Presentations are more than just Powerpoint or Keynote. While those tools will get the presentation-making job done, there are definitely better options out there, especially for classroom applications, where you’re more likely to use all of the multimedia capabilities than someone showing revenue slides in a business meeting.
The most obvious use for a great presentation tool in your classroom is for presenting material to your class. As the teacher, you can keep your ideas organized and your class on track regardless of where the discussion goes (just don’t forget to get back to your presentation!). The multimedia aspect will get your students more engaged than with just a lecture. But don’t forget the next piece – have your students use the tools, too! Getting them involved with the material in an interactive way that employs relevant technology is a great way to get them to process the material at hand.
We’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite presentation tools. Do you have any other favorites?
Haiku Deck is a free app that lets users create presentations using professionally designed themes. The platform is very image focused, and includes tons of stock images (licensed via Creative Commons and Getty Images) to use in the presentations. You can also integrate your own images from your mobile device, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Picasa, or Dropbox. Users also have the ability to create charts (pie, bar, etc) from within the app. While some will find the interface to be somewhat restrictive, it is made to encourage the ‘best practices’ from presentation experts – it basically makes you focus on one idea per slide, with lots of images, and clean, concise formatting – especially useful as a tool that students will use! We like it because it is free, easy to use, the interface is good looking, and the presentations come out looking great.
Projeqt is a web based presentation tool that focuses on including all types of elements seamlessly into your presentation. The interface is really easy to use, and allows users to pull content from a variety of sources and integrate it into the presentation without looking messy. So when you need to add in a webpage (even if it has its own multimedia). You can even use live Tweets or blog feeds. Since the presentations can include continually updating material (as with a Twitter feed), the presentations you make aren’t static and won’t always require updating the way a static presentation would. Signing up for an account is free, and the site offers sign up with Facebook or Twitter.
We know that we don’t need to sell you on using Google’s tools. Using the Google Presentation tool offers you all the flexibility that all the toys in the Google toybox offer – easy sharing and collaborating on documents, cloud based storage for access anywhere, and free. There are many templates offered (searchable by category), though many of them lack the awesome aesthetics that some of the other tools offer. Putting together something really streamlined and professional looking might require a bit more know-how on this platform. However, the interface is easy to use – Basically, it is a somewhat stripped down version of Microsoft Powerpoint, which many of you have experience using already. If you’ve ever navigated Powerpoint, you’ll feel at home using the Google version.