Helping our students find the right tools for the job is so important! When you are providing students with a "toolbox" of tools, you want to think of providing students with different ways to represent concepts and show what they know. If you remember my post last week, I had mentioned the story of one teacher, who requires her students to learn how to use specific tools from August to December. In January, she begins having her students use the best tool for the job.
Today I want to focus on presentation tools that I am going to introduce from September to December. What's in my toolbox?
- Prezi - this is a free web-based program that has been around for awhile; however, it is becoming easier to use and create web-based presentations. Students can use it individually or use it to create collaborative presentations. Prezi can be used on any device and anywhere there is an Internet connection. I also like that it automatically saves your presentation in the "cloud," meaning it saves it to the Internet and not a computer.
- Google Presentations - this is another free web-based program designed by Google. If you are familiar with PowerPoint, using Google Presentations on Google Drive is very similar. I often have students in my class work on collaborative assignments. Using Google makes it so much easier!
- VoiceThread - do you have students who struggle with putting ideas on paper, but can speak them? VoiceThread gives users the ability to create or contribute to class discussion through audio, webcam, pictures, or text. Recently, I took a graduate class, where my instructor created a VoiceThread prompt. Everyone had to respond to the prompt and introduce themselves! It was a really unique way of presenting information!
- Domo.GoAnimate - there is something about the power of humorous cartoons to get kids thinking! Domo GoAnimate is a free tool to help you create cartoons. Recently, I had my students review for a test by creating a review cartoon about class concepts. It really helped improve test scores and the kids had fun doing it!
- Wideo - this is a new tool that I am experimenting with. Wideo is an online animated video creation site, where users can create, edit, and share animated videos without very much experience. You can create high quality videos that contain your own images, backgrounds, and music to make a powerful statement! It made the cut!
How I Plan to Use These Tools:
As I have my students create various projects throughout the course of the first semester, I will require that they gain experience with all five platforms in September and October. Due to the nature of my course, I will most likely have more than five!
Once late October and early November happen, I will give my students options to use one or the other. For example, they may use PowerPoint or Prezi to create a presentation. As we get into the months of January and February, I will have students pick the right tool for the job. This could mean rethinking the way that I design my rubrics. I may need to rethink what I want to grade and what I do not want to grade. More about that later!
Join me next time, as we keep building our toolbox!