Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Life Changing Information for Presentation Creators (and Viewers)

If you are ever going to create a presentation again (and COME ON, you know you will!), you must read at least this article. Wow. My life will never be the same!
Here are some more quotes and reflections from several different articles on the same topic:
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Ideas about how to "Slick Up" or Modernize Presentations:
Use visuals on slides only as visual assists to viewers, very little text. Talk conversationally not about the text on the slide but let the content on the slide serve as a visual reinforcement to what you are saying.
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This:











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Instead of this:











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Ultimately, we'd end up with the slide on the bottom right:

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"The best slides may have no text at all. This may sound insane given the dependency of text slides today, but the best PowerPoint slides will be virtually meaningless with out the narration (that is you). Remember, the slides are meant to support the narration of the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous."

"You know how Stephen Colbert does “The Wørd?” He directly addresses the audience while “slides” appear next to his head acting as a kind of Greek chorus. He not only doesn’t acknowledge the slides — they often contradict exactly what he is saying. (This is what makes this — as we say in the business — “funny”)
I’m not suggesting your slides should undermine you, but consider sometimes showing images and text that make an orthogonal point to what you’re saying aloud to the audience at that moment. Let them discover the point (or the joke) without you leaning on it."

"Let the slide serve your message, rather than letting you (and your personality and timing) be governed by the slide. That’s ‘death,’ and that’s “The Wørd.”
"Many people often say something like this: "Sorry I missed your presentation. I hear it was great. Can you just send me your PowerPoint slides?" But if they are good slides, they will be of little use without you. Instead of a copy of your PowerPoint slides, it is far better to prepare a written document which highlights your content from the presentation and expands on that content. Audiences are much better served receiving a detailed, written handout as a takeaway from the presentation, rather than a mere copy of your PowerPoint slides. If you have a detailed handout or publication for the audience to be passed out after your talk, you need not feel compelled to fill your PowerPoint slides with a great deal of text."

Use high quality professionally edited graphics like the thumbnail slides below:


Interesting perspective on how to organize and what to present. It's obviously meant for business but fits well with many presentations.

1. Problem
2. Your solution
3. Business model
4. Underlying magic/technology
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projections and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Finally a reason to buy a Mac? We could use Keynote: http://www.apple.com/iwork/keynote/ Looks pretty cool.

What presentation skills can we learn from Stephen Colbert?: http://www.43folders.com/2007/08/23/better-presentations

"You know how Stephen Colbert does “The Wørd?” He directly addresses the audience while “slides” appear next to his head acting as a kind of Greek chorus. He not only doesn’t acknowledge the slides — they often contradict exactly what he is saying. (This is what makes this — as we say in the business — “funny”)
I’m not suggesting your slides should undermine you, but consider sometimes showing images and text that make an orthogonal point to what you’re saying aloud to the audience at that moment. Let them discover the point (or the joke) without you leaning on it."

"Let the slide serve your message, rather than letting you (and your personality and timing) be governed by the slide."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kaltura is a nice replacement for PhotoStory

Once you embed the Kaltura code on your site (blog, web page, wiki, etc.), you and whomever you choose can work on the video directly from your site. No downloads are required.

Kaltura allows the addition of videos AND photos, multiple soundtracks (one could be a narration and the other a song, like Photo Story), has a storyboard video editing format, and is pretty easy to use. This tool seems to provide a great replacement for Photo Story on XTenda computers (since Microsoft only allows Windows Server 2003 on XTendas and PStory won't work on that OS). In addition, users gain the ability to collaborate (unlike PStory) and to add videos (though I can't get a wmv file format video to play) AND photos as well as a tool that requires no download. Since it's on the web, it can be used on the WebPC (if that link didn't open in FoxIt, you're missing out) or on any computer in the world. Uploads are fast too, and Kaltura converts the file types for the user automatically. Transitions between photos are available and under the control of the users. Nice job Kaltura!

Click here to create your own Kaltura account and video. (Totally free.)

Kaltura: Video Creation and Collaboration Example

KalturaKaltura



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coolest New Computer: The WebPC

Until very recently, there has not been a viable hardware option for high-stakes testing. Standard computers take up too much space, use too much electricity, and are too costly to maintain and support. Traditional notebook computers arbattery lives of 2-4 hours and are even more costly to maintain and support than desktop PCs. Beadvantages, The WebPC is the perfect tool for many applications, such as . . . • Teacher use for daily documentation (ARI, AMI) • Student use for technology integration, project based learning, research, presentations, etc. • Online testing . . .

Click the link for more!

Making Sense of Free Web 2.0 Tools

Best of the Web>Web2.0 Database from Conroe I.S.D.
(right click links and choose "Open in new tab or new window to get rid of the frame).


SaaS: Cloudware
(also Web 2.0 Tools)

Applications similar to those on traditional PC but run on web server, may be used as personal (not collaborative) but have EXTENSIVE collaborative capacities.
Google Docs: Office suite
(Example: Create a spreadsheet and share it as a form, send the link to users or embed code. Users fill out form and add data to your spreadsheet.)
http://docs.google.com/
Zoho: Office suite
http://www.zoho.com/

ThinkFree: Office suite
(Voted Best Free Online Office Suite by Computer World)
http://www.thinkfree.com/

Scribd: Free Online Unlimited File Storage, Upload, Share, Explore
http://www.scribd.com/

Animoto: Free video creation with music and pictures.
http://www.animoto.com/

“Traditional” Web 2.0*
Focus on Networking and Collaboration/Participation
Wikis
(read, contribute, comment, debate)
http://www.wikispaces.com/

Blogs: Blogger (Google), MSN Spaces, Live Journal, etc.
(read, comment, publish, debate)
http://www.blogger.com/

Social Netorking Sites: MySpace, Facebook, Orkut
http://www.orkut.com/

Photo Sharing/Networking: Flikr, Picasa (Google)
download, upload, view, tag photos
http://www.flikr.com/

Voicethread: Blog combined with Slideshow
Add a picture or movie file, then record yourself talking about it. Others can add their voices to your production. Can be used as a slideshow, embedded in webpage, similar to Photo Story with narration.
http://www.voicethread.com/

Rich Internet Applications
(Also Web 2.0)

The user interacts with a website without downloading software. The user can customize the page/view/information.

BeFunky: Create your own avatar, cartoonize any photo
http://www.befunky.com/

MusicPlasma:
Find music, movies, etc. that are interesting to you
http://musicplasma.com/

Gliffy: Create Complex Organizational Flowcharts/Diagrams, basic account free
http://www.gliffy.com/

Optimal Sort: Organizational tool
http://www.optimalsort.com/pages/homebx.html

Visit http://technology.conroeisd.net, click Best of the Web, then Click “Web 2.0” for an ever-growing list of links
*Web 1.0: The web as a one way application where “viewers” receive information but do not manipulate or publish information.