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.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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