Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Help!!! Stuck in Power Point Jail!!!

Are you stuck in power point jail? Do you have several power point files that you always pull out year after year? Do you wonder if maybe there are some more engaging visual ways to present material beside the old stand-by of power point? Here are three great tools that you can use to create visual presentations for your content! Each one requires a few minutes of brain power and then you should be off and running! You can even just copy and paste your pre-made slides into some of these great tools!

Tool # 1
www.spicynodes.org  Spicynodes allows you to create information in a logical and sequential order that presents itself as branches. This is a great tool for students to use as a pre-writing tool as it requires the user to put the concepts and content in an outline format. You can upload youtube videos, images, url’s and documents. There are a variety of styles to choose from that create a visually pleasant presentation. The first time I tried it, it took me ten minutes to create a “nodemap”. After that I created a few more in a matter of minutes. Checkout their gallery as well for nodemaps that are already made and available for you to show you students.

Tool # 2
www.scoopit.com  I am a HUGE FAN of scoopit! It allows the user to curate a page of online resources centered around one topic. How is this different than say, Diigo? Well, it crawls the web for you and you become the editor, slashing what you don’t like and scooping what you do. I made one centered around being a mom and a part-time triathlete just for fun. I had a page up and running in a matter of minutes! You can check it out here! Again, if you have a list of websites on a topic in your curriculum, you could easily make a scoopit page for your class. What an awesome way to guide your students research. How about allowing your students to create their own scoopit page and then share it out on twitter to your class?

Tool #3
www.docs.google.com  Google docs are here to stay so you might as well get your nose in it! In Google docs you can upload your power points into a google presentation doc and then change it to an interactive doc by sharing it with your students. How about just putting headings on the slides and allow your students to insert content and then share it with the class? Remember, being a facilitator is a powerful teaching position. We don’t always have to be in charge of every detail. Allow your students to create and present. They will learn more along the way and retain more information! Scared of what might come out of it Create a rubric prior to the exercise at www.rubistar.4teachers.org . The definition of “facilitator” is a person responsible for leading or coordinating the work of a group. Not a bad thing to be! You might even get out of “jail”!

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