21 Things – Presentations

“PowerPoint may not be of any use for you in a presentation, but it may liberate you in another way, an artistic way. Who knows.” -David Byrne

Artistic visuals accompanying a presentation can help an audience focus. Visuals can detract from the presentation, too. You have probably found yourself watching a presentation where the presenter overloaded the slides with text making it difficult to read the presentation from your seat. Or they may have chosen a theme or color scheme that did not work well in the environment. Perhaps you have sat through a presentation where the speaker read every word from their slides. Like me, you may have committed all of these presentation errors. Consequently, we want to help students learn to avoid these errors and create effective presentations.

Several different presentation apps are available for creating effective visuals. PowerPoint has been the main program for creating visuals. It was created for use with Windows operating systems, but it now available on Apple devices. The creation of the iPad has led to the development of other presentation apps. Keynote, created by Apple, is the presentation app for use with the iPad. However, Keynote costs $9.99.   

A new app that I learned during this module is Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck allows for the selection of several different themes, connects you with freely sharable pictures, and limits the amount of possible text. I found Haiku Deck to be a relatively simple app to use. You may use your own photographs for the background or select from their library of photos. Placing your own photos in the presentation may take some time as the app did not function properly when I tried adding my own photos. It took several tries. Options for adjusting your visual presentation are clearly available and do not require sorting through several menus to make changes.

Here is an example of a Haiku Deck visual that I created using their photos. 

Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

The simplicity of Haiku Deck works well with the purpose of the presentation, as I will be using the slides to discuss qualities/values with elementary students during the first week of school. I chose a picture representation of the quality and used quality/value as the title of the slide. I considered using my own pictures, but I did not have enough of my own pictures to represent the values. I chose the particular values because they are part of several murals that have been created and placed throughout our new school, which opens this September.

Before students begin creating presentations, with Haiku Deck or any app, they need to consider the purpose of the presentation and the audience. Students need to determine whether they are crafting a presentation to entertain, inform or persuade. Choosing the purpose will help the student determine the tool they want to use and the overall look of the presentation. Knowing the audience to whom they will be giving their presentation will help the students craft a presentation and visual that meets the expectations of the audience. After determining the purpose of the presentation and the audience, the student will want to set brainstorm their topic, determine their order of presentation, and layout the presentation. 

When using Haiku Deck the presenter will need to determine whether they want to use their own pictures or those available on the app. If they want to use their own photos, they will want to make sure they have the pictures available before beginning to create the visual. Additionally, the student will want to determine the words they will use to meet their purpose.

Presentations may be created and used in several different ways to support curriculum. Previously I had students create visual representations to show their learning. They used visuals to explain and support their connections to the ideas of a novel or a speech. In the SAMR model, this type of activity fits under the Augmentation label as the tech is a direct tool substitute and creates functional improvement over creating visuals on poster board. Another way I have used presentations is to have students create advertisements (book talks) based on a book of their choice. Additionally, my college students have created presentations to explain their learning about Internet searches and evaluating Internet resources for their reliability and credibility. This presentation is the culmination of a five-week class about the Internet.

Other free options for creating visuals are available for use with the iPad. Of those presentation apps available I have utilized Prezi. Prezi allows the creator to design a presentation that flows differently that your typical visual presentation.  I believe it is a little more difficult than Haiku Deck but it provides more functionality.

Please share your ideas for using presentations to support curriculum and student learning or share your thoughts about the different apps available to create different presentations. Add your comments below or email me at marc@marcdaly.com. I look forward to learning with you.