As your 8:00 class starts, students rush to their seats with a café mochachino in one hand, a smart phone in the other, and before you know it, they pull a laptop out of their backpack. They are wired and ready to learn. Briefly you reflect back on your college days and you may recall your rush to class with a 3 ring notebook binder in one hand, a ball point pen in the other and perhaps a highlighter to mark the most salient information.
Yes, times have changed with the distribution of and access to information at the click of a button or touch of an app; you can be transported to Florence, Italy thanks to Google Earth or chat with a friend in Athens, Greece via Skype. You ask yourself, how do I meet the needs of the 21st century learner? Have students really changed that much? Perhaps they haven’t changed that much, but the way they access information, how they are connected to the world, and each other has.
Suddenly you are brought back to reality, when you hear the familiar Windows start up tune playing from a student’s computer. Promptly at 8:07 you begin class and your prepared PowerPoint presentation is projected on the screen for all to view. You feel good that you are using technology in your instruction, but you wonder is there more out there than just PowerPoint? After all, the millennial learner has grown up with PowerPoint and could be bored with its linear format and transitions. That is not to say that Power Point is not a great presentation tool because it is; in fact PowerPoint’s strengths lie in its presentation of content, visual images, 3D graphics, audio, and video. However there are other presentation tools that are worth a look and a chance in your classroom.
Prezi (http://prezi.com/) is not your average presentation tool nor does it look or work like PowerPoint. You and your students can access your presentation over the Internet. Prezi provides a very nonlinear approach to presentations. With a Prezi presentation there are no slides to click through, instead everything is on a singular canvas ready for you to zoom, spin, and browse to text, images, and video. Your presentation is not layered on multiple slides; rather your content is strategically organized on the canvas for quick access. You can create a path through your content for students follow or your students can freely explore your presentation in a nonlinear approach. For a closer look at Prezi follow this link http://prezi.com
(http://www.sliderocket.com/) has more of the look and feel of PowerPoint but is a cloud-based tool. An incredible feature of SlideRocket that is not available in PowerPoint is the ability to embed Google Documents into the presentation. Students upload pictures to Flickr and view YouTube videos frequently and with Slide Rock you can integrate content from these free sites into SlideRocket. In addition, SlideRocket has powerful tracking and collaboration tools. Since it is cloud based you do not have to download any software to your computer or store your presentation on a memory drive. You can also embed your presentation in a website, Moodle, wiki, or blog. For a closer view, access SlideRocket here: http://sliderocket.com/
Check back next week for more alterantives to Power Point.
Harding faculty join us next week for an Overview of New Moodle Tools: Engaging 21st Century Learners, as we look at some ways you can engage your 21st century learners with new ntegrations in Moodle that include: Campus Pack Blogs, Wikis, Journals, and Podcasts, StudyMate Class, Turnitin, Turning Technologies Classroom Response System, and embedding content in HTML Blocks.
Where: Admin 200A – Training Room
When: Wednesday, September 14th or 15th from 12:00 – 1:00
*Lunch will be provided
Email us with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org