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Friday, November 19, 2010

'Master Class' THING 2: Prezi

ZOOMING presentations! Have you heard of this? Zooming presentations are the latest in the slideshow revolution, and Prezi is leading the way in rethinking how people conceptualize, construct, and present ideas to audiences. Instead of creating a linear framework of consecutive ideas, Prezi allows you to create a bigger picture of a main idea and then connect it to other ideas, laying it out spatially in a way that makes sense to the creator. What the what? Confused yet? Let's take a look at a Prezi that I created about student swearing at RB (don't worry if you can't read all of the data on my charts- it is much more readable on a full screen!):

Here is another Prezi explaning why we might reconsider slideshows:

Now it's your turn! Set up a Prezi account and create a presentation to share. Your presentation can be about anything, for any audience. Before you jump in and get started, I HIGHLY recommend that you watch the Basic Lessons #1, 2 and 3, which are only 5-10 minutes long. FYI: Wendy C. and Allison C. both had students create Prezis for their Big6 research project final products, so they might be helpful resources.

Once you have created your Prezi, either embed (ideal!) or provide the link in your Thing 2 post. Good luck, and Happy Zooming!

To complete Thing 2:
  • Create a Prezi account.
  • Create a Prezi.
  • Embed or add the link in your Thing 2 post.
  • View the Prezis of at least 3 other Master Class members.
  • Comment on the Thing 2 posts of the 3 Master Class members' Prezis you viewed.
  • Post about your experiences using Prezi. How steep was the learning curve? Could you see yourself using this with classes? Does it compare positively or negatively with PowerPoint? Will you ever zoom again?
Note: Thing 3 will be posted on or around December 10th!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Lite Edition' THING 2: Cloud Computing

Do you ever find yourself working on a document, spreadsheet or PowerPoint at home and wishing there was an easier way to access it at school, or vice-versa? Have you ever lost a flash drive (I know our students have!) or had your computer crash, erasing all of your work? Or have you ever had to work on a group project and had to email a document around and around so everyone could edit? So cumbersome! Google Docs is a Web 2.0 application that is part of the new wave of "cloud computing", where documents are saved in a "cloud" (on a server somewhere), and can be accessed from any computer around the world. This "Thing" is especially timely because very soon all RB students will have Google accounts of their very own!

Watch these videos for a quick explanation:

And just for fun since we ARE working in a high school :0

I've created a document called 17 Things Lite Edition Ideas, where I've asked people to add an idea for how we could use some of these Web 2.0 tools in a school setting. I have saved it as a "Public" document that ANYONE can edit, just to make it easier for this exercise, but you can also choose to allow only certain people editing rights. Open this document and add an idea or two.

I've also created a shared calendar , which has dates for the posting of each Thing, voluntary work sessions, and the final due date.

To complete Thing 2:
  • Add an idea or two to the 17 Things Lite Edition Ideas shared document.
  • Create a Google Document- it could be a worksheet, lesson plan, rubric, etc. Make sure you change its status to either "Public" or "Anyone with the link can view", and post the link to your document in your Thing 2 post.
  • Create a 5-slide-minimum Google Presentation explaining to students/parents why Google Docs (or cloud computing in general) is educationally beneficial. Make sure you change your presentation's status to either "Public" or "Anyone with the link can view", and post the link to your slideshow in your Thing 2 post.
  • Reflect on your experience using Google Docs and Calendar. Now that all students will have Google accounts, how can you see yourself using these tools with classes?
Note: Thing 3 will be posted on or around December 10th!