’s just get that out in the open. I’m also a big fan of Google Presentations. In fact, sometimes I think I can’t teach without them. I made an awesome slide show for my lesson on The Holy Grail (Charity). But I needed a way for the class to see it.

I started by writing the short URL on the board:

I asked them to load it up in their smart phones.

At the time, I didn’t have a smartphone myself, but I knew a lot of them did. So I asked, “Who doesn’t have a smart phone and also isn’t sitting next to someone who has one?” Only one elder raised his hand. That’s pretty good for a class of about 45. Anyways, you’ll have to judge whether technology is ubiquitous enough in your classroom for this to work. If it doesn’t work now, it should be a solid strategy in a few more years. By the way, most chapels have wifi now—so people can do this with iPods and WiFi tablets too.

They were then able to pull this presentation up on their screens:

We talked about it together, even though we were looking at 20 different screens. And I could easily say, “Who will read Slide 13 for us?”


You can create online presentations with your Gmail account at After you’ve created it, click File>>Publish to make it available to everyone.

It will list a public URL:

Copy that link. Then paste it into It will give you a shortened URL. Write that on the chalk board. And remember, these short URLs are case sensitive : )


If you test this out, I want to hear how it goes. It was an experiment for me, but it went well. Does it work for you?

Clip to Evernote

About The Author

Elders Quorum

J Washburn has authored three books, including DEAR JEFF: Straightforward Temple Prep from an Older Brother. He also owns and operates, a gallery of LDS temple photography. If you'd like to get to know him better, receive some free ebooks, and maybe win a temple print, subscribe to The INFORMANT, his personal monthly newsletter. He's also on Twitter and .

Number of Entries : 13

Comments (8)

  • Aaron Crowder

    This is an awesome idea! I was just called as Second Councilor in the Elders Quorum Presidency, so I’ll definitely be making use of Google Slides in my lessons.

  • Scott Hinrichs

    Thanks for the instruction. I would love to use this method, but the members of my ward, in general are only slowly adopting new technology. We’ve got some tech savvy folks but only a handful of ward members have smartphones. So I think it will be a few years before this becomes a functional teaching technique in my neck of the woods.

  • Paul

    Interesting idea. Not sure my ward is ready for it yet but could us it to present the class in the normal way and make it available for class members afterwards so they can use interesting quotes images etc…in their FHE or own study

  • Mormon Media Reviews

    This is awesome! Although my mind is going crazy trying to figure out how all those slides go together with the lesson. You gotta post that for us too!

  • Mormon Media Reviews

    Finally got to share this! It went really well, and everyone seemed really engaged, which I hope in turn helped people feel the Spirit. How did you get all the transparent background images? Did you just make them? I made one, but I didn’t have time to make more manually.

    Here is mine:

  • Travis


    Dude, that’s great! Glad to know you’re hacking your Mormon life.

    I got my transparent background images from an Indiana Jones icon set I found online.

    Thanks for sharing! (Sometimes feedback is a rare thing.)

  • Mormon Media Reviews

    For sure! As a fellow blogger, I know how tough it is to put something out there and have no one respond. I have a review that has over a thousand views in a single month, and only one comment.

  • Katelyn

    This is a really great idea! I think I’m going to try it for my RS lesson this week!


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