Making PowerPoint INTERACTIVE Easliy With ActiveOffice

Microsoft PowerPoint

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I have always been a big fan of cross platform integration.  Many times I have worked with programs and wished I could blend applications together seamlessly to create projects and lessons. Well, finally there is an integration that just makes sense.

Promethean is now offering  what they call an ActivOffice application that will integrate their software, ActiveInspire/ActiveStudio with Microsoft’s PowerPoint.  This feature will place a toolbar within PowerPoint that will allow you to access many of the features of the Active software.  With this extension in PowerPoint you will be able to incorporate Promethean LRS student devices to assess learning by quickly and easily by  adding questions and importing questions for assessment. This software also allows you to display these results within PowerPoint. ActiveOffice will also provide you the ability to annotate on PowerPoint slides and save them for later presentations. ActivOffice will provide instructors the ability to create interactive presentations within PowerPoint.

For more information on this great application take a look at Promethean Planet at the following links.

 

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Reducing Frustration in Secondary Students with Technology

I have found that you can often reduce frustration in secondary students by using technology in a secondary nature. For instance, I may have the students create a PowerPoint presentation on a Native American tribe. They will research the first few days in the library looking for information. Then they will get a day or two in the computer lab to do research. When they are in the lab though, I have already found the websites for them to use and bookmarked them on their computers. Or I may have created a webpage and placed them on the webpage as a hyperlink. When they get to creating their PowerPoint presentation I have already created a template for their presentation in which they only tweak a few things and add the information that they have gathered.

Using technology in this nature does take more time for the teacher to develop but dramatically reduces the frustration level of the students. The focus also stays on the subject rather on how to use the technology. Students still get to spend time using and interact with technology and can build their knowledge over time.

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A Useful Diagram Tool for your Lesson Plans

Over the past week, I began using diagrammr in my classroom for a variety of tasks and have found it to be useful in many ways.  I have used it for directions in class, as students enter the room.  This program can be used for scaffolding for assignments, readings, and projects that they have been assigned.  It can chart the flow of reading assignments and demonstrates reading strategies.  I have also used it to create timelines for students for my history classes.  This tool is easy to use and share with students via the web, interactive board, Powerpoint, Prezi or any other electronic media.  The possibilities on the classroom are huge.  Students often need that direction to keep moving and learning in the classroom, and this tool will allow you to provide just enough guidance to keep them moving in the right direction.  Check it out at the address below:

http://www.diagrammr.com

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Prezi not just another online resource! Its useful!

So today after reading about Prezi and half heartedly looking at this new online resource, I decided to give it a try in class.  So I took the lesson I had created for today in Powerpoint and began the process of cutting and pasting and put all of the information into Prezi.  I found the process to create presentations to be surprisingly easy.  As a typical guy, I did not read any of the directions or watch any of the how-to videos that they provide and was able to create my lesson quite quickly.  The only issues that I ran into was that image files needed to be GIF format and videos in Flash format.

As I presented the information to the students, they seemed to enjoy the  presentation and were captivated by the zoom in and zoom out functions during the presentation.  As an added bonus, all of your presentations are kept online so that you can access them from anywhere.   Also this site allows you to embed these presentations into your class website and download them onto your computer.  I took sometime to show this to other faculty members, and they to thought that it would be a useful resource for presenting information to their perspective classes.  This is a resource that I know I will use again and recommend for other teachers.  It is simple to use and it enables you to create presentations quickly and easily.  So if you have not already, check out this resource at http://prezi.com.

Note: Teachers be sure to check out the discount rate they offer to upgrade to the pro version.