Get the Point?

This last week, I’ve begun to investigate tools to use for my module and how to present information online in a variety of modalities.  I’ve come to the realization that just like in a traditional classroom, the way that information is presented should be varied.  It would be tough to classify a teacher as exceptional if all he or she did was stand up and lecture in each class.  I believe this holds true for online learning.  To be great, you must have variety in your teaching strategies.  When starting an online course, I was naïve as to the options out there for presenting new information in a digital format.  After researching and playing around on different sites, I have compiled a list that caught my attention and included a brief synopsis of each.

Prezi: A very visual style of presenting information that excels at showing how multiple topics are all related or interconnected.  Great for visual learners and easy to implement audio narration as well.

Ppt. Mashup:  Although a bit more abstract than having a website to assist you, this appears to be about the closest delivery method to a traditional classroom.  A nice way to keep learners engaged and still present text/graphs/data in a visual manner.  Any video editing software should be able to help create this combination of video, slide and audio.  I will be attempting mashups with adobe premier pro.  I have not tried it yet, but I am very excited about the prospects.

Video: Fairly straightforward, but a great way to engage students, whether it is an original video or something you have found in the infinite space of the world wide web.

Audio: Audio can be a great tool in supplementing lessons and providing reminders.  It can definitely create a more intimate class setting than simply seeing the same old announcement messages come up.   After playing with audio, I have found that a good microphone makes all the difference and audio editing software makes life much easier.

Written Documents: Tried and true.  Obviously can be used just like in a traditional classroom.  Documents can provide students with an opportunity for them to peruse the information themselves and then determine what is important.

Animoto:  This is a video website that I’ve used in the past to create glorified slideshows.  I’m not exactly sure of the educational applications at this moment, but I’m sure they’re out there!

Glogster: A cool site that allows you to create a poster that has the potential to implement audio and video.  Again, like prezi, it is very visual and presents information in a dynamic and interesting manner.

These are a few of the options I have come across in the last week or two.  If you have any tools that you love or are interested in using to convey content, please share!

It’s exciting that there are so many ways to help students get the point.

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13 Responses to Get the Point?

  1. Katie says:

    Hey Ben-
    I love your list. I have used a few, but am always looking for better presentation tools. I am really curious about ppt Mashup. I tried to Google it and see what I could find, but I am perplexed as to what it actually is. Where did you see or hear about it? I would recommend adding powtoon.com to your list!

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    • benpotter8 says:

      Hi Katie, mashup is just a combination of video and slides or text. I just did one for one of the classes I teach, and it was pretty effective. I took a look at powtoon and it looks great. Thanks for the tip.

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  2. Erin Dwyer says:

    Ben,
    Thanks for listing these items out! I might use some of the tools you mentioned in my final project as well. The only question I have for you is, which tools are free and which are not? For example, I know that Prezi is not free…
    Erin

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    • benpotter8 says:

      Hi Erin, I believe all of the tools I listed have at least a limited free version. Perhaps, if your company or school is interested, you could purchase a group license to unlock all of the features.

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  3. Adrienne says:

    Hi Ben!
    You have shared some great resources with us! I have heard of each of them except Glogster, so I will be checking that out! I love the idea of mixing up the media for an online class. Do you have any insight on how many media items should be used in a unit? I’m wondering if there is a “magical number” that keeps student interest without the cognitive overload.

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  4. r31cotton says:

    Great post Ben! In the past I have struggled to find these types of resources in one place. I am most looking forward to trying Glogster. Often times I have been asked to create a creative presentation, and I have struggled to come up with ideas. You have given me several to choose from, and many of them have different applications. Does anyone have any other creative presentation sites they have used in the past?
    Thanks!

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  5. Rosanna Miiller Salas says:

    Ben, like others mention you created a useful list. I think maybe it would be a cool project to create a list of recommended tools created by ILT students. After reading your review I am intrigued about Ppt. Mashup and Glogster. I added them to my list of tools to try. Thanks for sharing your findings : )
    Looks like you experimented a lot with audio. I have found good and easy to use software is difficult to find. Is there any specific audio software you like better than the others?

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    • benpotter8 says:

      I do a lot with audio in adobe premier pro, but it is primarily video software. I also have an ancient version of Cool Edit Pro. It has been renamed to Adobe Audition. Don’t know how the new versions are, but the old one is great.

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  6. Amy Linville says:

    Great list, Ben! I have a few to share that I like to use for presentations, 1. Pow Toon: http://www.powtoon.com/ and 2. Emaze: http://www.powtoon.com/ Both have limited free versions, but offer some incredible presentation tools even on the limited/trial versions. There are new digital presentation tools on the market almost every single day. It can be hard to keep up, but like any cool educational tools, the more the merrier! -Amy

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  7. elearnable1 says:

    Good list of tools, Ben. I think that audio and video are especially interesting components to consider, especially because they can add an element of personal connection. I was wondering if you’ve selected a ‘main’ tool in which to host your online course.

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    • benpotter8 says:

      I’m going to go with Udemy. I like the simplicity of it and how the LMS focuses on video. To publish a course with them, they require 60% video content, or so it says on their webpage.

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  8. Nate says:

    Ben,
    Your list is great. I have used many of these as well and find most of them pretty solid. I will warn you that Glogster wants you to pay them, as I found out last year. (student projects were glitchy and not supported well) but it is a very neat service. http://padlet.com/ is also good. Best of luck on your work.

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