presentation tools for teaching

21 Top Presentation Tools for Teachers

As repeated by me for years, PPT should not be the one and only. Here are some choices. Please consider that IMS delivers workshops, one-on-one sessions and class sessions on the applications listed below:

What Works on What Device

Tool Windows Mac iPad iPad App Chromebook Chromebook App Android
Android App
Animoto Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bunkr Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
Canva Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Clear Slide Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Creedoo Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
eMaze Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
Flowvella No Yes Yes No No No No No
Goanimate Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Google Slides Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Haiku Deck Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Impress Yes Yes No No No Yes No No
Keynote No Yes Yes Yes No No No No
KnowledgeVision Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
MoveNote Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
PearDeck Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
PowerPoint Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes
PowerPoint Online Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes
PowToon Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Prezi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Slidedog Yes No No No No No No No
Visme Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No

More on this topic at the IMS blog:

mobile video is growing

Mobile video advertising is growing three times as fast as spending on desktop video

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, BuzzFeed, and Snapchat videos are increasingly keeping audiences glued to their small screens, opening up new greenfield opportunities in advertising.

interactive boards versus tablets

I am repeating the fact below since as soon as the iPAD came out on the market. Pity that campus does not listen. Well, it is not the first fact I am sharing on campus and nobody listens.

“The functions of an interactive whiteboard can be mimicked with a large screen TV and a Chromecast device, which also allows teachers to use any device available whether it’s a document camera, phone, iPad or other tablet.”

Video Storytelling in Social Media Marketing

Video Storytelling in Social Media Marketing

#1: Post Stories From Your Customers

#2: Create a Fictional Series

#3: Tell Personal Stories

#4: Shoot Documentary-Style Video

#5: Interview Guests

#6: Take Viewers Behind the Scenes

#7: Create Animated Stories

#8: Show Viewers How to Do Something

Other Stories to Tell With Video

There are a lot of interesting ways to integrate storytelling into your social videos. In addition to those featured above, here are some other stories that are well suited for video:

  • Create a single video or a series of videos to highlight humorous situations related to your business or industry.
  • If your company’s beginnings would make an interesting story, have the founder tell that story on video.
  • Are your employees involved in interesting activities or challenges? Consider featuring those stories in your social videos.
  • Tell a fictional but realistic story on video to educate viewers about your industry.
  • Find a way to combine reality TV–style video with something relevant to your audience.

DGBL and digital literacies

Digital game-based learning levels up digital literacies

My note: excellent Australian article, which presents a very strong point on digital literacies (metaliteracies, see URL below) from educators (versus library) perspective. Connected with game-based learning, it clearly renders the traditional perspective of information literacy as miniscules and the notion of digital literacy being “information literacy on steroids” as obsolete. It clearly shows that the “xxx-literacies” are clearly not a domain of the librarians and if the librarians do not wised up and allow other faculty who are “not librarians” to equally participate, they might well count with those faculty going on their own (as it is transparent from this article).

connections will be made between  digital game-based learning and digital literacies to show that digital game-based learning is a powerful pedagogy that incorporates the elements of digital literacies. Through the adoption of game-based learning, digital literacies can be taught in context. Digital literacies are the skills that connect the learning content (curriculum) and digital games are the platform that these digital literacies can be practised within a meaningful context.

Digital literacies is an umbrella term that includes a combination of literacies – visual literacy, media literacy, collaborative literacy, ICT literacy, information literacy – that are needed to take an active, participatory role in life, now and in the future (Hague & Payton, 2010, p. 2).

Bawden (2008), cites Gilster (1997), who defines digital literacy as “an ability to understand and use information from a variety of digital sources and regard it as literacy in the digital age” (p.18).

Jisc, identify in their Digital Literacy Guide that it is a concept that is contextual and it is not static.  Change is imminent as new technologies develop “at breakneck speeds” (Becker, 2011, p. 76), therefore, it can be inferred the digital literacies required to use these new technologies need to be adaptable and flexible to these changes (Haste, 2009).

Cooper, Lockyer & Brown (2013), highlight this plurality by using the term “multiliteracies” which can be understood as synonymous with digital literacies.  Cooper et al. (2013), explain multiliteracies is required as a “broader view of literacy” (p. 94), is needed as a result of the diverse range of communications tools, therefore, context is implied.  Ng (2012) also highlights this idea that digital literacy is “the multiplicity of literacies associated with the use of digital technologies” (p. 1066).  The combination of multiliteracies and technologies would also suggest that multimodality is an important element of digital literacy (McLoughlin, 2011) .

7 elements of digital literacy in their Developing Digital Literacies Guide (2014), which can be seen below.

DGBL and digital literacy


digital games (Pivec & Pivec, 2011), which can also be called computer games (Whitton, 2011), video games (Turkay, Hoffman, Kinzer, Chantes & Vicari, 2014) or serious games (Arnab et al., 2012) rather than gamification.

Digital game-based learning then is using digital games in the learning environment with the purpose of achieving learning aligned with learning theory.

Cognitive constructivism is a learning theory that game-based learning could be aligned (Orr & McGuinness, 2014; St-Pierre, 2011).  This learning theory builds upon the theories of Piaget and Bruner, therefore, an important consideration in the digital game-based classroom would be that choosing games needs to fit the age and level of intellectual development the students are at (St-Pierre, 2011).

A major focus of the socio-constructivist learning theory is that of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (St-Pierre, 2011).  The learning is designed “just beyond what the learner can do” (Orr & McGuinness, 2014, p. 223) and takes them beyond where their knowledge already exists.

More on digital literacy (metaliteracy) and DGBL in this IMS blog:

big data and student academic performance

Researchers use an app to predict GPA based on smartphone use

Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin have developed an app that tracks smartphone activity to compute a grade point average that’s within 0.17 of a point.

More on Big Data in education in this blog:

Google Keep

Google Keep

After yesterday’s post about making the most of Google Keep I received a few emails from readers wanting to know a bit more about how Google Keep works. To answer those questions I recorded the short video that you see embedded below (click here if you cannot see the video).

grants for games

Jumpstarting Innovation in Education Technology through SBIR

The U.S. Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research program, operated out of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), funds projects to develop education technology products designed to support student learning and teacher practice in general or special education.

Recently, ED/IES SBIR announced its 2015 awards. There are 21 awards in all, covering a range of topics and forms of technology. For example, Zaption is designing a mobile app to help teachers integrate video into science instruction; Speak Agent is building an app to help students with speech disabilities to communicate; and Lingo Jingo is developing a platform to help teachers guide English learners. (To view short video demos of the eight new Phase II projects, see this playlist.)

The 2015 awards highlight two trends that have emerged in the ED/IES SBIR portfolio in recent years –games for learning and bridging the research-to-practice gap in education.

Trend #1: Games for Learning

  • Strange Loop Games to build a virtual world to engage students in learning about ecosystems,
  • Kiko Labs to develop mini games to strengthen young children’s thinking and memory skills, and
  • Schell Games to create a futuristic “ball and stick” molecular modeling kit and app to augment chemistry learning.

For a playlist including videos of these games and 19 others out of the ED/IES SBIR program, see here.

The games for learning trend echoes the movement surrounding games in the field, and is highlighted by recent ED sponsored events including ED Games Week in Washington, DC, last September and the Games for Learning Summit in New York City, in April. Both events convened stakeholders to showcase games and discuss the potential barriers and opportunities for collaboration necessary to accelerate the creation of highly effective games for learning. Stay tuned for more information and initiatives on games for learning out of ED’s Office of Technology.

Trend #2: Bridging the Research-to-Practice Gap

  • Mindset Works, which built on results from prior research including a 2002 IES research grant, to successfully propose a 2010 ED/IES SBIR project to develop SchoolKit. This multimedia platform enables broad distribution of the growth mindset intervention which teaches students to understand that intelligence can be developed through effort and learning. SchoolKit is now in use in more than 500 schools across the country, including half the middle schools in Washington, DC.
  • Teachley, which received a 2013 ED/IES SBIR award to develop math game apps and a teacher implementation dashboard building on findings from prior research including a 2010 IES research grant. The intervention is now used in hundreds of schools around the country, and the apps have been downloaded more than 500,000 times.
  • Learning Ovations is building on two prior IES research grants in their 2014 ED/IES SBIR project. The prior IES funding supported the research team as they developed and evaluated an intervention to improve children’s reading outcomes,. This award is supporting the development of an implementation platform to enable large-scale use of this evidence-based intervention across settings. The project is scheduled to end in 2016, after which the platform will be launched.

The new ED/IES SBIR 2015 awards continue the research-to-practice trend. An award to Foundations in Learning furthers basic research from a 2013 National Science Foundation grant (NSF); an award to SimInsights builds on 2005 and 2008 IES research projects and a 2011 Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) research project; and an award to Apprendris advances a prior 2012 IES research project and  prior 2010 and 2013 NSF research projects.

More on Zaption in this blog:

More on games and gamification in this blog:

alternatives to lecturing

50 Alternatives To Lecturing

Learning Models

1. Self-directed learning

2. Learning through play

3. Scenario-based learning

4. Game-based learning (

5. Project-based learning (

6. Peer-to-Peer instruction

7. School-to-school instruction (using Skype in the classroom, for example)

8. Learning through projects

9. Problem-based learning

10. Challenge-based learning

11. Inquiry-based learning

12. Mobile learning

13. Gamified learning (gamification)

14. Cross-curricular projects (teaching by topic:

15. Reciprocal Teaching

16. “Flipped-class” learning

17. Face-to-Face Driver blended learning

18. Rotation blended learning

19. Flex Blended Learning

20. “Online Lab” blended learning

21. Sync Teaching

23. HyFlex Learning

24. Self-guided MOOC

25. Traditional MOOC

26. Competency-Based Learning

27. Question-based learning

Literacy Strategies

28. Write-Around

29. Four Corners

30. Accountable Talk

31. RAFT Assignments

32. Fishbowl

33. Debate

34. Gallery Walk

35. Text Reduction

36. Concentric Circles

37. Traditional Concept-Mapping (teacher-given strategy–“fishbone” cause-effect analysis, for example)

38. Didactic, Personalized Concept Mapping (student designed and personalized for their knowledge-level and thinking patterns)

39. Mock Trial

40. Non-academic video + “academic” questioning

41. Paideia Seminar (,,

42. Symposium

43. Socratic Seminar (

44. QFT Strategy

45. Concept Attainment

46. Directed Reading Thinking Activity

47. Paragraph Shrinking

48. FRAME Routine

49. Jigsaw Strategy


50. Content-Based Team-Building Activities

51. Learning Simulation

52. Role-Playing

53. Bloom’s Spiral

54. Virtual Field Trip (

55. Physical Field Trip

56. Digital Scavenger Hunt  (

57. Physical Scavenger Hunt