How To Give A Killer Presentation: Chris Anderson

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Most of us were not not born public speakers and therefore may struggle with creating captivating, engaging, and interactive class presentations.  As educators, our desire is to engage students while providing them with the necessary concepts.  Chris Anderson’s article in the Harvard Business Review Magazine provides a road map of how to communicate effectively in a simple, concise and interesting manner.  Below is his article preview of How To Give A Killer Presentation:

In a new essay in The Harvard Business Review’s June issue, Anderson shares his fine-tuned advice for delivering a powerful talk. A few choice tidbits:

“We all know that humans are wired to listen to stories, and metaphors abound for the narrative structures that work best to engage people. When I think about compelling presentations, I think about taking an audience on a journey.”

“Many of our best and most popular TED Talks have been memorized word for word … Most people go through what I call the ‘valley of awkwardness,’ where they haven’t quite memorized the talk. If they give the talk while stuck in that valley, the audience will sense it … Getting past this point is simple, fortunately. It’s just a matter of rehearsing enough times that the flow of words becomes second nature.”

“Perhaps the most important physical act onstage is making eye contact. Find five or six friendly-looking people in different parts of the audience and look them in the eye as you speak. Think of them as friends you haven’t seen in a year, whom you’re bringing up to date on your work“  (Anderson, Chris).

Before you click here to read the full article, watch the TedTalk presentation of Richard Turere, a 12 year old Masai boy who relays to the audience, of how he devised a system of lights to protect his families livestock from the lions at night. With guidance from Chris Anderson, Richard Tuere’s presentation was engaging and compelling.

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


Engage Your Students: Presentation APPs for Your Classroom

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Need an app to help you create a presentation for your next lecture or conference?   Creating effective multimedia presentations is a skill every 21st century teacher should work to achieve.  Multimedia presentations help engage and capture student’s interest in the content being presented. Another added benefit is your presentation is paperless. Just think, your next classroom presentation or conference you present at, can be paperless.  Oh, the best part is that all of the apps are free.

Here are a few of my favorite presentation apps :

1. Animoto – A web-based tool that allows your to create free 30 second videos integrating music, pictures,and videos.  Or for $30 a year you can upgrade to a Plus account where you can create 10 minute videos and access to more visual styles.  Animoto is intuitive and easy to use providing easy editing, uploading, and sharing of videos.  With a 30 second video you can capture the most salient information that your students need to “take  away” from the lecture. For teachers who teach online, your  students can create a 30 second video showcasing who they are through images, music, and text to share with fellow classmates.

2SlideShark – Enables PowerPoint users to show (can’t create one with the app) their PowerPoint® presentations from the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.  What is nice about this app is that you don’t lose any of the cool animations, fonts, graphics, hyperlinks and videos.  Plus, your lecture notes are displayed when you run the show, so even though you cannot create presentations with this app, you will have a powerful control option at your fingertips for your next presentation.

3. Sliderocket – An easy-to-use site for creating visually engaging slideshows, recently purchased by ClearSlide.  Sliderocket has some of the same elements of PowerPoint or Animoto, but is unique in that you can embed live data into your presentations, such as social media newsfeeds, and global news from sites such as Yahoo! or MSN.

4. emaze – A cool mix between PowerPoint and Prezi. Emaze is cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere. The presentation software app works on a  PC, Mac, tablets, and smartphones.  You can collaboratively present with your colleagues and embed your presentation in any web page (think Canvas).  Your presentation can be created in minutes with access to existing templates and ready-made slides.  Emaze is currently in Beta form and here are a few links to emaze presentation examples: Assessment as Learning  and The Beauty of Social Media.

5. Haiku Deck – “Haiku Deck is a smart app that makes beautiful slide shows in no time and makes your iPad a more productive tool” (Boehret, 2012).  The emphasis with this presentation tool is blending single, full-bleed photos with minimal text.  You are limited to two lines of text for each photograph.  You may upload your own images or pull them from networks like Facebook, Instagram and Picasa.  The app offers you over 35 legally shareable images to use in your presentation.  The idea is to focus each slide on one idea.

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Students More Likley to Do Coursework on Smart Phone Than Desktop?

logo 7.gifFrom: ecampusnews
By Denny Carter, Managing Editor
Article link:

Technologists weren’t kidding when they warned educators last year that it was time to prepare for the challenges of a multi-screen world.

A survey conducted by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) showed that college students are now more likely to do coursework on their smartphones than a desktop computer.

That students are no longer relying on antiquated desktops isn’t surprising. However, more than half of students using their phones to complete and submit homework and other class assignments signals a definitive shift in the way students use technology for school purposes, educators said.

“More than ever, students are using their smartphones to navigate their lives on campus,” said Elizabeth Riddle, consumer research manager for OnCampus Research, “and this even extends to their schoolwork.”

Students still use a laptop over a desktop or phone for school assignments, with 91 percent of respondents saying they complete coursework on laptops. Seven in 10 respondents said they owned a smartphone. More than 11,000 students on 19 campuses across the country participated in the NACS survey.

Nine in 10 respondents to Google’s 2012 survey-based research,  “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior,” said they moved from one screen to another to accomplish a goal—from smart phones to PCs, for example, or tablet computers to PCs.

The prominence of what Google termed “sequential screening”—going from one screen to another to view a school admissions site, say—grabbed campus technology leaders’ attention this month as the best reason yet for schools to prioritize responsive web design (RWD) as a way of attracting prospective students.

Smart phones, the Google study showed, were by far the most common starting point for those who fell into the sequential screening group.

“What the Google study shows is that the admissions game is probably not moving exclusively to mobile, but that your mobile site is becoming the first thing prospective students look at,” Karine Joly, a web marketing professional and founder of, a site at the forefront of the RWD movement, said in a blog post. People move to different devices because they want to accomplish different things, and they prefer to use the device that better fits the specific need they’re trying to fulfill at a given moment.”


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Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


10 Ideas For Rich Academic Student Discussions Online

logo 7.gifI know, it is summer break and the last thing any educator wants to hear now is how to make online discussions richer. When you prepare for classes this fall, consider incorporating some of the ideas from Michael Gorman’s blog on Tech & Learning regarding richer online discussions.

Including a discussion component in either an online, blended, or face-to-face course allows the learner to analyze and comprehend the topic from various viewpoints. As the instructor, you are provided an opportunity to assess the learner’s comprehension and application of the knowledge. Integrating the components of  Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher-order thought by building up from lower-level cognitive skills is one means of creating more in depth conversations. Bloom’s original taxonomy focused only on the knowledge domain, but in 2001, Bloom’s was updated by Anderson and Krathwohl to include cognitive process. The new taxonomy highlights the interactions between the two domains.

Gorman’s 10 ideas follow the updated Bloom’s model. “It is important that teachers facilitate proper online communication while promoting digital citizenship. Through proper guidance and digital education, any classroom can discover the rich and meaningful opportunities that an online discussion can provide” (Gorman).

One of my favorites is the idea of the inclusion of various media in discussions. Discussions do not always have to be text-based. They can include the use of documents, PDF files, movies, music, sound files, PowerPoints, website links, and images to promote the standards and concepts.  To discover the other 9 ideas, select the following link to read the article in its entirety:


Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.

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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


Student Polling Systems in the Undergraduate Classroom

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Engaging students with the use of polling systems or student response systems, has been associated with positive educational outcomes. With polling systems, students are engaged and receive immediate feedback. Increasing student “engagement has been associated with positive educational outcomes by fostering student engagement and by allowing immediate feedback to both students and instructors” (Fortner-Wood, Armistead,Marchand,& Morris, 2013).

Faculty members at Harding University from various disciplines have been engaging students with student polling systems for several years. Dr. Grodon Sutherlin, Professor in the College of Education here at Harding, along with his daughter, Dr. Amber Sutherlin, an Associate Professor at Abilene University conducted a study, which explored the effectiveness of student polling systems in promoting engagement and to assess the advancement of a positive and active learning environment in lectures.

As part of our Colloquium Series, Dr Gordon Sutherlin presented his research to fellow faculty members, which evaluated six studies conducted over four years. Check out the link below to see the presentation in its entirety and find out more about student polling.

Past colloquial presentations are available on our website.

Dr. Gordon Sutherlin’s Presentation

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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


What are the Characteristics of a Twenty-First Century Educator?

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Are you finding yourself spending more  time online developing and re-purposing content to create an online presence for your students?  Do you consider yourself a modern or digital teacher?  According to Jeff Dunn (edumemic), there are 8 characteristics that describe a twenty-first century educator.  A twenty-first century teacher should be an adapter, communicator, learner, visionary, leader, model, collaborator and risk-taker.  Mind you, it would take a super-hero to embody all of these characteristics at once.  Instead, a twenty-first century educator should be able to “pull from experience and be a leader, a collaborator, or a communicator at a moment’s notice” (Dunn, 2013).

For a more in depth description of these characteristics and more, visit the slideshare by Zaid Alsagoff.

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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States

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Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States
(Retrieved from: The Sloan Consortium:

The 2012 Survey of Online Learning reveals that the number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 6.7 million. Higher education adoption of Massive Open Online Courses remains low, with most institutions still on the sidelines.

“The rate of growth in online enrollments remains extremely robust,” said study co-author Jeff Seaman, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group. “This is somewhat surprising given that overall higher education enrollments actually declined during this period.”

“Institutional opinions on MOOCs are mixed, with positive views of their ability to learn about online pedagogy and to attract new students, but concerns about whether they represent a sustainable method for offering courses,” stated his co-author I. Elaine Allen.

Key report findings include:

  • Over 6.7 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year.
  • Thirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
  • Only 2.6 percent of higher education institutions currently have a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), another 9.4 percent report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  • Academic leaders remain unconvinced that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses, but do believe that they provide an important means for institutions to learn about online pedagogy.
  • Seventy-seven percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face.
  • Only 30.2 percent of chief academic officers believe that their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education – a rate is lower than recorded in 2004.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders that say that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy is at a new high of 69.1 percent.
  • A majority of chief academic officers at all types of institutions continue to believe that lower retention rates for online courses are a barrier to the wide-spread adoption of online education.

Previously underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the report has been able to remain independent through the generous support of Pearson and the Sloan Consortium.

You can download the full report by selecting his link.

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized