August 2, 2010
MS PowerPoint is a great presentation tool but I often advise against teachers using it. It’s nothing to do with Microsoft or compatibility. Even the iPad can show PowerPoints so if Steve Jobs says they’re ok…
The reason (mega-corp rantings aside) I advise not to use it is often educators will want to link to a web page or resource and PowerPoint tends to be unpredictable about how it handles that link. Because you present from PowerPoint fullscreen sometimes when you click a link to open a web page it pops up behind the presenation.
If only there was a way, some sort of plugin for PowerPoint that allowed you to view web pages in a slide, just like a movie. Oh wait…
LiveWeb is a free Add-In for our favourite presentation tool (yes I got fed up typing PowerPoint) that once installed allows you to view web pages just like videos. You can even link to documents on your computer (although it is a little awkward).
Personally I’d love it if the designer would add an internet toolbar so you could go backwards and forwards move easily, but other than that, this is a great tool and very handy in presentations.
June 30, 2010
Have you thought about getting a Wii for your classroom?
I know one the face of it it may seem daft, but think about it; Nintendo Wii’s come with a web browser, are easy to connect to the internet and can play flash files.
For £140, they are about a third of the price of a desktop or laptop computer, have a wireless controller and there are dozens of websites out there offering flash games designed to be played on a Wii.
Also, the Wii-motes are cheap wireless, gyro-mice. A gyromouse is a great way to move away fro mthe whiteboard and teach from any where in the classroom, they can be used in mid-air or on a table like a normal mouse, but they cost £80 each! The Wii-mote can be connected to your PC via bluetooth and operate in exactly the same way. They only cost £35 and your kids already know how to use them.
One final thought, one of our Modern Foreign Languages teachers buy Spanish games when she’s on holiday. They are the same games as can be bought in this country, but in Spanish. During lessons her students get the chance to play these games, but have to translate as they go along. That’s a clever bit of immersion.