Kudlian software have released an iOS version of I Can Present, their popular presentation software. The app allows students to write and edit their own teleprompter script and record video as they read it out. The app is available for all iPads and iPods and will soon be available for Android devices.
I Can Present can be used in three different modes including video only, video and script and script only. The split screen mode allows users to hold the iOS device, and record footage whilst still being able to read the script for a flawless performance. You can switch between the front and rear cameras – so you can either act as a presenter speaking to the camera or a narrator of something else.
With the teleprompter mode on, it looks something like this :
The app saves the video to your camera roll – so you can then do other things with it afterwards, such as export to YouTube or edit in other software such as the desktop version of I Can Present. You can preview your recorded video inside the app.
The app has a number of cross-curricular applications for all age groups. They could present items from history as news reports, or present the results of a science experiment or speak “live from the scene” on a field trip or school visit.
The teleprompter features are very nice, but I’d like to see the app do a little more for your money. Being able to load up pre-recorded videos for narration would be good – as would being able to make a photoslide show for narration. Green screen features would be welcome too. Hopefully these features can be added in future updates.
Videoscribe is an IOS app that lets you or your students create presentations that look as though they are being hand-drawn right in front of you. You’ve probably seen this style of animation recently, (like this from Sir Ken Robinson) they’ve become quite popular.
Here’s a quick demonstration of the kind of video it produces:
I saw this app being used last night by Penny Patterson at TeachMeet Essex, and I loved the effect. It makes an interesting change to Powerpoint or Prezi.
It’s pretty simple to use – just click on the page and add text and clip art. Choose from different fonts and colours. You can even record your own voice, or choose a background track from a bank of royalty-free music.
When you publish, the app creates a high-quality animation for you. I found this step took a while (the video below took 12 minutes to process on an iPad3) – so don’t do this if you’re in a rush. Finished videos can be saved to your photo roll, Dropbox or uploaded direct to YouTube.
As an alternative platform for a presentation, it’s pretty cool. Would make a change from PowerPoint, although there’s always a danger of overkill If you’re looking for a new way to present your lesson objectives, or to provide a summary of the main points of your lesson, then give VideoScribe a go!
The app is not free, but is only £2.99, which isn’t too extortionate. Get it on iTunes here. There’s also a website version, but that involves an account and subscription. If you find you make a lot of these, it may well be worth it. Take a look here : www.sparkol.com
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Capzles is an interesting digital storytelling tool that allows users to tell a story using pictures, video clips, audio tracks and text. Users are given the ability to place this media, called “moments”, together chronologically in a timeline.
Creating a “Capzle” is easy via the website. You can upload photographs and videos or blog directly onto the site. You have a lot of control over the background colors and themes to be used with the capzle. Users can also add an audio track to be played in the background as their capzle is viewed.
There is also a Capzle iPhone app which lets you upload images from your phone straight into a Capzle.
I had a quick play with the site and produced a short test capzle : View my Test Capzle Here
Adding video is tricky in that you cannot just import files from YouTube. You need to upload video files. Maybe in the future this feature will be added. This does limit it’s use as a way of collating resources that students have found online on a given topic.
The terms of the Capzle website state that under 13s cannot register, so this is something to use with children above that age. There are social network aspects to the site so it’s best to restrict it to older children.
For educational use, this is another tool which could be used to produce simple presentations – collating images, videos and text into one presentation document. Pupils could produce Capzles on particular topics in the same way they might produce a powerpoint or prezi presentation.
Capzles looks like an interesting tool – and it’s worth bookmarking as another online presentation solution.Read More
Here are 8 alternatives to giving a presentation with PowerPoint. As well as standard presentations, some of these tools create slideshows from sets of images. They are all free, or at least have a free option.
Prezi lets you create very engaging presentations that pan and zoom from page to page. You can create non-linear presentations quite easily. Prezi lets you embed images and video too. You can view the presentations that you have created online, and also download them in a Flash player format to play offline. Here’s some ideas on how to use Prezi.
Here’s a Prezi I produced to introduce the Science course on the PGCE orientation day.
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. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy effects, but for 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.
It’s very simple to produce cool-looking presentations quickly, like this:
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 is part of a much bigger suite of online applications that you might also find interesting.
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. Empressr also has charting and table tools.
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. Finished slideshow can then be embedded into your blog, wiki or VLE.
Google Docs has a pretty useful presentation tool. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload a PowerPoint. The strength of the Google presentation tool is that many users can collaborate on a single presentation. The best examples of this are the “Ideas to Inspire” presentations sparked off by Tom Barrett. Each presentation is the combined efforts of many different teachers from all over the world.
Slideshare lets you share your presentation easily with students after the lesson, and also lets you embed your presentation into a blog/wiki or the school VLE. It’s slightly different to some of the others in that you start with a Powerpoint presentation and then upload it to Slideshare.
As well as these online options, it’s also worth considering using the free software already installed on your computers such as Movie Maker or PhotoStory which will both produce your own photo slideshows without having to be tied to an online connection.
And remember, presentations don’t have to be like this:Read More
I had an absolute blast at the Teacher2Teacher conference in Bow Island, Alberta this week. It was fantastic to meet so many great educators who up until now I had only contacted via Twitter. There was such a great buzz around the school – it was brilliant.
I’ll write more about the conference soon – but for now, I just want to put this post up quickly because I told the delegates I would.
(EDIT – I’ve taken these files down for now…. If you attended the conference you can still get them via the Prairie Rose file area)
Links to the websites I mentioned in the sessions were all tagged with the T2T tag on delicious, so you can find them all here : http://delicious.com/dannynic/t2t
Thanks to the everyone involved in the conference for making me feel so welcome! Hope to see you next year too!Read More
Thanks in part to an Open Letter to Prezi by UK teacher Mark Clarkson, the fantastic online presentation tool, Prezi, has announced a free educational license for teachers and students. Students and teachers can now create private prezis for free. Upon verification of student/teacher identity, Prezi EDUEnjoy is free and Prezi EDUPro comes with a special educational discount.
And also they’ve simplified the Prezi editor so that it has half the menus of its predecessor, but having more features. They’ve made text editing easier and introduced YouTube integration.
If you haven’t played with Prezi before – do check it out. It allows for presentations with much more impact than bullet-point-covered PowerPoints. And well done again to Mark Clarkson for getting them to agree to the educational license pack!Read More
I’m just back from a very snowy Nottingham having attended the ASE (Association for Science Education) Conference.
I gave a talk about Blogs and Wikis in Science Teaching and wanted to share the presentation, and resources here, so that they can be found all in one place.
The presentation is here on Slideshare if you want to download your own version. All the links to the various blogs and wikis that I showed should work straight from the slides if you click on them.
The Wiki that I set up for the course, with all the links to everything else, is here. There are lots of other guides and helpsheets I didn’t mention, which you can find on the wiki.
In addition, if you want to set up your own blog or wiki then follow these step by step guides:
It was great to see everyone who attended the talk. Apologies if it was a little rushed, but there is a lot to cram into an hour. I usually do this in a one-day course. If you would like a longer course, run at your own school, then please get in touch.Read More
You can’t beat a powerful image to add punch to your lesson. Whether you want something to put up to draw questions from the class or just to add extra emphasis to a presentation. I’ve written about this before – and linked to a few good sources of images such as The Big Picture.
To help find creative commons images, there are several tools now which will let you search Flickr for CC images. My Favourite is FlickrCC – enter a tag to search for and it will return a load thumbnails. Click on a thumbnail to see more information and to visit the original page on Flickr.
Other search engines which trawl Flickr include:
Compfight : http://www.compfight.com/
FlickrStorm : http://www.zoo-m.com/flickr-storm/
Simple Flickr CC Search : http://johnjohnston.info/flickrCC/index.php
Flickr Creative Commons Search : http://flickr.com/creativecommons/
Remember to credit the original source of the image when you use it. I usually copy and past the full URL to the source image – you could also give the Flickr user name.
If you can’t find the image on Flickr, it’s well worth checking again in the future. About 5000 images get uploaded to Flickr every minute, so there’s a chance something more suitable will be there next time you check.
Some other sources of images include:
Geograph : A project to take photographs of every map square in the UK. Useful for finding photos of your local environment. And if there’s not many there, would be a good idea for a project to take some! http://www.Geograph.org.uk
You can also use the advanced image search feature of Google Image Search to get it to check for licences and only return images that are covered for reuse, or commercial use. Go to Image Search and look for the “advanced search” button. Or click here.
The creative commons website also lists a stack of other image sites here : but I haven’t checked them all out.
You can also use the search engine provided by Creative Commons.org : http://search.creativecommons.org/
You can also use the Wikimedia Commons, plenty of images there that are covered by a creative commons licence : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Remember to check the licence of any image you want to use. On Flickr, it’s pretty obvious – look below the tag list and you should see “some rights reserved” or similar. Click on that link and it will tell you the licence that image is covered by.
Of course if you do use Flickr to host your own images, consider changing the licence so that others can use them under a share-alike licence too. You can do this for individual photos, or change the default settings for all your photos. It’s good to share!
I’ve also produced a printable guide to Creative Commons, and some sources of images and sounds.
A quick tip if you are doing an image seach live – on your IWB – in front of a class. Although you might be searching with the best of intentions – sometimes even the most innocuous search can throw up images that you may not want the students to see. Some search engines have a “safe search” filter, and the school filter may block them, but it’s always best to cover yourself just in case. Check your Projector remote for a Blank or a Freeze button (most should have at least one or the other) and freeze/blank the screen while you do the search on the computer. You can see the search on the regular monitor and check that nothing untoward is being displayed.
Happy searching!Read More
One of the benefits of having an Interactive Whiteboard in the classroom (or even just a data projector) is the opportunity to display full colour high quality images instead of grainy acetates or posters. With a powerful image you can really add some “punch” to your lesson. Put images up while students are coming into the room – use them as part of a lesson starter – stimulate questions.
What is going on here? Why is the astronaut wearing that suit? Why is it white? What would happen if he/she wasn’t on that robotic arm? What do you think it would be like to be up there? What do you think he is thinking? Should we be sending people into space? What is keeping him up there? What do we mean by Orbit? etc etc.
The Big Picture
One of my favourite sites for these kind of inspirational images is The Big Picture from the Boston Times. Every few days they post another set of images which never fail to make me go “wow”.
Here is just a selection of the great images that you could use in different curriculum areas:
For Literacy – any and all of them could have a role in stimulating story writing, or class discussion on different topics.
And there are many more, plus its growing every week.
In a similar vein, The BBC website also has an “In Pictures” section which covers events in the news. As does The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian. All worth bookmarking and checking from time to time.
Remember to attribute the source of these images when you use them in your lessons. These are still the copyright of the photographer so you need to be careful how you use and distribute these images.
For those of you who are into photography – Flickr is the YouTube of photographs. Several thousand photos get uploaded to Flickr every minute. The quality can be patchy, but there are thousands of excellent photographers sharing their works on Flickr. (and a few dodgy photographers, like me!)
What makes Flickr useful is the ability to add a Creative Commons licence to your images which says how they can be used. Many people allow their photos to be used anywhere, as long as you attribute them as the source of the image. Many will also let their images be used commercially in this way as well. In my presentations I now use a lot of images from Flickr and always link the image back to its original Flickr page by way of acknowledging the photographer.
Flickr also has an area for Public Photo Collections which you can search here.
To help find creative commons images, there are several tools now which will let you search Flickr for CC images. My Favourite is FlickrCC- enter a tag to search for and it will return 36 thumbnails. Click on a thumbnail to see more information and to visit the original page on Flickr.Other tools include; Compfight, Flickr Storm, and Simple Flickr CC Search.
If you want to know more about Creative Commons, I have written a short guide which you can read on Scribd.
Another useful gallery is the E2BN Educational Gallery of images. It’s not anywhere near as comprehensive as Flickr, but some schools may block access to Flickr since there are adult images on there.
Google Image Search
It would be wrong to talk about image searching without mentioning the Google Image search, which I use quite a lot. The drawback of the images it produces is that on the whole they are usually copyrighted images, or that the copyright of the image is unclear. This makes them tricky to use in educational resources that you want to redistribute.
A new addition to the Google Search is the ability to select the colour you are looking for. So instead of just looking for Flowers, you can look for only red flowers… It’s a neat addition.
In summary, there is a wealth of image sources on the Internet that you can use to provide punch to your lessons.
Remember to not to choose images that are too small, or that look blocky when stretched to full screen. Test them out before the lesson to make sure they look OK. Show them as big as you can for maximum impact. Think about how you want to use them – what questions could you ask to stimulate your students thinking processes?
For example, as a leaving thought – How could you use this image? What does this say to you?
Update – Found this great blog post with a few more images sources: 7 Awesome Newspaper Photoblogs.Read More