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Interactive presentations: a round-up
Sometimes it’s just hard to know.
When you look at the faces around you, in your audience or your classroom, or increasingly, in remote spaces with folks you cannot see, you just don’t really know if anyone is with you. What do they understand? What are the issues? If they are on their devices, are they taking thoughtful notes or shopping for shoes?
If you are presenting, what do folks really think about your message? Have you engaged them? Do they agree with your points? To what degree? What other ideas might your audience or team have?
If you are flipping, did they watch your lesson? Have they learned? Where do they stand on the issues? What questions remain? What new ideas are emerging?
I used to mash up a bunch of platforms to get the feedback I craved. Now, a number of programs address the notion that our presentation and lessons need not be one-way events and they do it all, eliminating the need for mashup.
Here’s a round-up of relatively new interactive presentation discoveries that should work for you, your students, your administrators, your faculty, your team and all other types of audience:
Zeetings: This attractive, web-based platform enables users to simply interact with audiences by enhancing PowerPoints and PDFs with video, web content, images and polls. Presentations may be broadcast. Audience members who have the code, may participate from their own devices anywhere, synchronously or asynchronously. No need to login, no need to download anything. Poll options include: thumbs up/down, multiple choice, scale or rank.
Swipe: Swipe’s goal is to help you turn presentations into real-time conversations. Drag and drop or upload files of nearly any type –PDFs, photos, video from YouTube, Vimeo–and combine them with your own slides. Users may create responsive slides from scratch in the Swipe editor. It’s easy to scootch or reorder content. Share your presentation with anyone anywhere with the link conveniently available under the title. Presentations are collaborative. With permission, other users edit a shared presentation in real-time. A variety of permissions options allow for levels of collaboration.
Officemix: This add-on to the Microsoft Office suite enables users to add questions, polls, video and more to create more interactive Powerpoint presentations. You can easily screencast your presentations with flexible narration and video features. The platform should work as well for student presentations as professional presentations and flipped instruction. And, because it capitalizes on everyone’s familiarity with and the robust presentation features of the Powerpoint platform, this is likely to be a very easy sell in professional development and with classroom teachers. Note: Officemix is not yet available for Mac. Also note: Microsoft Sway presents yet another interactive report/presentation/storytelling option, based on a modern, media-rich canvas rather than slides.
Nearpod: Create a presentation in the platform, upload an existing presentation or use one from an impressive and growing library of ready-to-use instructional content. Nearpod allows you to be on the same page as your students and to interact with them when they join you on their tablets and other devices. The platform accepts your existing Powerpoints, Google slides or PDFs and allows you to add audio and video and the ability to turn that content into multimedia, interactive lessons. Use in either synchronized (live) mode or self-paced mode for homework. The magic is in the activities you add–open ended questions, polls, quizzes or drawings.
Pear Deck: Designed for the classroom, Pear Deck integrates beautifully with Google apps and Google Classroom, making it easy to create and store interactive lessons directly from/in your Google Drive. Teachers receive real-time, anonymous data for assessing class progress or checking for opinions or understanding. Slides come in a variety of flavors: multiple choice, free response text or number, freehand drawing. It’s easy to embed images (using a Google Image Search) and YouTube videos into slides.
These next three are fabulously interactive and fun alternatives to clickers, offering the easy ability to share student progress, scan for understanding, get quick exit tickets, poll and gauge reactions, though they are not actually presentation platforms:
Kahoot is a class gamification option offering a global community that shares public Kahoots.
Socrative: Offering multiple chose and short answer responses, including an addictive space race competition, this platform easily engages a class or audience.
This Symbaloo shares easy access to these tools.
About Joyce Valenza
Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza
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