Jun 22 2011

Integrating Educational Tech? Every Teacher Should Try These (FREE) Web Presentation Programs

Well, my school year ended a few Fridays ago and summer school started the next Monday, ((I know…**sigh**)), but something unbelievable happened–I had a GREAT time! My summer school assignment this year? Technology…wooohoo=-)

In my district, summer school serves as enrichment and not re-teaching. I taught basic 2.0 based programs that I will use again come fall. My kiddos will have a huge head-start in that they will already be familiar with the programs AND already have log-ins (if you teach middle-school you know logging in is HALF the battle=)

I also decided that I would stick to visual presentations that the students could create…I didn’t want to bog them down with search tools just yet. I want them to learn to have fun with presentation software first. Blogging and Skyping coming soon…

Young Woman Blogging, after Marie-Denise Villers by Mike Licht

Young Woman Blogging, after Marie-Denise Villers by Mike Licht

I had incoming 8th graders in rotating classes (teaching 8 days of tech to two classes for a total of 16 days)–this is what I planned for each day:

  • Day 1…Animoto: We used this video presentation program to create a 6 word memoir
  • Day 2…Storybird: We used this collaborative story-writing program for a quick and fun writing project
  • Day 3…Pages (Mac): We created gorgeous posters for made-up business’s and real summer activities
  • Day 4…Glogster: We created glogs with music and videos that represent what we want to accomplish this summer
  • Day 5…Go! Animate: We created cartoons that represent issues in our school and ways to resolve them, i.e., bullying
  • Day 6…Prezi: We created super-cool Prezi’s about ourselves and our likes/dislikes
  • Day 7…Voice Thread: We learned how to record and publish pieces…the best part was being able to narrate collaboratively
  • Day 8…Picnik: Most of the kids were familiar with the program as they use it on FaceBook, but we used it to edit non-copyrighted images from Google. They Loved it!

I think this was a VERY useful summer term and my hope is that my students walked away feeling completely comfortable with online tools to create anything under the sun…any presentation in any visual form that they desire=) They sure seemed to love class…maybe I can carry over some of the student enthusiasm to 8th grade writing (crossing my fingers=)

Happy Teaching!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Integrating Educational Tech? Every Teacher Should Try These (FREE) Web Presentation Programs”

  1.   Ireneon 08 Aug 2011 at 5:53 AM     1

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas on your blog. I especially list the online-tools list you developed for your summer class. I teach English to 6th and 8th graders who primarily revert to PPT for presentations. I’d like to expose them to a handful of online presentation tools such as you listed. How do you suggest I approach this task? Do I need to give them clear step-by-step lessons or do I let them figure it out when we’re in the computer lab? (I may have some iPads to use in my classroom — would they also work for this task?) Also, how much time do they typically need for each project?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2.   Jessica Piperon 08 Aug 2011 at 8:42 AM     2

    Hi! First, great job on getting out there and using technology in your classroom–and how nice that you have iPads!!! I’m jealous=) The only way to use the tech effective is to teach it. You’ll have to devote several minutes every class period to the tech in the beginning, but it gets less and less with each new application. Also, I’ve found that there is always a student or two who can use whatever I’m using better than I can. Use those students as tutors and then you’ll have more “teachers”. Project time is totally dependent on the assignment, but I have most assignments done in a class period or two (I’m impatient and move as quickly as the students=) I hope this helps!

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