In many schools, Microsoft PowerPoint is still the go-to software when creating presentations. But it does have its limitations, and there’s also the problem of “death by PowerPoint”. Sometimes it’s good to try alternative tools that allow for a slightly different approach.
There are lots of online alternatives which let you create great looking presentations on any device. Storing them in the cloud means you can work on them wherever you are as well as easily share with others and embed into other websites. They may not have the flashy animations of PowerPoint, but that’s not a bad thing!
Here are a few to check out:
Slides allows allow anyone with a web browser create and share beautiful presentations. It uses HTML 5 and so should work on all devices. You can arrange main slides horizontally, with additional slides running vertically. It’s free to use, with additional paid-for features if you like it.
Emaze is a another simple to use presentation creation tool. Again it uses HTML5 and so should work well on any browser – including tablets and chromebooks. It’s free, and well worth a look.
Prezi lets you create engaging presentations that pan and zoom from page to page. Prezi is good for creating non-linear presentations. You can view the presentations that you have created online, and also download them in a Flash player format to play offline. There’s also a Prezi app for iPad. It looks great, but I do know some teachers who feel seasick when they see a Prezi presentation!
4. Google Drive Presentations
If you use Google Drive (Google Docs/Apps) then you should already be aware that it has a pretty useful presentation tool. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload and convert an existing PowerPoint. The strength of the Google presentation tool is that many users can collaborate on a single presentation, such as these crowd-sourced examples from Ideas to Inspire.
Zoho Show allows you to create presentations from scratch or upload existing ones created in PowerPoint. Zoho Show also allows you to export your slide shows into a variety of formats, including HTML, PowerPoint and .pdf. Zoho Show forms part of a much bigger suite of online applications that you might also find interesting.
Moovly is a free online tool that lets you create interesting presentations and animations. You can incorporate both the hand-drawn style of apps such as VideoScribe and the hand-moved objects style that you’ll have seen in videos such as CommonCraft. The site is free to register with and use, with more advanced features and options being available for an annual fee.
Photo Slideshow Tools
As well as regular “PowerPoint-style” presentations, there are other online tools which can be used to create impressive-looking slideshows from photographs. You can add text to each slide and often export the finished presentation as a video which can be shared with other students or embedded into a class web page.
With PhotoPeach you can create a rich slideshow in seconds. It also allows background music, captions, and comments so you can elaborate on your story further. It’s quick and easy to use. There’s not a lot of fancy effects, but if you only need a simple slideshow it’s worth considering.
Animoto lets you create photo slideshows and put them to music. A wide range of creative commons music is available. Short videos can be produced for free, longer ones require a small payment. There is an educational version available.
Empressr is a free online storytelling tool that allows you to create, manage and share rich media presentations online. Upload your video, images and audio to get started creating cool slideshows. If you have your own website, blog, or social networking page, you can either post a link or embed your Empressr.
A very simple free tool for taking photographs and turning them into a slideshow. You get some customisation options, but they are a little limited. The finished slideshow can then be embedded into your blog, wiki or VLE.
If you have any favourite tools, please share them in the comments below!