Showing posts with label digital presentations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital presentations. Show all posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Create Multimedia History Presentations With Digital Artifacts

The National Archives Experience Digital Vaults is one of the resources that I almost always share in my workshop on teaching history with technology primary sources. The Digital Vaults offers three good tools that students and teachers can use to create content using images and documents from the National Archives.

The National Archives Digital Vault poster and video creation tools allow students to drag and drop digital artifacts into a poster or video. The National Archives provides images, documents, and audio in an easy to use editor. When making a poster students can combine multiple images, change background colors, and create captions to make collages of digital artifacts. See the screen capture below for a demonstration of poster editing.

Creating a video is just as easy as creating a poster in the Digital Vaults. To create a video simply drag your selected images on to the editing templates, type image captions, select the duration of display for each image, and select audio tracks. See the screen capture below for a look at the video editor.

Applications for Education
The Pathways tool in the Digital Vaults can be used to create small quizzes that ask students to identify the connections between two or more images or documents. To start, drag one image to you Pathways menu then select a related item to add to your Pathway. Type in a clue for students to use to help them make the connection. When you share your Pathway with others, they will see only your first image and your connection clue, they have to find the image that connects. Take a look at a sample Pathways challenge here.

Please note that the Digital Vaults website loads a lot of media when you visit it for the first time. Give it ten seconds or so to load everything before you start to create and investigate. It also helps to be using an updated browser (Chrome or Firefox are best). 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Metta - Create Multimedia Presentations and Save Them In Google Drive

Metta is a digital presentation tool that have been featured here in the past. Metta allows you to combine videos from YouTube, pictures from the web or from your desktop, text, and voice recordings to create a presentation. The latest Metta development allows you to save your presentations in your Google Drive account. To use this option log into Metta by using your Google account at and leave the “Connect to Google Drive” checkbox on.

In addition to YouTube videos, pictures, and voice recordings Metta also provides options for including content from Pinterest and Twitter to use in your final presentation. Metta also allows you to insert a quiz into your projects. This means that people viewing your Metta projects can watch a short video clip then answer questions about it before moving onto the next part of the presentation.

Applications for Education
You could have students create Metta projects in which they create book trailers using video clips, images, and their voices. Students could use Metta to create a digital collage of media around a current events topic that they're studying. Metta might also be used by students to create a showcase of their best digital works of the semester.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tackk - Create Simple Webpages for Assignments and Announcements

Tackk is a free service that you can use to quickly create simple webpages. Using Tackk you can create a page to announce an important event, to advertise an event, or to show off your best digital works. I initially tried the service last year. Recently, the Tackk team sent me a message about the various ways that teachers and students are using their service. That email got me to look at the service again.

To create a Tackk page you do not need to register for an account, but unregistered Tackk pages expire after seven days. If you register for the service your Tackk pages stay up indefinitely. I registered for the service before creating my first Tackk page. Creating my Tackk was a simple matter of uploading an image then adding text in the customizable fields above and below my image. Tackk pages can accommodate videos, audio files, and maps, but I did not include those items in my first Tackk page.

Applications for Education
Tackk has a gallery of examples of the ways that teachers and students have been using Tackk for the last year. One of the ways that Tackk is being used by teachers is to distribute and collect assignments. You can learn how to do that here.

Tackk could be a good tool for students to use to quickly create a page to show off some of their digital photography, video creation projects, or audio files. Student groups looking to create a landing page for a fundraising event may want to give Tackk a try too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Create Digital Portfolios On eduClipper

eduClipper, the popular bookmarking tool for teachers and students, has just released a great new feature. Students can now create digital portfolios on eduClipper.

The new eduClipper portfolio tool allows students to create portfolios of things they have clipped (AKA bookmarked) online, things they have stored in their Google Drive accounts, content they've created on services like Prezi and Animoto, and files they have stored on their computers. eduClipper portfolios use the same visual interface that students and teachers use when bookmarking things in eduClipper. Students can re-arrange elements in their portfolios by simply dragging and dropping them into position on their portfolio canvasses. Watch the video below to see the eduClipper portfolio tools in action.

Getting Started with eduClipper Presentation Portfolios from AdamBellow on Vimeo.

The best part of eduClipper, and why I think that teachers will love it, is that you can create class boards to share with your students and they can share boards with you. As a teacher you can create classes in your eduClipper account. When you create a class you will be given an access code that your students can use to join your class. Alternatively, you can directly add students to your class boards through your eduClipper account. As the teacher you have complete control over the content that is shared and the comments written on each board.

If you are an Edmodo user you can add eduClipper to your account and those of your students.

Disclosure: I have a very very small equity stake in eduClipper. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

5 Ways Students Can Create Audio Slideshows

Somewhere between a PowerPoint presentation and a full-fledged video is the audio slideshow. Creating audio slideshows can be a good way to add meaning to slides that otherwise might not mean much without a presenter. Here are some ways that students can create audio slideshows.

Narrable is a neat service for creating short narrated slideshows. To create an audio slideshow on Narrable start by uploading some pictures that you either want to talk about or have music played behind. After the pictures are uploaded you can record a narration for each picture through your computer's microphone or by calling into your Narrable's access phone number. You can also upload an audio recording that is stored on your computer. Narrable projects can be shared via email, Facebook, or by embedding them into a blog.

UtellStory is a service for creating and sharing audio slideshows. To create and share your story through UtellStory you can upload pictures, add text captions, add audio narration to each slide, and upload a soundtrack to support your entire story. Completed projects can be embedded into your blog, emailed to your friends, or shared through your favorite social networking sites. Watch UTellStory's introduction here. Creating my first UTellStory project, available here, took me about ten minutes after registering on the site. To create my story I uploaded pictures that I had saved on my computer, but I could have also pulled images from Flickr. Then I added the narration to each slide. In the free version of UTellStory you have thirty seconds per slide and up to two minutes of total audio. I rearranged my slides after recording by simply dragging them into the sequence in which I wanted them to appear. is a handy service for recording video and or audio to accompany your slides. allows you to sync your recorded audio and video to your slides then publish everything as one complete package. Here's how it works; upload a set of slides to your account, then use your webcam to record a video of yourself talking about those slides. Your video and slides will appear side-by-side when you have finished recording. If you don't want to record a video, you can simply record audio only. accepts a large variety of presentation file types. And if you sign-in with your Google account, you can import presentations to from your Google Drive account.

Hello Slide is a tool that you can use to add voice narration to slides that you display online.Hello Slide is different from services like Slideshare's Zipcast (which requires a paid subscription) because instead of recording your voice you type what you want the narrator to say. Where you might type "speakers notes" in other slide programs, in Hello Slide you type out the narration. Hello Slide creates the audio and narrates your slides for you. While the voice is slightly robotic, it is much much better than most text to speech services.To get started using Hello Slide, register for a free account, upload a PDF of your slides, then start typing your narration. It's very easy to use Hello Slide.

 In my mind one of the original audio slideshow tools is Animoto. It's been around for a long time (in web 2.0 terms) and it is still a good tool for students to use to bridge the gap between slideshows and videos. Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. In the last year Animoto has added the option to include video clips in your videos too. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using AnimotoAnimoto's free service limits you to 30 second videos. You can create longer videos if you apply for an education account.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Try SlideShark and BrainShark for Sharing Presentations

BrainShark, is a service for narrating and sharing slide presentations online. I've written about some of their offerings in the past. Recently they launched a new service for sharing PowerPoint presentations through Box. Now you can share your PowerPoint files with others for viewing and or file editing. Learn more about the new service in the video below.

One of BrainShark's signature offerings is their SlideShark service for sharing PowerPoint presentations over iPads. SlideShark converts your PowerPoint files without losing any of your original formatting, transitions, or animations. To use SlideShark just upload your PPT files to your free SlideShark account, SlideShark converts the files for you, then you can access your converted files on your iPad at anytime using the free SlideShark app.

BrainShark also offers myBrainshark for Android to share presentations that you narrate on myBrainshark. Here's how myBrainshark works; upload a slide presentation that you've created then use your computer's microphone to record your voice over each slide. If you don't have a microphone My Brainshark provides a phone number that you can call to create a voice recording.

Applications for Education
BrainShark's services could be very useful for delivering short lessons to students through multiple devices.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Short and Sweet Presentation Advice

This year, as I do every year, I plan to help my students develop the life-long skill of delivering good presentations to an audience. To that end I try to make my students strive to take Guy Kawasaki's advice about font use on slides. Guy Kawasaki is one of the best presenters that I've seen. In the two minute video below Kawasaki shares his advice for delivering an effective presentation. In the video he is speaking to a tech/ business audience, but 98% of what he says applies to any audience.

For a bit more in the way of presentation advice, particularly regarding slide design, watch this ten minute talk by Garr Reynolds. Reynolds is the author of Presentation Zen.

And here is Reynolds putting his advice into practice at TEDxToyko.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Draw Island - Online Drawings and Animations

Draw Island is a new free online tool for creating drawings and simple GIF animations. Draw Island offers you your choice of four canvas sizes on which you can draw. Draw Island offers two canvas sizes for creating simple GIF animations. To use Draw Island just head to the site and select a drawing tool. You can draw free hand (or should I say free mouse?) or select pre-defined shapes to use in your images. When you're done drawing just click the save button to download your drawing or animation.

Applications for Education
Draw Island could be a good tool for students to create images for all kinds of digital presentations. Students could create a series of drawings to create a cartoon story. Students could use Draw Island to create sketches to demonstrate or outline a concept.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Add Some Oomph to PowerPoint Slides

oomfo (yes, they spell it in all lowercase letters) is a free add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint. The purpose of oomfo is to enable users to insert animated charts and graphs into their PowerPoint slides. Using oomfo users can import data from spreadsheets to create their charts and graphs. Users can also export the charts they've created for reuse in other presentations. Watch the video below to see oomfo in action.

Applications for Education
Dressing-up PowerPoint slides doesn't inherently make presentations better. That said, visuals are an important part of making effective presentations that your audience understands. oomfo could help you or your students create visuals that assist in comprehending data and other information.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Good Free Guides to Digital Photography

Yesterday, Make Use Of released a 59 page ebook titled The Essential Guide to Digital Photography. The book covers everything from selecting a camera to using your camera to editing your images. It's not the most in-depth guide you'll find on any of those three topics, but it does provide a nice overview of everything an aspiring photographer should know.

Make Use Of directed readers to Scribd to view The Essential Guide to Photography before downloading it. While on Scribd I looked at some other ebooks on digital photography and came upon the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Digital Photography. The Absolute Beginner's Guide is a 381 page soup to nuts guide for anyone delving into the world of photography as a hobby or art form. I've embedded that guide below.
Absolute Beginners Guide to Digital Photography

Applications for Education
If you're considering purchasing digital cameras for your classroom or your school, both of these guides should offer you some good advice on what to look for in your purchase. These guides could also be handy references to have in your classroom when you decide to have students start using digital cameras for multimedia presentation projects.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Slide Six - Easily Add Narration to Slide Shows

Slide Six is a slide show hosting service that offers you the ability to add your voice narrations without having to create, upload, and sync a separate audio file. Slide Six does this by allowing you to record your narration directly through the Slide Six site. To use the feature just upload your slide show and then record your voice as you go through your slide deck. Slide Six also allows you to upload attachments to complement your presentations. YouTube and Vimeo videos are supported within Slide Six.

Slide Six supports all Power Point formats, Open Office, PDF, and MOV presentations. You can try Slide Six without creating an account through the trial uploader.

Applications for Education
If you have students creating slide shows that are going to end up in a wiki or on a blog consider having them add audio narration to their presentations before embedding them into a blog or wiki.

There is one last noteworthy aspect of Slide Six for teachers that has nothing to do with the technology of Slide Six, but everything to do with the owner and creator Todd Sharp.
Slide Six is a boot-strapped start-up and Todd is very responsive to customer questions. Follow him on Twitter and tell him I sent you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Veezzle - Find Free Stock Photos

Finding images that you and your students can reuse for digital presentations can sometimes be a tricky process. Veezzle is an image search engine that should bring some clarity to that process. An image search on Veezzle will yield results that contain only royalty-free, free stock images.

Applications for Education
Your students could use the advanced image search tools of Google and Yahoo, but those options aren't always easy for students (or teachers in some cases) to understand. Veezzle provides students with a simple way to find images that they can use in their digital presentations.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
NachoFoto - Realtime Image Search Engine
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
How to Publish a Quiz Using Google Forms

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Advice for Shy Presenters and Shy Connectors

Sacha Chua, who I've mentioned a few times in the past, creates some of the best slideshows you'll find on the web. That's not just my hyperbole, she's been mentioned by some of the biggest blogs on the web. In fact, I think it was through Read Write Web that I initially discovered her work.
Recently she gave talk titled The Shy Presenter at Ignite Toronto. The Shy Presenter is five minutes packed with advice for shy people who want to be presenters or who have to be presenters. The video is embedded below. But if you're really interested in this topic don't just watch the video, read Sacha's blog post on the topic.

Ignite Toronto 3: Sacha Chua - The Shy Presenter: An Introvert’s Guide to Speaking in Public from Ignite Toronto on Vimeo.

The Shy Connector is another of Sacha Chua's presentations. This one offers good tips and strategies for shy people who need to make connections for work or personal reasons. I've gone through The Shy Connector a few times since I first saw it and have actually put some of her tips to work for myself. Again, if this is a topic of interest to you, don't just flip through the slides, read Sacha's blog post about The Shy Connector.

Applications for Education
At my school all seniors are required to give a fifteen minute exit presentation before graduation. As you might guess we have shy students who are very nervous about giving presentations. Those students would do well to view Sacha Chua's presentations in preparation for presentation day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Flixtime - Quickly Create Short Videos

Flixtime is a new video creation service that is quite similar to Animoto and Stupeflix. Flixtime gives users the ability to create 60 second videos by mixing together images, video clips, and music tracks. You can use your own images, video clips, and music tracks or you can choose media from the Flixtime galleries. One the things that I like about Flixtime over Animoto is Flixtime's editing tool. Compared to Animoto, Flixtime affords you more control over the sequence and timing of images and audio. That said, I prefer Stupeflix's text editor over Flixtime's.

Flixtime videos can be downloaded for use on your local computer, shared via email or social networks, or posted to YouTube. Below you will see my sample video.

TechCrunch has more information about Flixtime that you may be interested in reading.

Applications for Education
Creating videos with Flixtime could be a good alternative to slideshow presentations. In the past I've had students use Animoto to create videos as mini-biographies of famous people in US History. I've found that assignment to be a good way to get some of my special education students interested historical figures. The students start out by looking for images and reading image captions before progressing to more in-depth reading. The same type of project could be done with Flixtime.

For other video creation tools you may want to read Six Easy Ways for Students to Create Videos Online.

Update: After Mr. Wylie corrected my comment about Animoto's editing options, I edited this post to more accurately reflect my initial impressions of Flixtime.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to Make Stopmotion Movies

Digital storytelling guru Kevin Hodgson has recently launched a new website all about stopmotion movie creation. Kevin developed Making Stopmotion Movies as a how-to resource for teachers who are interested in having students create stopmotion movies. On Making Stopmotion Movies teachers will find downloadable storyboard and character development guides. Kevin provides an excellent outline of the whole movie making process. Visitors to Making Stopmotion Movies will also find video examples of real student productions. Below you will find one of the videos from Making Stopmotion Movies.

Applications for Education
If you've wanted to try a stopmotion or claymation movie project in your classroom, but you weren't sure how to get started, Making Stopmotion Movies should get you off on the right foot.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Creating Podcasts from Soup to Nuts
Creating Digital Video Projects with Bare-Bones Equipment
5 Resources for Creating and Hosting Podcasts

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free Prezi Templates

On Sunday Prezi announced new free accounts for teachers and students. Judging by the traffic to that post and a previous post about using Prezi, many people are interested in using Prezi. For those people interested in giving Prezi a try, here is a collection of free templates that you can use and adapt for your needs.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Prezi Announces New, Free Education Licenses

Prezi, a great service for taking presentations beyond bullets and pictures, has just announced that they're offering a free education license for teachers and students. Prior to this announcement the free version of Prezi did not allow for making content private. The new education license will allow teachers and students to keep their content private. The education license also offers five times the storage space of the previous free Prezi license. To get an education license you need to register using your school's email address.

In the announcement of the new, free education licenses Prezi cites this blog post as one of the reasons for the change. It's great to see a company respond to the education community. It's also a good example of what can be accomplished with an online campaign.

If you've never tried Prezi, I encourage to read this post and or watch the following video.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Useful Google Docs Updates

Over the last ten days Google has released a few updates that should be of interest to educators who use Google Docs. First, last week Google announced new options for searching and sorting your documents. In the past the only way to sort your documents was chronologically according to the time of the last edit. Even if you put your documents into folders still the only way to sort was chronologically. Now you can sort your document search by relevance or time stamp.

The second enhancement to Google Docs announced last week is a new option for exporting all of the contents of your Google Docs. You can now export all of your documents (up to 2GB, roughly 100,000 pages) at once.

Finally, on Monday of this week Google announced a new co-editor option for Google Docs Presentations. The co-editor service allows users to simultaneously edit a presentation without stepping on each other's toes. When you use the co-editor for presentations you can see which slide(s) your co-editor is working on.

Applications for Education
The new "export all" option could be useful for students and teachers who would like to create offline copies of their documents with just a click. The new co-editor for presentations could be useful for students who are developing group presentations. Students can collaborate without the frustration of trying to work on a slide that someone else is trying to edit at the same time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video - What Kids Learn When They Create With Digital Media

Thanks to a recommendation by Kevin Jarrett, I spent an hour this morning watching this excellent video of a webinar conducted by the MacArthur Foundation. The hour long video features educators and researchers sharing their findings from having students create with digital media. If you have the time, I recommend watching it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

12 Ways for Students to Publish Slideshows Online

Creating slideshows can be an excellent way for students to summarize their learning, share their what they've learned, and to share their ideas. If you have students that create slideshows that you or they think should be shared with a wider audience than that of their immediate peers in the classroom, the web offers many ways to do that. The following are ten free ways for students to publish their slideshows to the web.

1. The sharing method that is right under most Internet users' noses is Google Docs presentation sharing. Students can create presentations, collaborate on presentations, chat about presentations, and publish presentations using Google Docs. Google Docs presentations can be embedded into any blog or website. Students can also share presentations by emailing or Twittering the url of their presentations.

2. Zoho Show is very similar to Google Docs presentation. Students can create presentations, collaborate on presentations, and publish presentations using Zoho Show. If students don't have a blog or website to embed their presentations into, Zoho Show offers a public gallery to which users can publish their presentations. Some of my students actually prefer Zoho Show to Google Docs presentation because they feel that there are more editing options than in Google Docs presentation. Watch a demo of Zoho Show here.

3. Empressr is a fully functional, high quality, online slide show presentation creation and sharing service. Empressr has a couple of features differentiating it from its competitors. The first feature of note is the option of embedding video from multiple sources into your slide show. The second feature of note is Empressr's editor which allows users to draw, create, or edit images inside their slides. Empressr slideshows can be embedded anywhere.

4. SlideShare is probably the most popular service for publishing slideshows to the web. While you cannot create original works in SlideShare, you can add voice narration to your slideshow with a free service offered by SlideShare. SlideShare offers a variety of widgets for embedding collections of slideshows into one webpage. If you wanted to you could create a collection of your students' slideshows and put them into one widget on one webpage. To learn more about SlideShare, watch this presentation.

5. Slide Boom, like SlideShare, allow users to upload their slide show presentations and share the slide shows publicly or privately. SlideBoom quickly converts your slide shows for use on the SlideBoom website and provides the html code for use on other websites or blogs. SlideBoom preserves the transitions you included in your original presentation when your slideshow is uploaded to SlideBoom.

6. Slide Six is a slide show sharing site similar to Slide Share or Slide Boom with a couple of added features. Just as on Slide Share and Slide Boom users can upload and share slide show presentations privately or publicly. What makes Slide Six better than and easier to use than Slide Share or Slide Boom is that Slide Six users can add narration to their slide show directly on the Slide Six website. Slide Six allows users to embed YouTube and Vimeo videos into your presentations. You can also attach documents to accompany your presentations. Slide Six supports all PowerPoint formats, Open Office, PDF, and MOV presentations.

7. Slide Rocket is a web based presentation creator similar to Empressr. Slide Rocket has some very nice features like 3D transitions and a collaboration feature for sharing the creation process with other users. Slide Rocket's interface is user friendly making it easy to include videos, pictures, or third party plug-ins. The quality and definition of images on Slide Rocket is far superior to that found in many of its competitors' offerings.

8. Author Stream is a service that converts your PowerPoint slideshows to flash media files. Just like SlideShare, Author Stream can be used to host and share your slide shows publicly or privately directly on the Author Stream website. In addition to sharing on the Author Stream website the slideshows you upload can also be shared via Youtube, iTunes, or embedded into a blog or website. A free companion tool to Author Stream is Author Point Lite. Author Point Lite is a desktop application that converts Power Point files to flash files. Files converted with Author Point Lite retain all of the transitions, timings, and narration created in your original file. Author Point Lite is a free download.

9. Photo Show is a great service for making fantastic slideshow and video presentations. Photo Show allows users to upload their photos or use photos from the Internet to make into slide show which can then be turned into a video. Photo Show users can add text and audio to accompany their presentation. There are a few options for sharing projects made on Photo Show. Users can download their projects as Quicktime movies, share via email, or share through embedding.

10. Photo Peach is a new service that allows you to quickly and easily create an audio slideshow, with captions, from images in your Flickr, Picassa, or Facebook account. You can also use images saved on your local hard drive to create your slideshow. To add captions to your Photo Peach slideshow simply type your desired text into the caption box that appears as each image is automatically displayed by Photo Peach. Changing the sequence of images in Photo Peach is a simple drag and drop procedure.

11 & 12. If you convert your slideshows into PDF format, you can upload them and host them on DocStoc and Scribd. Both DocStoc and Scribd will provide you with an editable (for height and width) embed code for your PDF.

If you found this list useful, you may also want to read:
Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration
10 Places to Make and Find Flashcards Online
Beyond Google - Improve Your Search Results
6 Ways for Students to Publish Their Writing Online