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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Create Beautiful Presentations with Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is an iPad app that all students and teachers should have installed on their iPads. Haiku Deck enables anyone to create beautiful slide presentations. It's so easy to use that when I was describing the app to someone last week I said it was like "Animoto for slide decks." Like other slide presentation apps Haiku provides templates for creating your presentation. But there are some significant differences between Haiku Deck and other presentation apps.

There are two features of Haiku Deck that stand out. First, Haiku Deck intentionally limits how much text that you can put on each of your slides. Second, Haiku Deck helps you find Creative Commons licensed images for your presentations. When you type a word or words on your slides you can have Haiku Deck search for images for you. The images that Haiku Deck serves up are large enough to completely fill your slide. You can also upload your own images from your iPad or import images from Instagram and Facebook.
A slide from one of my Haiku Decks. 
Haiku Deck has an adequate selection of free templates that should suit all students. However, Haiku Deck also offers additional templates for purchase.

Applications for Education
Without the option to create long lists of bullett points or big blocks of texts, the beauty of Haiku Deck is that after students create visually pleasing slides they then have to focus on really knowing their material before presenting to an audience.

While we're on the topic of sharing presentations, a question that I'm often asked is, "how can I have my students project from their iPads." There are three options that I've used. First, I have projected using a VGA dongle. Second, I've used the Reflection App to mirror my iPad to my MacBook. Third, I've used Apple TV.

Tips for Setting Up Google Apps Training Activities - Part 2: Devices

Last week I published an updated version of my guide to Google Drive and Documents for Teachers. I know of a couple of people that are using that guide this week and next week in trainings that they are facilitating. If you are considering using the guide too, I have some tips for you. These tips are part of a larger document that I am developing. The first set of tips was about browser choice. This is the second set of tips.

Unless you’re training session is specifically about using iPads or Android tablets, the best way to introduce new users to all of the Google Documents features is to have them use a browser (again Chrome is preferable) on their laptops. You can certainly have people bring their iPads and or Android tablets to your training session, but make sure that they know that not all of the features available in a desktop browser are also available in the iOS and Android apps.

When I have participants bringing iPads or Android tablets to one of my workshops, my preference is to have people try all of the features of Google Documents in their browsers before moving to their tablets. This way they have exposure to all of the functions of Google Docs. Then when they move to their tablets they can clearly see the differences between the browser experience and the tablet app experience. 

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