What is Power Point? (adapted from wikipedia) Microsoft Office Power Point is a presentation program developed for computers. In PowerPoint text, graphics, movies, music, and other objects are inserted on individual pages or “slides”. You can make a Power Point presentation for any topic and customize it with text, graphics, and music to engage the audience.
Why use Power Point in the Classroom? Power Point is particularly helpful when used in the classroom as it can “hook” the learner and make learning more fun. When using PPT’s set to music you can time your slide transitions and advance the slides automatically so there is no need for you to be right next to your computer when the show plays. PPT’s also support the use of animations; you can animate objects in PPT or insert movie clips to make your presentations more fun.
I want to learn how to use PPT, where do I start?
How do you use PPT in the classroom? I use Power Points in my classroom on a daily basis. I show our Days of the Week song daily as well as many other educational songs to go with our themes, see the resources sections below for examples. Power Points are also great for vocabulary, especially for ELL students.
What is Photo Story? (adapted from wikipedia) Microsoft Photo Story is a free application that allows users to create a show and tell presentation from their digital photos. The software allows the user to add narration and background music to create a Windows Media Video movie file with transitions and pan and zoom effects. Once a photo story has been made it can be played on Windows Media Player or burned to a DVD or CD. You can find a link to download Microsoft Photo Story for free in the resources section below.
Why use Photo Story in the classroom? The reasons for using Photo Story are similar to those of using Power Point, however there are some significant differences, Photo Stories are “hands free” and support narration. A Photo Story can be viewed without explanation or a narrator. The creator can pre-record narration for each slide and upload the Photo Story to a website or burn it to CD or DVD to be viewed by anybody at any time, the slides blend together using pan and zoom effects and automatically advance to give the finished product a more “movie like” appearance. A Photo Story is a great way to showcase something you have been working on in class with your students or to communicate with parents.
I want to learn how to use Photo Story, where do I start?
How do you use Photo Story in your classroom?
I have used Photo Story in my classroom with the parents. I have created an Orientation/Welcome to School Photo Story to show to parents at our “Meet the Teacher” night so I won’t get flustered and forget what I want to say (you can view it here). It is hands free and pre-recorded so I can just stand back with no worries. Also, I uploaded this Photo Story to my website for any parents who weren’t able to attend our Meet the Teacher event. Parents who do not have internet access, or new parents can sit and watch the video right in the classroom on my computer so we don’t lose any instructional time.
I have also created a Photo Story about how parents can help their children at home. We used to show a PPT during a parent meeting, but only about half the parents could attend so I found myself repeating the presentation over and over again. I would also lose track of what I was saying or forget certain segments entirely. With Photo Story I was able to insert digital pictures of the different homework activities and narrate each slide with the exact words I wanted to say. The finished project allows me to show the Photo Story on the night of our event, hands and worry free. Just like the Meet the Teacher story I can upload it my website for those who were not able to attend or I can save it to my computer and show it to parents who weren’t able to attend without using up a lot of my valuable time. It’s also great for students who enroll in our class later in the year.
I also create Photo Stories to use as instructional tools in the classroom with the students, this is very addicting! I created one explaining how to wash your hands, the rules of our classroom, as well as several to accompany our favorite songs or stories. Obviously, I can’t share the ones that have stories or songs due to copyright issues. The biggest advantage of using Photo Story over Power Point in the classroom is that the audio is embedded in a Photo Story and not in a PPT. Having the audio embedded makes it so much easier to show the presentation on any computer without a lot of hoops to jump through.
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