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8 New Presentation Tools for Teachers

8 New Presentation Tools for Teachers

By Rita Phillips

reading too much? Whooos ReadingPresenting information to anyone can be difficult, but presenting to students adds a new dimension. Most adults sitting through a presentation actually made a choice to be there. Students, on the other hand, are required to attend class, and therefore are required to sit through presentations nearly every day in every class.

If that doesn’t scream monotony, I don’t know what does—all you have to do is watch students’ body language to guess it: loud yawns, heads on desks, glazed over expressions.

The first time I noticed this, I felt like a comedian on stage, dying before my audience. It was at that moment that I made a vow not to be that teacher.

You don’t have to be that teacher either if you learn how to use a few new digital tools and embrace a different way of sharing information to your students.

Change Your Current Style

Before using any new tools, consider what simple changes you can make to your current slide shows.

  • Don’t clutter your slides. Keep them simple, using only two or three basic colors.
  • Don’t feel the need to fill every space with words or images. In fact, if you’ve ever sat through a slide show where someone has filled each slide with text and bullet points, you know how mind numbing that type of presentation can be. Students are more likely to remember a concept with a few words and one relevant image per slide.
  • Use a font that’s both clear and large enough for everyone in the back of the room to see.
  • Use a few short, engaging videos for added emphasis.
  • Add question slides after every third slide to keep your students alert and focused.

The next thing you can do to create engaging student presentations is to build your repertoire of digital presentation tools. There are many free tools available that you can use to mix things up. Most teachers rely on PowerPoint because they’re comfortable with it, but I promise you, your students will thank you for presenting information in numerous ways.

More: 7 Ways to Inspire Classroom Creativity With Technology

With that said, here are seven digital apps that you can use to create awesome presentations that your students will love.

Haiku Deck

It’s simple to use and will seem familiar, as it’s a slide show presentation tool like PowerPoint. However, one of the cool things about Haiku Deck is that you don’t have to go hunting for images to download and then upload to your presentation.

Haiku Deck has comes loaded with creative commons, high quality images that can be inserted into a slide with the click of your mouse. In addition, this program makes it easy to use just one large image and a few words to make your point.

Emaze

Another slide show app that’s easy to use is Emaze. This app makes it easy to add images to your slide show by uploading them from your computer or pasting the image URL into the appropriate box. Adding videos is just as simple.

What makes this program stand out from the others is that you can choose a 3-D template, which, when you play through your slide show, zooms into certain sections for emphasis. In some ways this is a bit like Prezi.

Bunkr

Another slideshow-like presentation app is Bunkr. Bunkr bills itself as a presentation app that allows users to display and present any online content easily and beautifully, and it definitely delivers. Not only can you easily embed images and videos into your slideshows, but you can also incorporate items like Google maps, social posts (from sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest), charts, code, audio, and articles. All of these features make your presentation much more interactive and interesting.

If you’re looking for a way to deliver an animated presentation, there are several options from which to choose.

Powtoon

The most popular animated presentation software is Powtoon. With Powtoon, you can create a short, lively presentation with text and background music. Additionally, you can narrate your presentation.

Powtoon has many templates you can choose from and is a terrific way to break out of the doldrums of a slideshow presentation and grab your students’ attention quickly.

Moovly

Moovly is another animated presentation app that offers itself as presentation software for those who want to explain things in a dynamic way. If you learn how to use Powtoon, Moovly will be a cinch to use.

Moovly comes with 8 free templates, tons of characters to choose from, and as with Powtoon, can be upgraded to get more templates and options. In addition, you can upload a music track and narrate the video if you choose.

While there are plenty presentation apps to choose from, let’s go back to keeping your students engaged throughout your entire presentation. For that, as mentioned earlier, you will need to keep them focused by adding questions about every third slide. If you do, in fact, use PowerPoint, there are two add-ons that will bring your lecture to life.

Participoll and Poll Everywhere

Both of these tools are similar, in that you download them as extensions to PowerPoint and insert questions into slides. At the beginning of your presentation, you give students the web address, and when the question slides pop up, students use their cell phone, tablets or computers to input their responses. I’ve used both in my classes and my students love the interaction.

More: 3 Ways to Use Live Polling to Get to Know Your Students

Spiral

Spiral is another digital tool that will help you check for understanding during a slideshow. This cloud-based presentation software that allows you to create classes, upload your students’ names using a spreadsheet (or insert them one-by-one), create a slideshow, and ask interactive questions during the slideshow.

There are two different types of questions you can ask: quick-fire or discussion. With quick fire, you don’t need to prepare anything ahead of time. You can simply ask verbal questions, give students the sign-in address and their login, and watch as students respond with a digital device.

The discussion questions prepared ahead of time while creating your presentation. Spiral is relatively new, and as with most new online apps, might have some bugs to work out, but it looks very promising.

As you can see, there are many options for creating meaningful, interactive presentations for your students. Although it’s easier to stick with the “tried and true,” I think you’ll find your students are more responsive and find your discussions to be livelier if you try using one of the many, free digital presentation tools available on the web.

If you would like to find learn more about digital apps, go to my website at Free Digital Tools 4 Teachers, or visit my online course entitled Teacher Tech Tips–Easily Boost Teacher and Student Success where you can learn how to use 19 free apps to deliver content, manage, assess, and engage students.

WRforSchools
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  1. Pingback: 8 New Presentation Tools for Teachers | Didattica in digitale

  2. Pingback: 8 Ways to Use Online Learning in the Classroom

  3. Pingback: 10 Ways to Differentiate Instruction with Technology

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