Powerpoint and other slideshow-based forms of presentation can be useful. They certainly have a place in my teaching. But variation is the spice of life and certainly helps in terms of pupils being able to remember important information they may need for examinations, etc.
In what follows I’d like to take you through three tools that should help liven up your presentations. They are:
The best way to describe Glogster is that it’s like an online, multimedia poster. It’s very easy to use and, as it can be made to display full-screen, making it an ideal presentational tool. You can add (hyperlinked) text as well as embedding images, video and audio. The added bonus is that it’s already online for your pupils to see when they get home! 🙂
At the time of writing, Prezi is currently in ‘private beta mode’, meaning you have to request a login by signing up. In practice, it only takes a couple of days before you get your account.
Like Glogster, Prezi allows you to embed multimedia objects such as images and video (in the form of .flv files – try KissYouTube.com). Describing itself as ‘the zooming presentation editor’, Prezi is like a giant canvas upon which you focus in on various parts.
Prezi can be viewed, and collaborated upon, online – but each presentation can also be downloaded for use offline. Perfect if your network connection is less than 100% guaranteed! 🙂
Here’s a very straightforward Prezi I created on the League of Nations to show you the style.
Animoto is an easy video creation tool. It ‘feels’ your music and presents the images you upload to it in time with the beat. Animoto has recently become a lot more powerful in that you can now add text. It is therefore now useful as a story-telling tool, and especially as a ‘hook’ for pupils at the start of a lesson!
I created the above video last month to entice Year 9 to choose the new Vocational GCSE in History!
My school’s Special Educational Needs department asked me to do an E-Learning Session just for them, as many within the department couldn’t make my lunchtime sessions for one reason or another:
One of the tools I recommended I haven’t yet done an E-Learning Staff Session on. That’s Voki – here’s a sample of what you can do:
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Get a Voki now!
I’ve run a session – and therefore created guides to – the other four web applications I recommend for SEN practitioners:
- How to create engaging video starters without any creative talent using Animoto
- Using del.icio.us to synchronise bookmarks & find new, exciting stuff
- Creating a homework blog in 3 simple steps using email
- How to use Google Earth more effectively.
My Twitter network, as ever, were extremely helpful – although unfortunately I received some of the ideas after I’d finalised the resources:
Students inhabit a visually-rich, media-driven world. Sometimes, as educators with limited time on our hands, it’s difficult to compete. Animoto is an easy-to-use and extremely powerful way of creating short videos to grab students’ interest. Better still, it’s free for educational use!
Follow the guide below to get started… 🙂
Here’s a video I produced using Animoto in an attempt to encourage more Year 9’s to opt for GCSE History:
I’ve been a paid-up user of Animoto for a few months now, ever since I saw how powerful it’s behind-the-scenes trickery was. I blogged about its potential over at dougbelshaw.com, providing a sample video that I used to encourage more Year 9 students to opt for History next academic year.
I’m delighted to discover, therefore, that Animoto is now free for educators. It’s a fantastic and engaging way to introduce a topic, present photos of a trip, or allow your students to have some fun! 😀
I love Animoto. For those of you who didn’t catch the buzz at the end of 2007 then it’s an amazing web app that produces professional-looking videos from pictures and audio you provide. At Christmas I had a play around with the 30 seconds worth of video they give you with a free account, but today went the whole hog and spent $30 (just over £15) on going unlimited for one year.
I’ve felt properly rough today so have been off school, but at least I’ve been productive. Look at (part of) what I’ve produced to try and tempt our Year 9’s to GCSE History next year! 😀