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July 05, 2016

Three Cool Online Tools for Engaging Presentations

Written by Deborah B. Ford

Adobe Spark babyAs I polished my Presentation Tools for the 21st Century workshop this morning, I also updated the 101+ (Mostly Free) Online Resources LiveBinder. With the ever-changing world of presentation tools, it seems impossible to keep up. However, AASL just released their new list of Best Websites and Apps for Teaching and Learning. There you’ll find a crossover of tools that are both website and apps. These vetted tools will help you whittle down the options. I, myself, am venturing out from PowerPoint and using one of last year’s tools for most of my presentations. It’s called Haiku Deck.

Haiku Deck is a great site (AASL 2015 approved) for creating professional looking presentations. Though there is now a cost ($10ish a month for schools), you’ll find it’s very easy to use. You have access to millions of creative commons images; you can also import your own photos. There are dozens of templates to use. I upgraded and am able to download my decks into PowerPoint to make additional changes and save or post it anywhere I like. You’ll find it under Digital Tools/Haiku Deck.

I also added Edu.Symbaloo.com to the 101+ LiveBinder. This curative tool is free for educators. Each tile links to a website. You can use Symbaloos that other educators have created or you can make your own. You can easily color-code them, move them around, or edit. With a Symbaloo button, you can add links on the go. Lots of librarians are using these as their homepage. Certainly they corral your websites so that kids stay on track. Websites open in new windows, so kids can easily find their way back to the starting line up. You’ll find it under Digital Tools/Edu.Symbaloo. View this quick tutorial to see how easy it is to use.

KateOne of my favorite new tools is Adobe Spark. It creates infopics with your own photos or use any of their free CC photos. In seconds you can create an amazing infopic to tweet or post. Take a picture at a conference and add the comment that you want to tweet. It will gain more ground than just the quote itself. The same pic can then be re-used on any social media or presentation. I took a picture of Kate DiCamillo at a breakfast. She said, “Stories give kids language to talk about things that matter.” I left white space around her, knowing I wanted to insert text. I went to Spark and typed in the words. It chose the font. I saved and posted the infopic. You’ll find it under Digital Tools/Adobe Spark.

For these and other digital tools, visit the 101+ (Mostly Free) Online Resources for Educators LiveBinder. Contact your account rep or me if you’re interested in bringing the new and improved workshop, Presentation Tools for the 21st Century to your library system or school district. Participants will learn:

1. Tips for improving your presentation skills

2. Strategies for using your presentation skills

3. New online tools for presenting, including how to make infopics and infographics

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Deborah B. Ford

Deborah B. Ford

Deborah B. Ford, JLG’s Director of Library Outreach, is an award-winning library media specialist and international speaker with almost thirty years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools. Traveling across North America, she does workshops, library coaching, and professional development for school and public libraries. Deborah is the author of JLG's Booktalks to Go @ SLJ. She also maintains an award-winning coordinating online resource at LiveBinders.com. Contact her at dford@juniorlibraryguild.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlgdeborahford.

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