Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lesson 4: Presentation Programs for Teaching and Learning

Lesson 4

Presentation Programs for 
Teaching and Learning

Technology Explorations: 

ComicLife, iSpeech, VoiceThread,Scribblar,StoryBird,KidBlog
An Example of a Presentation  
TED Videos 

An Overview of Presentation Programs

Features and Functions

7 Different Intelligences
Promoting Engagement in the Classroom
Triple P
Looking Ahead

ComicLife is for creating engagement in beginning and intermediate readers and writers. This is a visual tool to engage reluctant readers through visual representation of knowledge. Students can create a one page comic that they can easily change or fine tune. They can also incorporate photos and drawings into their narratives. It also allows students to experiment without setting anything in stone. Therefore, it allows them to grow in their reading and writing and not get discouraged if they mess up. ComicLife can easily be incorporated into any subject. For example, one way I could apply this in a Social Studies class would be to ask my students to create a one page comic on their favorite historical figure (Daniel Boone, Paul Revere, Rosa Parks, etc.). They could incorporate famous quotes and endeavors these people are known for. I think ComicLife is a fun and unique educational tool. It has a free 30 day trial period. I would encourage the trial period and if educators find it is helpful and beneficial to the learning of their students I would encourage them to pay the $29.99. This product works with MAC, Windows 7 and 8.

          iSpeech is available for eLearning, presentations, training videos, audio books, and commercial distribution. iSpeech can translate email or text in multiple languages. It converts text to speech, documents to speech, web content to speech, and can also convert blogs to speech. However, with all this said I would argue that this website’s focus is primarily towards business. But, it can be applied in the classroom. I could apply iSpeech in the educational setting as a tool for reading. Because it converts text to speech, this would be of benefit to my children who are having difficulty reading or also for my speech needs students or my students who may be blind. iSpeech is fairly basic and I think it would have to be based on the teacher’s preference. There are many text to speech tools available. Also, this tool Is fairly pricey. To covert 10,000 words you have to pay $500.00 and the price only continues to climb.

          I was pleasantly surprised with Voice Thread; however, it was the wiki that truly showed me the potential Voice Thread has in the classroom. The purpose of the wiki is to gather examples of how educators are using Voice Thread in their classroom and to share their examples. Man, was I surprised at what all Voice Thread can help kids do! Voice Thread is used for publishing and collaboration. Collaboration can involve the teachers, students, and anyone else in the community authorized by the creator (teacher) to view and comment on presentations created by the students. The teacher has the ability to make accounts private or public. He or she can also create collaboration through group conversation. Directions are straight forwarded and there is no software to install. What I learned from the wiki site is that this program can be applied to every subject. It’s broken down into grade levels, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Teachers and their students have created numerous presentations built through student slides that pertain to what these students are learning. For example, K-2 have created seasonal stories, animal habitats, and holidays. The students create their slide and can add their voices to the presentation to example their slide. Then the teacher pieces the slide together to form the presentation. You can also create family webs, collaborate through math projects, and give book reviews all through single slides that form a presentation. Schools can subscribe and teachers will also get their own url for their classroom website.  I do love this educational exploration. It’s simple, easy, and fun for all ages. As the grade levels go up, so do the details and extent of the presentation and collaboration.

Scribblar is an online collaborative whiteboard. Some of the features include: real-time audio, document upload, text-chat, crystal-clear live audio, and unlimited running session. However, I feel that this product is more geared for teacher collaboration amongst teams, It could be used in the classroom setting as well. In simple terms, this resource could be used to break students down into teams to discuss a current book they are reading or work a math problem together. It does come with a price; however. For 5 rooms with 5 users it is $14.00 a month, for 10 rooms with 10 users it is $24.00 a month, and for 50 users with 25 rooms it is $39.00 a month. Again, I would leave this to the teacher to decide. Yes, you can break kids down into teams in the regular classroom setting; however, you can use this tool as an alternative to the traditional classroom setting and allow students to incorporate the digital world they love so much into learning.

Storybird is creative storytelling that is free, simple, and safe. Teacher can create assignments for any subject and it’s easy to share student work through the class library. It’s also easy to use when class size varies. It’s broken down into categories, ages, and formats. You can create stories, poetry, and blogs. You can grab and pull clips to express the storyline and characters. Students feel like read authors while they are enhancing their literacy skills. Storybird is a way for students to feel empowered as they create books, stories, and poetry. This is a great tool for collaboration. Students can create their own stories and then share them with their classmates. Engagement is fun and creative.  Students can learn to read and write and have fun creating at the same time. As far as I could tell, Storybird appears to be free. This would make a great tool for collaboration amongst peers and allow students to learn reading and writing in a way not traditional to the classroom.  

Kidblog is a safe and simple blog for your students. It is an authentic way for students to engage with their peers at a local and global network. It can also help students transform their writing through pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and commenting.  Students can show off their creative-writing, work their math problems, journal in their science notebooks, have global pen pals, and create digital portfolios. I could easily apply this in my classroom through a number of subjects. For example, English. Let’s say I have a freshman class who is reading To Kill A Mockingbird. We can easily sent up this site so that they can write daily blogs on their chapters assigned and then read the blogs on their peers to see what their thoughts were and comment. This site has so much potential in the classroom. The basic package is free and the premium is $29.99 per teacher for a year. This site is safe, has unlimited class size, and it’s simple. This is a great way to get students involved at any grade level and also great for peer critiquing.

 An Example: The Alphabet

1.    What was the presentation about and to whom did you present it?
a.       This particular presentation was over letters of the alphabet, letters K, L, M. It was presented to preschools. Some were age 4 and other were age 5. We are learning our letters. The PowerPoint was very short. The slides were white and the letters were upper-cased in bold.
                                                              i.      For example K, L, M
b.      I ask the kids to tell me things they thought began with our letters of the day. With my guidance, they came up with kite, lemon, monkey, lion, etc.
2.   Of which item in your presentation are you the most proud?
a.       The presentation was very clean and simple. I want the children to recognize the letter and then try to tell me any things they knew that began with our letters. I like that my students were engaged.
3.   What might you do differently if you could create the presentation again?
a.       One thing I will do differently is try to incorporate some pictures in the slides that begin with the letters we are focusing on that week. The children can recognize the pictures more easily than the letters. This can teach them to associate the pictures with the letter.
4.   How did your students respond to the presentation?
a.       The students enjoyed the presentation because they are still young and amazed and think I can do magic when I get a letter to appear on a white screen! 

             I had never heard of until it was assigned here in EDOL 530. However, man was I thrilled when I was exploring and found one of my all time favorite short films, The Danger of a Single Story. I first watched this film as an undergrad at Eastern. I was taking an African American history class and the professor opened up the course with this film. It is truly so powerful! Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls herself a storyteller and she truly tells an excellent tale of how stories are a critical misunderstanding. She is from Nigara; however, she grew up reading and creating stories of white people. Stories are impressionable, she notes. She went through a shift when she began to read about her culture and things she recognized. She loved her British books; yet she didn’t know she could be in those stories as well. However, as she began to read books by her culture she learned she too could be a part of stories and books.
          She notes heavily on how single stories create stereotypes and if those stereotypes aren’t corrected, we are at a create misunderstanding and misfortune. Western Literature has created a small world that is centered on white people who are powerful and conquer all. This is a single story.
         We create perceived thoughts and one track minds that are shocked at the realization that there are many stories. We must open our minds.  I will encourage my students to do the same, read books that aren’t your first choice, select music that it’s your first thought, talk to people who you normally would not. I would encourage my students to open their minds to all stories and situations and experiences that can help create in them authenticity. I would encourage them not to believe the norm and to do their homework on things they are not familiar with or are curious to know more about. Lastly, I would hope for them that they aren’t the product on a single story. Let your mind wander and explore, study, try, and create. Don’t let yourself be a victim of a single story. Stories are never one-sided. There are always two, three, even four sides to a “single story.”


         An Overview of Presentation Programs      

         A presentation program is a type of software designed to create, demonstrate, illustrate and clarify material in a digital format that is making its way into the lives of teachers and students. Like word processors, desktop publishers, spreadsheets, and databases, presentation programs first made their mark in the business world. They are now taking the place of old overhead projectors, chalk, dry erase boards, bulletin boards and other display devices that have traditional been used to present material to students. Around 2000, presentation tools began to make their way into the educational setting.
            A presentation is made up of slides incorporated to make an entire presentation that can contain videos, graphics, audio, and text. The presentation can be controlled with the click of a mouse, or more automatically to a timer. Productivity tools allow users to incorporate animations and slide variations. Presentation programs have common features and functions for enabling users:

·         Change Text Color
·         Add Graphics
·         Add Hyperlinks
·         Add Sounds and Videos
·         Incorporate Fonts and Font Effects
·         Add Animations
·         Offer Display Options

Students can incorporate these into their daily lessons and also allow their students to get creative with their own.  Teachers can show presentations to their classroom as a whole send them to students individually or post them to a website where the class can view them at any time. This allows students to review the concepts taught in class that day or if they missed school. This gives the teacher the flexibility he or she may need.

7 Different Intelligences
Approaching Different Learning Styles through Presentation Program
Presentations allow educators to effectively communicate information to different learners in their classrooms. Let’s identify seven different intelligences:

     Linguistic- is what is called an original intelligence. It involves verbal and written language. Activities such as reading, telling stories, or working crossword puzzles involve linguistic learners. 
        Logical-or mathematical intelligence looks at patterns, numbers, and experiments. Standardized tests only determine a person’s linguistic and logical mathematical skills

     Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence uses the whole body to solve problems. Hands-on projects and athletic experiences are examples of whole-body experiences.  

Spatial- intelligence is the ability to form and use visual images of the world. 
         Musical- intelligence use rhythms and songs, singing, rhyming, and listening.

         Interpersonal- is a personal intelligence that has a strong ability to understand other people. He or she can work together with one another cooperatively. 

         Intrapersonal- is also a personal intelligence that has a preference to work alone. He or she is motivated inwardly and by self. 

When a teacher stands in front of a class and gives a classic lecture, it appeals to linguistic learners or students who learn through oral speech. When a teacher adds a visual element, it appeals to spatial learners or visual learners. When a teacher adds music, it can reach musical learners. Presentations can reach all students and make learning for enjoyable and memorable.

            Presentation can promote engagement if used effectively by educators. The following are ways a teacher can use presentation programs in their classroom: 
  • Communicate effectively with students

  •  Positively engage students in the learning process by offering something apart from traditional tools of learning: overhead projector, chalkboard, or bulletin board 

  • Add variety to classroom presentations 
  • Organized information in a presentable way 
  •   Whole-Class Discussions 
  • Grad Student Attention
  • Etc…

It’s easy to get carried away and get PowerPoint Paralysis or Triple P so to ensure you stay on task remember these 10 tools as an educator:

1.    Keep the goal in mind.

2.    Plan for the students, ALL your students.

3.    Develop an organized sequence that is easy and to the point.

4.    Determine how many slides are efficient and time competent.

5.    Be Brief. Do not reading directly from your slides. Engage your students.

6.    Be Consistent.

7.    Chose colors for slide correctly so your students can follow along closely.

8.    Use a large, bold font that is clear and clean.

9.    Use upper and lower case letters, (especially if you are teaching reading or writing).


Presentation programs are great for students as well. Students can learn the visual design principles of contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity. Contrast can be in the form or size, color, shape, and texture. Repetition can create unity through symmetry or asymmetry. Alignment can create strong lines to connect objects, while proximity can create a sense of unity. Students can practice and masters these skills, while expressing their creativity. Presentation programs are great for creating book reports, book reviews, or videos. Students can also as practice their reading and writing comprehension through creative slides and texts formats. The possibilities are endless!!

Next Week: 
Online Communication Tools
Technology Explorations:

Prezi, SpicyNodes, Edmodo,  A Math Dictionary,  
Glogster , Jing, You Tube for Education