Each school year our 5th grade has exhibition. That means that the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is coming to an end. That also means that my 28 5th graders are going to have to present an issue to peers, teachers, and the community. So how are we going to do this in a new, refreshing way? We could be creative with a play, create puppets, or discover new presentation software. Last year we played with a few forms of presentation software, which I blogged about in my first-ever blog post.
We used WIX – which is a flash, website editor – the students loved creating their own websites.
We used Prezi – which by now I’m sure all of you have heard about. Very pretty – but can cause headaches if not used properly.
We used Sliderocket – which is great, easy to use slideshow software.
- It’s free
- It is so simple! You can’t beat it’s simplicity. Transitions – add text – add images… color, background…
- Easy to upload images – you get 250 megabytes of free storage.
- You can download your presentation after you have created it – which means that you don’t need the internet to play your presentation. This is a huge bonus – which sliderocket does not offer.
Give Prezentit a try. You do have to sign up – but it’s free, and you don’t have to check your e-mail to log on…
I think you’re going to really like this website. For the last… who knows how long… I have been going to my team at school and saying, “so I discovered this new website.” I have begun to realize how overwhelming all these websites can be. Which do you choose to use? Is it based on ease of access? application? fanciness? engagement/student interest? …
Well, I recently discovered this website called: Museum Box. If you haven’t seen it yet – it’s worth taking a look at. Musuem Box is a platform for allowing students to organize information and store it in a ‘musuem’ like setting. Each box contains six sides where students can place images, movies, documents, or links pertaining to that topic. The site is built especially for teachers, even allowing teachers to build student accounts.
So how can this be applied in the everyday classroom? Musuem Box is great because if students have book reports, or presentations of any kind that allow for them to use web-based resources – they can organize that information in Musuem Box and present through the website.
An example? Okay: Suppose students are learning about the Revolutionary War and you want them to understand key people, events, artifacts, or dates. You could have students use the web to access pictures, videos, or links that they could put on their boxes. Students could also write documents or find primary sources. I see musuem box as an opportunity to be more creative with presentation – and allow for students to figure out what’s important and what isn’t as important.
Creating posters? Trying to figure out a cover design? Looking to present a variety of vocabulary in one picture?
Wordle is for you.
Wordle is an excellent, easy-to-use website where you can insert text – then the wesbite will generate text puzzles that can look very slick. You do have some control- if you want the words horizontal/vertical/both – or what color gradient you desire.
How do I use this with students?
- It can be used to present vocabulary for a new story or unit. Students can use the vocabulary to try and guess the story or unit content.
- Students could create a wordle for each book that they are reading to show the main ideas and characters from the book.
- Students could create wordles for presentations – highlighting the key ideas.
It is free – which is always great. When I have created a wordle I click the print screen button on the computer keypad. I then open paint and click paste. Then I crop the wordle and save it as a jpeg. Althought that is a process – I have found it works fine – and once you get the hang of it – it’s really quick.
As years pass technology continues to awe us all. As I create posts I’m going to be looking at a number of new technologies that may hit the education realm eventually.
One of these new technologies are Flexible Displays. Imagine a computer screen that is as thin as a piece of paper. It’s already created! It is full color. Think about opening a photo-album, but instead of there being photos in each of the slots there are short films on flexible displays. Flexible displays use organic light-emitting diode technology, which is in use in some technology already. Many companies are exploring flexible displays and the capabilities and marketability.
If you want further information read this document.
If you would like to see a short film on flexible displays please watch the following.
Over the past two months I have lunged into a world of web-based software. The school where I teach 5th grade is IB (International Baccalaureate). One of the great things about teaching 5th grade at an IB school is the capstone event – where 5th graders get to experience their first real research project/presentation. This year my 5th grade team wanted to jazz up the presentations – and so we decided to integrate more stylish presentation software. The great things about the following software is that it is free and it is not power point.
- This stylish presentation software allows for users to create paths on a large, internet “white-board.”
- It provides easy ways to incorporate youtube videos and import media from desktops.
- Clearly organize information through font sizes and path choices.
- One con of Prezi is that (with the free version) there is no way to hyperlink text or import bmp’s…
Tip: With students – you only need one username and password – every student can be working through the same account at the same time – just on different prezis – so I just made one account ahead of time.
Here is an example of a prezi: EXAMPLE
- Sliderocket is like a beefed-up powerpoint.
- It has fancier transitions and sleeker text and themes.
- Directly upload from flikr
Unfortunately with Sliderocket students each need their own account -because they cannot work simultaneously on the same account – we just made up e-mail addresses for the students.
Here is an example of sliderocket: EXAMPLE