Saturday, April 20, 2013

Engaging an Audience during a Presentation

I am big in attempting to engage an audience during a presentation.  I don't like to be the focus of a lecture.  I'm not egocentric.  Instead, the audience or learners should be able to do what they were meant to do, which is engage with the content being discussed/taught.

I wanted to talk about QikPad, which is a collaborative-online-word-processing tool.  Of course, there is Google Drive and you can share a Google Doc with everyone in the audience, but maybe you have been there and done that.  You want something similar, but slightly different.  Well then, try QikPad next time!

QikPad is an easy way to engage an audience, classroom, or small group in a collaborative document with its own unique URL.  I like how QikPad can be embedded into a blog post like the one below.  Additionally, I like how the document can be exported directly to Wordle to create a word cloud.  Again, a lot of this can be done in Google Drive, but still a cool tool to use when collecting responses or collaborating quickly.

photo credit: Xosé Castro via photopin cc

AnswerGarden - Classroom Response Collection

This is just a cool tool to use when collecting student responses.  Pose a question and allow students to respond.  Then, responses are displayed below the question.  If multiple students respond with the same answer, the response will display the number of people with the same response.  Just hover your mouse over the words to find out how my people came up with the same answer.

Overall, this is just a quick and informal way to check for understanding.  Answer my question about favorite web-based tool or app.  You can do so by typing your answer below or by clicking the link in the previous sentence.

What is your favorite web-based tool or app for the classroom?... at

Tech comes Together in Perfect Harmony

Bringing it Together 

I always get questions about what is the best tool to use.  Should we use Edmodo or Moodle?  Should I use LittleBirdTales or iMovie?  Should I use Google Drive or Dropbox?  Well, it all depends on what you need to do.  Sometimes, it is best to know a little bit about each of these programs and than some.  

With my recent adventures with technology, I found I needed to use several platforms.  To fit my needs, I used iMovie, ScreenFlow, YouTube, Vimeo, and Edcanvas.  I wanted to create videos to walk teachers and students through "how-to" use iMovie, and I didn't want to record a 20 minute screencast.  So, I decided to film 11 brief screencasts to share how-to perform basic tasks in iMovie.  

Then, I wanted to house all of these videos in one location rather than at their individualized web addresses at YouTube.  This is where Edcanvas swoops in to save the day.  Edcanvas can create one web address with several videos all placed in sequential order to access information "just-in-time."  So, with the share button in Edcanvas, I can send everyone a link to these iMovie tutorials through one easy-to-share web address.   

I also created a version of using Vimeo in addition to the YouTube videos.  Why would I do this?  Well, most schools block YouTube videos from being viewed, but Vimeo is usually open on student networks.  So, I uploaded them on Vimeo so that most students could view the videos as needed through Edcanvas.  Just don't tell students about Vimeo.  If they play the videos directly from Edcanvas, they will be none the wiser.  

iMovie for Classroom Projects 

iMovie is a movie editing software for the Macs.  iPad users can also enjoy the features and tools associated with the iMovie app.  iMovie is a perfect tool for students to use with final classroom projects.  Whatever the content, the iMovie application allows students to present information in a creative format.  Here are eleven videos to learn some iMovie basics.