Tag Archives: powerpoint

100 ways to use a VLE – #59 Uploading a Powerpoint Presentation

Projector

Probably one of the tools that teachers use “too much” is Powerpoint. As a result I would suspect that there are many VLE courses out there that mainly consist of uploaded Powerpoint presentations.

I do find it interesting how embedded the use of Powerpoint is in education. In the late 1990s I was delivering lots of training sessions on how to use Powerpoint to lots of curriculum staff at the college where I worked. Back then I heard many of the “reasons” (and in many cases the excuses) why the curriculum staff couldn’t use the software, how their learners were different, how it wouldn’t work in their subject. However I did persevere in outlining the potential, the possible benefits and the longer term impact that using a tool such as Powerpoint could bring to teaching and learning.

It was nice a few years later (after I had left the college) to find that the training had had an impact and Powerpoint was well used by the curriculum teams. I was particularly impressed with Hair and Beauty who were not only creating innovative presentations, but were sharing them across the department.

Jump forward ten years and Powerpoint is extremely embedded into most colleges and often not only overused, but badly used. Though of course there are lots of positive and innovative uses of Powerpoint, so mustn’t be too negative about it. It is also often an useful starting point in getting staff to move on in their use of learning technologies.

If you do need to upload a presentation to the VLE, then my preference is to use a service such as Slideshare or Speakerdeck, this converts the presentation, and then allows you to embed the presentation into a label or page on the VLE. Slideshare even allows you to add an mp3 audio soundtrack file to run alongside the presentation. This of course implies that you are using a traditional linear presentation, if you’re not then this is not the road to travel down, as these services break any form of interactivity in a Powerpoint presentation. If you are using an interactive Powerpoint presentation, then it makes much more sense to upload the Powerpoint file, rather than convert it. You are making an assumption that the learner has access to the Powerpoint software. This, in a world of iPads, tablets and Chromebooks isn’t always a given.

Uploading Powerpoint files to a VLE, is most certainly not cutting edge in terms of using learning technologies, many of the people reading this blog probably were doing this back in the early 2000s or even earlier. However experience shows that there are still plenty of curriculum staff out there who don’t have that background or experience and for them uploading of Powerpoint files to the VLE is at the beginning of their journey into using note just the VLE, but learning technologies as well, more effectively to support and enhance learning.

e-Learning Stuff – Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012

A somewhat quieter year this year with just over 100 blog posts posted to the blog.

As I did in 2011, 2010 and 2009 here are the top ten blog posts according to views for this year. Interestingly, the VLE is Dead – The Movie blog post which was number one last year and number two for the previous years, does not appear in the top ten , it was the 15th most viewed post.

10. Keynote – iPad App of the Week

The tenth most viewed post was my in-depth review of the Keynote app for the iPad. I wrote this review more for myself, to get a my head around what the app was capable of. Whilst writing the blog post, I was very impressed with the functionality and capability of the app, it was a lot more powerful and flexible than my first impressions of it.

Keynote opening screen

9. ebrary – iPad App of the Week

I spent some time trying out the various mobile ways of accessing our college’s ebook collection which is on the ebrary platform. This was a review of the iPad app, I was both impressed and disappointed. It was much better than using the web browser on the iPad, but was less impressed with the complex authentication process which involved a Facebook connection and a Adobe Digital Edtions ID. Very complicated and as a result less than useful for learners. Though it has to be said once the book was downloaded it did work much better than accessing it through the browser. The only real issue is you have to remember to return the books before they expire!

8. MindGenius – iPad App of the Week

MindGenius is not the best mind mapping app for the iPad, that has to go to iThoughtsHD however if you have MindGenius for the desktop then this app is an ideal companion for starting mind maps on the iPad and finishing them off on the computer.

 7. iBooks Author

In January of 2012, Apple had one of their presentations in which they announced iBooks 2, iBooks Author and an iTunes U app that built on the iTunes U service in iTunes. At the time I wrote three blog posts about those three announcements. All three of those blog posts are in the top ten, the one on iBooks Author was the seventh most popular blog post in 2012. It looked at the new app. I’ve certainly not given it the time I thought I would, maybe I will in 2013.

6. A few of my favourite things…

Over the last few years of owning the iPad, I have downloaded lots of different apps, some of which were free and a fair few that cost hard cash! At a JISC RSC SW TurboTEL event in Taunton I delivered a ten minute presentation on my favourite iPad apps. The sixth most popular blog post of 2012 embedded a copy of that presentation and I also provided a comment on each of the apps.

5. 100 ways to use a VLE – #89 Embedding a Comic Strip

The fifth most popular post this year was from my ongoing series of ways in which to use a VLE. This particular posting was about embedding a comic strip into the VLE using free online services such as Strip Creator and Toonlet. It is quite a lengthy post and goes into some detail about the tools you can use and how comics can be used within the VLE. The series itself is quite popular and I am glad to see one of my favourite in the series and one of the more in-depth pieces has made it into the top ten. It was number eight last year and tyhis year was even more popular.

 4. I love you, but you’re boring

This blog post was the first in a series of blog posts looking at Moodle and how the default behaviour of the standard system results in problems for learners and staff.

 3. “Reinventing” Textbooks, I don’t think so!

In January of 2012, Apple had one of their presentations in which they announced iBooks 2, iBooks Author and an iTunes U app that built on the iTunes U service in iTunes. There was a lot of commentary on iBooks and how it would reinvent the textbook. Looking back I think I was right to be a little sceptical on this one. Maybe in a few years time, we will see e-textbooks that change the way in which learners use textbooks.

2. Thinking about iTunes U

The blog post on iTunes U, which followed posts on iBooks 2 and iBooks Author, is the second most viewed blog post this year. I discussed the merits and challenges that using iTunes U would bring to an institution. Back then I wrote, if every learner in your institution has an iPad, then iTunes U is a great way of delivering content to your learners, if every learner doesn’t… well I wouldn’t bother with iTunes U. I still stand by that, I like the concept and execution of iTunes U, but in the diverse device ecosystem most colleges and universities find themselves in, iTunes U wouldn’t be a solution, it would create more challenges than problems it would solve.

1. Every Presentation Ever

Back in January I posted a humourour video about making presentations, this was the most popular blog post of mine in 2012.

It reminds us of all the mistakes we can make when making presentations.

So that was the top ten posts of 2012, which of my posts was your favourite, or made you think differently?

 

Presentation Workflow

Looking at the applications on my Mac that I use on a regular basis, apart from mail and browsers the one app I probably use the most is Apple’s Keynote. I use it to create presentations for events, conferences and workshops. Having delivered my presentation (or sometimes before) I would upload it to Slideshare. Slideshare is a great site for hosting presentations that can then be embedded into blog posts, web pages or the VLE.

Though you can upload Keynote presentations to Slideshare, due to the nature of the types of presentations I create I have had issues with the conversion process. It works fine with simple presentations, buy my multiple page presentations sometimes have ground to a halt. As a result I now use the following workflow to ensure that my presentation uploads correctly to Slideshare.

I use the same process if I need to share the presentation with others, some conferences and organisations like to have a copy of the presentation on their website. Also when I know I will be presenting at a conference and I won’t be able to use my Mac directly and will have the use the provided Windows PC that is connected to the projector.

The process also works really well with online presentation systems such as Elluminate, Adobe Connect, Instant Presenter, and so on…

Continue reading Presentation Workflow

Life after Death by Powerpoint

Don McMillan has released an updated version of his Life after Death by Powerpoint sketch which was originally an internet hit back a few years back.

If you haven’t seen it before, he does make some useful observations on how people use Powerpoint for presentations, oh and it’s quite funny too.


e-Learning Stuff Podcast #062: This is Bullet Points

Chatting about presentations, Powerpoint, keynotes and bullet points.

With James Clay and David Sugden.

This is the sixty second e-Learning Stuff Podcast, This is Bullet Points

Download the podcast in mp3 format: This is Bullet Points

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Shownotes

  • coming soon…

100 ways to use a VLE – #48 Embedding an online presentation

Death by Powerpoint has almost become a running joke at conferences and in education. Despite that, presentations are a staple of many conferences, courses and learning programmes.

it’s very easy to upload and link to a Powerpoint presentation, but does mean that not only does a learner need to click a link and download a file, but also (usually) needs Powerpoint on their computer. If they don’t then we might send them off to download OpenOffice another step and hurdle.

One service I am using much more now for my presentations is Slideshare. It allows you to upload a presentation and converts it into a Flash slideshow. This can either be viewed on the Slideshare website or can be embedded into a webpage. This means you can embed it into the VLE.

This allows learners to immediately access the presentation, without needing to wait for it to download. With larger presentations this can be a long wait on a slow connection. As Slideshare allows you to navigate to a specific slide, this means that learners who want to look at one slide can more easily than from a whole Powerpoint.

Of course there are a few downsides, the main one is that Slideshare is an open service, so your presentations are public and you may not want that. Though that’s also an advantage in that there are lots of presentations on the site that you can use and embed into the VLE.

Being Flash based this could cause issues if your learners have lots of iPhones and iPads, however Slideshare now provide an iPhone friendly service.

It is very simple to link to Powerpoint files, however using a service like Slideshare allows you to easily embed not just your presentations, but also other presentations from the site, straight into the VLE.

Technology in education and training: a leadership issue

A joint event between Becta and the MoD looking at the transformative impact that using learning technologies can have on education and training.

I delivered a ten minute presentation on how mobile learning is having an transformative impact at Gloucestershire College.

It is always a challenge to deliver a 61 slide presentation in just ten minutes!

No it wasn’t death by Powerpoint (partly as I was using Keynote on a Mac) but think of it as more as a video with a narration by me.

Always disappointed that I have only ten minutes which never allows time for the audience to think about what I am presenting on, no time for discussion, debate, reflection; no opportunity to engage with the technology, use the technology.

Ten minutes is never enough.

However it went down really well with the audience.

Though to be honest there was thirty minutes at the end of the day which did give an opportunity, but it was just thirty minutes.

Okay what about the rest of the day?

Well as is typical at these events, lots of presentations, lots of content, lots of Powerpoint slides, but I wonder if much learning happened? Certainly according to the feedback it stimulated debate and thought, so maybe I am being a little negative.

I know that at these events that part of the issue is that the organisers and stakeholders feel that they need to cram the event full of short presentations in order to “transfer information” and meet the needs of the differing stakeholders, as in everyone has to have their say and present their view or vision.

I would argue that sometimes you need to take a step back and ask yourself, what is the aim of the event, what are you trying to get out of the event?

As a delegate you should also be asking yourself what are you expecting from the event and what preparation did you do prior to the event?

The whole day was not entirely presentations and there was a panel session, some discussion sessions and a hands-on session. My view though was that the weighting was wrong with the presentations taking up too much of the day.

Or is it that I just don’t like listening to lots of presentations.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #006 – You say Asus and I say Asus…

This is the sixth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, You say Asus and I say Asus…

[audio:http://elearningstuff.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/elearningstuff006.mp3]

Download the podcast in mp3 format: You say Asus and I say Asus…

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

In this show, James is joined by Nick Jeans, Kev Hickey, Dave Foord, David Sugden and Lisa Valentine.

The discussion starts off looking at the role of the Asus EeePC and other netbooks on e-learning on colleges across the UK. The discussion also looks at the variety of presentation software now available from PowerPoint to Keynote, Open Office to Google Docs. Then there is other stuff as well…

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #006 - You say Asus and I say Asus...

Shownotes

  • The Asus EeePC is one year old.
  • Case Study: Using Mobile Technology to Encourage Independent Study (John Leggott College).
  • The ZoomStorm FizzBook which has a handle like the OLPC.
  • ZuiPrezi is a zooming presentation editor which allows you to easily create stunning presentations. With the help of ZuiPrezi you can create dynamic and visually structured zooming maps of texts, images, videos, PDFs, drawings. ZuiPrezi has a very intuitive interface and support for online sharing.
  • Create professional video for the classroom with the click of a button! Animoto combines your images and music to produce video with the visual impact of a music video.
  • Using Flowgram you can create interactive guided presentations by combining web pages, photos, Power Point and more with your voice, notes and highlights.  Viewers can control the pages, scroll, click on links, view videos and more. An example Flowgram that was made by James.
  • Wikipedia definition of a mind map.
  • Mindomo is a versatile Web-based mind mapping tool, delivering the capabilities of desktop mind mapping software in a Web browser – with no complex software to install or maintain.
  • Pecha Kucha is a presentation format that allows just twenty slides and twenty seconds for each slide. The presentation from James he delivered at the Pecha Kucha session at Handheld Learning 2008.
  • Dave Foord’s excellent cameraphone!
  • Nice article on how to use web based office tools offline.

Photo source.