Powerpoint with pizzazz

Lenka is a famous Australian singer. Windows 8 is a much discussed operating system. DoinaK is a very talented and ingenious Powerpoint presenter. When you put these three  elements together you get an amazing Powerpoint presentation. The animation is saved as a Windows Media file (save as….select Windows Media file) and it can then be uploaded as a video to YouTube. You can do it with Keynote and iMovie too.

Change Keynote and Powerpoint presentations into movies

Insert flash files into presentations

Finally solved the flash problem thanks to this video. If I am stuck I always search for a solution or go on YouTube and then, when I am desperate, I launch a query on Twitter. One way or another I solve the problem. So now what you can do is go to the free animated Powerpoint templates at Microsoft and insert the flash files as shown in the video. Ignore the instructions which come on the downloaded Powerpoint templates. It’s a lot simpler now I know how to do it in newer versions of Powerpoint and it means I can put the flash files wherever I want in the presentation. When you download the Powerpoint templates they come with two flash files and you need to put it all in one folder and then insert the files as you wish by following the easy steps in the video. It really will make Powerpoint presentations that little bit more interesting because we live in a visual world.

Classy Powerpoint presentations

VisualBeeI am comfortable making animated presentations in Powerpoint and Keynote and so are my students. I have spent time developing the skills and then  have shared them. Students are used to a moving screen and so when you want to get content across it works really well with something which is animated one way or the other. Not everyone wants to develop the skills but the world is becoming more and more visual. There are lots of things you can do as a teacher so that your students can be enticed into learning with a classy presentation. Obviously there are sites like Presenter Media which offer you subscriptions so you can download pre made animated templates. An example is here on YouTube. I’d want a try before you buy option with anything like that. I tried the Microsoft animated templates and so far I have not made the splash they advertised. More of a belly flop. I can enable nothing. I can change the settings on the developer tab and nothing. They might work in older versions of Powerpoint but newer versions appear to have an issue with Macromedia flash. Maybe Microsoft will put up templates which do work in the newer versions. Maybe not. You should not have to be tech savvy to get them to work. They are still nice templates, though. You can also get really nice templates here:

Free Powerpoint templates.

I have tried VisualBee, though, and have made such a cute presentation for my year 9s. You sign up to the site and ignore any messages about your username already being used. You then go to Powerpoint on your computer and open it. It works from there and you follow the instructions. Once you have chosen your template you save it to your computer. The VisualBee tab on your Powerpoint ribbon will then enhance your Powerpoint for you if you click on that and so a lot of the hard work is taken out of presenting. The basic free option gives you plenty to play around with and it’s a great new presenting tool.

How to make videos using Keynote

I have blogged before about converting slide presentations to movies. My previous post is here but deals more with PowerPoint. I am just in the process of assessing the presentations my year 9s have made using slides which they have converted to a movie. Most used Powerpoint and I spent 15 minutes showing them how to do that. I then spent 15 minutes in another lesson looking at iMovie. When it came to Keynote it was a couple of minutes. You export it to Quicktime and save it to the desktop and the transitions and animations are done in the inspector on the far right of the toolbar. The video I have included with this post shows you how effective it can be to make a Keynote movie and also puts out a good message about not pirating! There is plenty of public domain and free material you can use and then it comes down to  imagination. With my year 9s I got them to use their own photos and then enhance that with free images. They thoroughly enjoyed it and the work has been very impressive. They are presenting their creations via their laptops on the whiteboard.

Prepare that speech

apitimer Preparing a speech is so much easier with technology. Six Minutes has some really good speech preparation outlines and tips. Inc. has 8 steps to making a great speech and all of the steps are worth following , well explained and justified. If it’s a long speech you may need a timer. I like one to run on top of anything I am doing because most speeches I give are supported by slides and videos. Windows 8 has a wide choice of speech timers. I chose 3 – Strawberry Timer with in built to do list, Moss Timer and Speech Timer. They all take up the full screen and so you cannot run slides. They are very handy for practising the speech or sections of it to see how long it lasts. My favourite timer is Windows Desktop timer. It is neat, simple and sits on top of any screen. There is also a very handy timer for Mac, Apimac, which includes other functionalities and offers a pro version with extra options. I just use the basic version and even that is very helpful. It’s not as neat as the Desktop Timer, though! Depends what you want in a timer, I guess. I know PowerPoint has a built in speech view but I find that a bit disconcerting since there are two slides on the screen and the timer. It messes with my head when I am giving a speech and it means the slides are smaller than if you have a single slide at a time. It’s the timer which is critical . What comes next should be a given since you have been through all this wonderful speech preparation! Again, it’s probably a matter of what suits you as a speaker . I need to see one slide clearly and the time.

Clever animation for Powerpoint 2007

This is quite a clever trick if you have Powerpoint 2007. Wish I hadn’t upgraded to 2010 so I could try it. You can’t do this is Powerpoint 2010, although it offers a lot of nice animation effects and transitions. You should never overdo the animations – not unless you are making one of those really classy and clever one slide Powerpoint animations. Choosing a good transition or two and maybe animating one or two things is probably enough. This animation effect in 2007 is clever, though, and I ended up really liking the music which went with it. 4enjoying has done a good job of sharing knowledge on the Net and has even thought to include the written instructions with the upload so people can follow. You Tube is full of helpful videos and if you are looking to learn something on a computer. It was the reason I was there. I was looking for some quality animation tutorials. Powerpoint is more than bullet points and even though the bullet points can be appropriate at times , it is worthwhile learning how to create other effects with Powerpoint to get the power out of it.

Brilliant presentation tips

I have to thank @alianani15 for putting up the link to this wonderful presentation on Twitter. Online communities work! This didactic slide presentation is a classy piece of work indeed and gives you all the tips for making a first class presentation. More than that it literally shows you how to do it. The future of information sharing looks bright.

Convert Slide presentation to movie

save as movie On a Macbook , Powerpoint gives you the option of saving the slide presentation as a movie. It can then be further enhanced in a video programme if you wish and form a part of a teaching movie. Moving components and information seem to be absorbed better than static information and the visual aspect helps to improve absorption and retention. You can add your special effects, and then music. It increases your options. Students can also use it as a way of presenting their work and they do like doing it this way.

timings Before you save it as a movie make sure you work out your timings. Slide effects and information need to be displayed for long enough for an audience to be able to take in the information . You remove the mouse click check and add your timings. The more you do , the better you will get. In Windows you got to save as and then use the file type drop down menu to select windows media file. In Keynote, the Apple equivalent of Powerpoint , there is also an option to save the presentation as a movie. You use the export option and then you can import it into iMovie.

Merge slides into Powerpoint presentations

insert new slides Sometimes you want to add slides from a Powerpoint presentation into your new one. Slide presentations need to be changed, updated, reformatted and just used for other purposes. Slide presentations are a bank of resources to be utilised. To add slides form one presentation to the other is the same on Windows and Mac but Windows will bring the slides to be selected up on the right. The images I am using are for the Mac because that is what we use at school.
1. Open the presentation
2. Click on New Slide top left in toolbar.
3. Select insert slides from other presentation.
select ppt slides to insert
4. Browse and choose the presentation you want to use. Click to open
5. Select slide(s) you want to insert
6. Click insert and continue with steps 4-6 until you have selected all the slides you wish.

Don’t forget to save it as your new presentation!

Making a timeline

TimelineI want my year 9s to make a time line in French for their daily routine . I have been looking around at what is available because this will be the first exercise they do on their new laptops. There are some great timeline sites but they all seem to rely on joining up and sharing the timeline. We seem to share everything these days and we seem to have to sign up to every site we want to use. Well, not every site. Just seems like that. Dipity was my favourite. It is very visual and you could get some real power out of timeline creation in a classroom. Our timelines is an efficient text based timeline maker but requires entering years and would suit other activities but not this one. teAchnology had a simple fuss free timeline generator which I have featured left. It could only take 8 items and couldn’t reproduce the French accents. Pity. That was the most useful generator for my purposes. I did also download the Timeline Maker for Office 2007+. It’s free and took 5 minutes to install. This is a PowerPoint timeline maker and it’s very impressive. It comes with a free welcome PowerPoint tutorial which was perfect. I can use that at home but not at school. At school we have Macbooks and there doesn’t seem to be a Mac version yet. On Windows it will run on Vista and above. For me , timelines take the fatigue out of learning and practising sentence structures. The students can be focussing on creating something interesting as they use their newly learnt – in this case daily routine – language. I’ll get them to map one out in the teAchnology one and then expand it into Powerpoint and we can use the Smart Art. Some might like to use Excel.