Episode 78: PowerPointless

Prezi Logo
Prezi Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On today’s podcast, we talk about:

  • Segment 1 The New Prezi
  • Segment 2 Prompster and Voice to Text
  • Segment 3 Do Unto Others
  • Segment 4: oDesk

The New Prezi

I conducted a very cursory examination of the new Prezi, but it looks easier to use than in the past. I’m always amazed (and a bit jealous) how Chris could create these excellent Prezis, as I seemed to struggle with the interface.

So, maybe this upgrade was done with people like me in mind.

Go to http://prezi.com/learn/user-interface-whats-changed/ to find out what has changed. Here is what I learned:

The bubble menu has been replaced by a more traditional menu.

There are many new symbols and shapes to choose from. And when you begin to create a new Prezi, you have more template choices. Even 3D ones.

Here’s a Prezi I did for Tom Luna:

I like how you can add steps and images right from Google images too.

Prompster Pro: Teleprompter for the iPad

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Chris does it again, showing us another excellent tool that can make producing videos just that much slicker and easier. With Prompster, you can not only create a teleprompter, but you can record your video at the same time. Watch this video (Barbara is hidden by the microphone–does that mean anything?) to see it in action:

Do Unto Others

On my course syllabi, I post my teaching philosophy. One of the bullets says: “Teachers should never do for students what they can do for themselves.” While this may sound harsh, I think it’s good practice.

Last week I talked a bit about digital literacy–what I think the most important part of it is–accepting and working with change in technology. And like I just discussed, technology tools are CONSTANTLY changing, because we always want them to work better and meet our needs. So, here’s another one of my crazy ideas–instead of teachers (and I do this, too, so I’m not immune here) creating detailed tutorials on every technology tool they want their students to use, provide links to online tutorials created by the tool and then set up discussion forums in the course for students to post issues, ask questions, and provide answers. After all, that’s how WE learn. As teachers and inquisitive educational technologists, we need to investigate the tool, figure out what it does, ask ourselves “Is it useful?” and a slew other questions in order to determine if we want to spend the time learning how to use it. Then, we have to figure it out. That’s part of digital literacy, and we should have our students experience this too.

So, here’s my idea in a nutshell–provide links to online tutorials for students to learn how to use the tool, add scaffolding and support through discussion boards and synchronous meetings (use Google Hangout), solve problems, and in the process your students will learn valuable skills. The added bonus to this plan is saving yourself a ton of time–creating tutorials (whether static or dynamic) is eliminated and the need to always create new ones (because you can be assured the tool will change). I’m so smart.


Finally, Chris tells us the story of how he found the perfect person to design some PowerPoint slides for him, using oDesk. This is a great segment, so don’t miss it!

Thanks for your feedback!

We’d like to hear from you, so send us your ideas, comments, whatever. We’d like to send a few shoutouts to the following fans:

  • Our CTP fans out there. Keep the comments coming on coolteachers.org
  • Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference
  • Edtech 501 Students
  • Tim Rocco and all my cool Techtoberfest friends in the Blaine Co. Schools.

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