Google+

August 29, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

Beyond the Diorama: Punch Up Presentations | Tech Tidbits

Dragon DioramaDo you remember making dioramas in elementary school? I know that things are very different now, but I still have students using ancient tools instead of using techniques that can show a deeper understanding of what they are studying.

Powerpoint is second nature to my students, as they probably started using it in second grade! They recently graduated to Prezi, but its overuse, and rollercoaster transitions, is making my teachers sick! They are asking for the next best thing.

There are so many resourceful ways to do multimedia presentations now, folks need to pay attention. In my research and trials, there are many tools that educators should explore.

9Slides9Slides.com is a great resource initially designed for the business market, but it can work remarkably well for the education field. Available for handheld devices and online, this tool allows you to upload video on one side of the screen and PowerPoint, PDF’s or even SlideShare on the other side. At a recent in-service I taught, one elementary teacher thought it would be the perfect match for her beginning-of-the-year student writing samples. Students already read their work aloud but now it can be displayed while they narrate. What a great artifact to show parents at back-to-school night! I can see teary-eyed parents basking in pride as their child performs their personal narrative.

Thinglink.com has just published an application and upgrade that strengthens its utility. Thinglink has been a nice tool that adds text and hyperlinks on to images, à la Jennifer LeGarde in her April Librarian Month page. But now you can also place video pop-ups on the image, and a new app has been released for handheld devices. This is going to be a great tool for my library orientation. I’ll take a picture of my library and insert tags and videos explaining the resources available, such as the location of fiction, the short story collection, the computer lab, etc., along with the rules of engagement. Thinglink also tracks the number of user “hovers” and clicks so you can measure how effective it is.

PopcornmakerPerhaps the coolest tool of the season is Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker.  You can download videos and edit and manipulate them using this online application to layer text pop-ups, Google maps, Wikipedia pages and other very interactive additions. Users may find it a more complex, but the end product is really worth it.

Teachers and students need to take advantage of new multimedia tools that make it easy to create presentations that are both strong and show the depth of our students’ learning. Summer is the perfect time to get acquainted with a few of these resources and enhance our teacher toolboxes.

Phil Goerner is teacher librarian at Silver Creek High School, Longmont, CO.

See also The Best Powerpoint Alternatives for Creating Great Presentations.

SLJTeen header

This article was featured in School Library Journal's SLJTeen enewsletter. Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to you twice a month for free.

Share
Register Today!
Join us on October 14th for The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities, focusing on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Our full-day program will provide actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and will feature thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
REGISTER TODAY | #TDS15
SummerTeen 2015: #SLJTeenLive!
SummerTeen Join us on August 13, 2015 for a full day of free online programming tackling important issues impacting teen collection and programming. Hear directly from authors about their current and forthcoming titles, plus discussion panels focusing on critical teen issues and trends.

VIEW THE PROGRAM | REGISTER TODAY

Comments

  1. Thanks Phil for writing about 9slides.com. Checkout this page full of presentations created by 8th graders http://9slides.com/channel/celinaschools

    I am founder & CEO of 9Slides and would be happy to get connected with any teacher or student who would like to explore and/or talk to us about our offering. My email is ruchit@9slides.com

    Ruchit Garg
    ruchit@9slides.com