Tuesday, March 18, 2014

23 Mobile Things: 13. Presentations

You guys. 13 gets kind of a bad rap. It's generally considered unlucky, but hey, let's give it its day. Well, I guess technically we give it a day every month, but you know what I mean. Today, on March 18, we'll celebrate 13 and all of its greatness.

Or at least one of its greatnesses. Y'know, for representing Thing 13 of 23 Mobile Things.


Woot! Who doesn't LOOOOOOVE a presentation?

*waits for no one to raise their hand*

Right, right. We've all sat through our fair share of horrible, boring, Death by PowerPoint presentations. They're so literal and regurgitative on the part of the presenter that you lament them for not having just sent their word for word bullet points in a "read on my own time" email.

And no, that little clip art dude telling me to 'not to forget' doesn't actually help me not to forget.

Thankfully, there appears to be a pretty strong revamping of presentation utilization. This revamp seems to strongly appreciates the significance of a striking image, the importance of minimal and high impact text, and a return to the importance of the orator to reach deep levels of learning.

Not only that, but the approach turns the presentation for our students from a copy and paste animation filled exercise in regurgitation into a creative and thoughtful way to demonstrate understanding.

In other words, the presentation CAN be an amazing tool (if it's used correctly).

For that reason, I'm pretty into Thing 13. Of course, each of these apps can be used 'the right way' and 'the wrong way,' but having tools that support the right way by their very nature is a nice start.

Take Haiku Deck for example. Haiku Deck by its very design encourages minimal text and focusing on a single, maximum-impact image.

Another recommendation of Thing 13 is Deck Slideshow Presentations. I hadn't tried this one before. After giving it a shot (for all of 5 minutes), I appreciate the interface. Super simple to use, and the app itself does all the design "heavy lifting."

I'll throw in a recommendation of my own that isn't listed as well. I recently presented Flowboard to my staff, and a few of them have tried it with kids. Again, it seems to be designed for a more simplistic presentation that focuses on learning via purposeful images and maximizing the limited text that you have available to you. Frankly, the interface isn't quite as user friendly as some other presentation tools on the iPad, but the results of the finished product are quite nice.

All in all, make presentations your friend. They can be.

Insider's Tip:
If you want to get really friendly with taking a "Zen" approach to creating presentations, talk to John U-F. The man's got a way of turning the presentation into an art form, expects the same of his kids, and has done a number of sessions on it that I've had the privilege of attending. It's a mix of psychology, simplicity, impact and beauty. Ommmmmmmmmm.

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