Creating a Mugshot Using Google Slides

Edit 8/27/18 – Since uploading this project, I’ve had some misgivings about the appropriateness of it. For some students, this project could be especially problematic and/or be triggering. Yet, I do like the process of uploading an image, taking a selfie, editing away the background, and having a new image with yourself in it. The essential process used here could be used in a myriad of ways (and far beyond a mugshot). Please, if you choose to do the mugshot project with students, consider your students, their lives, and plan accordingly with empathy and grace. 

Y’all!  The digital manipulation tools in Google Suite (and in other free, online apps) are getting so good that I’m developing digital projects relying on Photoshop and/or Pixlr less and less. Where once I was breaking down how layers work to third graders, I can now tell them to just move items forward and backward in Google Slides or Google Drawings. It’s crazy. 

A high-school Social Studies colleague asked me if I knew of any free, easy, and safe-for-student-use mugshot apps online. His students are currently studying the American West, and making “Most Wanted” posters would be an interesting connection. Alas, there are very few tools that meet those criteria. . . .But, I love teaching about Most Wanted posters (no idea why really; just that it is super fun and has great ties to American history), so this has been turning over in my mind. 

Whelp. All at once it came to me how to easily put a project like this into Google Slides. 

Here are my steps:
1.      Make a copy of this presentation for your Google Drive

2.      Share the Google Drive with students (give them editing rights)
3.      Students take a selfie (preferably on a green screen).
4.      Students edit away the background using Photoscissors App

5.      Students go to the “Green Screen Mugshots” Google Slides Template

6.      Students make a copy of the template slide
7.      Students insert their edited selfie
8.      Students arrange their selfie backward until it is behind the mugshot sign

 Optional Steps:
 9. Students go to “File” and choose “Download As” and choose “PNG”
10. Students print/share their PNG mugshot file

Here is a video I made of my process (I’m a visual person!):

Let me know if your students try this out!