How to make your Presentations more interesting????

We have becoming presentation fatigued. The excitement and novelty of the Power point presentation has lost its shine. Students are bored with the same method of Presentation in every class so what can we do to make it different? As discussed in an early post Prezi allows for non linear presentations with all the features of a Power point,but it is still in the power point format. A new way to create presentations is through the medium of animation and while it may not work for every class the introduction of it to your class at random points not only spikes the students interest but allows a moment of connection for the visual and aural learner.There are a number of different web 2.0 animation tools. The level of sophistication of the animation varies greatly. Some of the most popular animation tools are Blabberize, Bitstrips,Toondospaces.
Blabberize is a very easy application that allows you to speak through a picture. Students can manipulate the picture to say what they want it to say. This can be very useful especially in a presentation to have the person explain their theory or belief. For example one could have Plato explaining the allegory of the cave, or Jesus retelling the story of The Lost Sheep.

Doink and Bitstrip are both applications that allow you to create simple cartoon characters and animate a story using these characters. It is an excellent resource to use with junior cycle students as many of them are already use to these apps. It is also an excellent tool for creating situation dilemmas when dealing with morality or expanding concepts. Doink is an app that can only be used on the iPhone, iPad or iPod. Bitstrips is and android app that can be downloaded from Googleplay store and linked to your goggle or Prezi presentations.

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Presentations outside of Power Point.

It is true.! Don’t be afraid, one can create presentations that are not a linear power point format. Let me introduce you to Prezi

Prezi is simple to use. You sign up for free and can begin to create your presentations straight away. Again excited by new found knowledge I decided to use Prezi in my class straight away. A few handy hints ensure that you format Prezi in the correct format and attempt to use it once or twice prior to the class or you could end up on the end of the presentation before you even start. The scramble to find the correct slide can lead not only to teacher embarrassment but to students becoming distracted and losing the development of a concept. Students enjoy Prezi presentations and they are great to use to develop concepts within the class or as an outline or revision tool. Students become easily distracted and Prezi fatigued if it is used daily thus losing the great effect that Prezi can have. Prezi was invaluable to highlight the technique of exam answering and revision prior to the christmas exams. As you can save Prezi presentations, they are now proving to be an excellent reflective tool for exam results. Students use the Prezi presentation to see what parts of the question they failed to address.

Different Ways to use QR Codes in the Classroom

Here are some ways to Integrate QR Codes in Your Lessons

1. Worksheets ~ Create a 3 – In – A Row worksheets for students to play with another student.

2. Scavenger Hunts ~ Post codes around the school have student solve problems and find the correct answers.

3. Pass It ~ You can create several problems on one worksheet, cut them and play Pass It. Each student/group solves a problem and them pass it to the next student/group.

4. Contact Information for Parents and Students ~ Post in classroom for students and parents to obtain phone number, email address, class website, etc.

5. Notes ~ Such an easy way to post notes and great for students to always have access to them at all times.

6. Assignments ~ Post Homework assignments in codes for students to scan before leaving class.

7. Hints/Tutorials to assist on problems ~ Use when students are solving problems. They can scan the code when they are having trouble or need help.
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QR Codes

QR CODES….. We have all seen them and if we admit it some of us have even scan them in a shop or on a magazine just to see what happens. How are they relevant to education one might ask????. When I heard that QR Codes were suggested in one or two in-services I was shocked. How would they ever be relevant in the classroom and worse still how would a computer immigrant like me ever create such a complicated computer generated image. In fact as I have learned about most web 2.0 tools it was relatively simple. One simply goes on to a page like qrstuff.com put in your information or upload the relevant page and the webpage does it all for you. Excited by my new knowledge I decided that I would put it to use. As part of Friendship week I organised a Treasure hunt In which the transition Years were divided into creators or Team Leaders. The creators came up with the clues and generated the qr codes. The team leaders were in charge of a team of 5 first years they acted as a guide to the game. A dry run was carried out the day before the treasure hunt by the creator team and all went well. On the day of the treasure hunt disaster struck the school WiFi decided to stop working. Results 100 excited student one very stressed teacher!!. 3 students had mobile WiFi on their phone so they acted as base to read the qr codes. The treasure hunt was a huge success with all students having a great time. I have also found that QR codes have worked well in returning of test results as it prevents the comparison of results. Phones are not allowed in School so the result is not checked until the student is at home. QR codes are fun for all pupils and should at least be attempted once a term. So go on give it a try.