Thursday, April 23, 2015

Student Tested Presentation Tools - Updated

Time to update this post from 2013 with some great new tools! 

Slideshows are an easy way for students to share what they’ve learned.  Whether they are illustrating the theme of a novel, comparing characters, or sharing metaphors from poetry, slideshows allow students to tap into their creativity and allow for a wider audience. 

As with all presentations, slideshows should support a story that is being told.  Students should know whether the slideshow is meant to enhance their presentation, or be the presentation (provide information).  Either way they should adhere to some basic rules - make sure the images are appropriate, engages the viewer, and supports the content.  Text should be kept to a minimum and easy to read.  Don’t allow students to read from the slides (indicates too much text).

Many of the web-based applications have simplified the process by making copyright friendly images and music available to use.  Some slideshows allow for recorded narration, others allow text.  Many have built-in backgrounds and transitions.  Best news – all the ones below are free; and are available online or iOS!  Here are some our students (and I) have used and enjoy:

Animoto: Upload your photos and videos; then add their background and music.  Very easy to use. Free version is limited, the $30/year plan is worth it. 

Canva: This graphic design tool can make student presentations look truly professional. Templates are available to get them started, or go with a blank canvas. There are plenty of backgrounds, images, icons and text options to use, or upload your own images. Work can be saved online, or shared as a PDF or JPEG.  The Design School offers tutorials in design and creation.

VoiceThread:
 Students can add their images and record their voices to tell their story.  The audience can add comments too. See our previous post.  

Prezi: Students love Prezi.  Can add images, video, text, shapes and the zoom feature allows students to focus on what’s important.   

Looking for other tools for the classroom?  We have updated the Tools/Resources page.  If you have favorites we left out, please let us know!

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