**2/3/14 Sadly, it no longer appears that Hello Slide is a functional web site. I (and others) have not been able to access it over the last two months, or more. GT **
Here's some additional detail about how to use HelloSlide, which was also mentioned in yesterday's post about Slideshow Creation Sites.
I've started a project with my 7th graders to summarize their learning about the Middle Ages. We're using HelloSlide, which is a very fun and easy to use web-based tool. The version I used was free, and includes enough capability for my needs.
The premise is simple: add a pdf of the slides to be shown, type in the information to be 'read', determine if the presentation is to be public or private, and you're done. Upon playback, the slides will flip, and the computer will 'read back' what you've typed in.
This is another method for students to 'go deep' and show what they know - structure an assignment so students develop a set of slides that provides some detail (not a lot - slides should be very sparse on word count), and then use the voice feature for students for a detailed 'presentation' about what students know.
This will require students to really work on the phrasing, sentence structure, statement of facts, opinions, etc.
HelloSlide supports several common core reading and writing standards. Take a look here for the ELA Writing anchor standards. Upon review, I was somewhat shocked how this relatively simple tool supports so many of them. Learning in other areas, such as Social Studies and Science, would also benefit from the use of a tool like HelloSlide. To me, a very simple tool, with a low 'barrier' to entry (e.g., easy to train students to use), and with a very significant outcome for students - a rich, well, designed presentation with deep written information. Kids will find it cool to have the computer speak their words, so that's a nice hook too.
I'd love to hear your feedback about HelloSlide!