Blogs are a dime-a-dozen these days…
How’s this one different?
We’ll start with Powerpoint, because most teachers know of it, know how to use it, and generally are satisfied with the toll. But as the blog progresses we’ll be moving more toward the use of other tools, some of which are similar to Powerpoint, or specialized plugins for Powerpoint, or aren’t like Powerpoint at all, but may let you create one-odd digital handouts. The common element of these other tools is that they all provide you and your students with online interactive capabilities.
Many of these tools are free, some are not. Some are easily mastered in an hour or two, others may take you a while which to feel comfortable. Since we’ve got to start somewhere, Powerpoint’s it! For a while, anyway.
We’ll show you how to use PowerPoint better than you currently are, especially in the areas of graphics, audio, and video use, and the animation of these screen elements. There’s much that PowerPoint can do on its own, and for that reason, we’ll ﬁrst concentrate our eﬀorts in how to use it more eﬀectively.
But we’ll also make you hungry enough to go beyond PowerPoint! There’s a world of development tools that you’ll find exciting to learn and use in your instruction.
Video Intro: What This Blog WILL Do
Please note that these videos are linked to my textbook Developing Online Instruction Designing and Building Online Presentations and Interactions for Courses, Classes, and Units. So, some of the media elements — mostly the video — may mention the words “text” or “book.” What you are seeing in each post is an updated “page” from that eText. We’ll also show you how to use other tools in combination with PowerPoint so you can seriously spiﬀ up what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it.
Based on this, we’re assuming that you already know the basics of PowerPoint, and have the tool. If you haven’t already, we’re proposing that you upgrade to the 2013 or a later version of PowerPoint.
Part of our discussions will also lay out the order in which you’ll piece things together using these tools; this process is called a workﬂow and will be detailed in a few weeks… And, in terms of modeling good examples, we’ll look at the diﬀerent types of multimedia-based instructional products you can produce with a bit of experience.
In fact, by the end of this blog, you’ll be producing such digital interactions.
Finally, the remaining purpose of this blog is to curate available information on a topical basis and place it in a form that is easily digestible for you the reader. Mitch Kapoor once quipped that getting information from the internet was like “standing in front of a ﬁrehose.” Actually, it’s worse than that these days.
So, we’re using the format of online magazines, in which are collected articles, videos, graphics, and infographics that will let you, the reader, access more detailed information related to a particular topic. These are related to the topic of each post, and are placed at the end of the post under the heading of “Extra Credit.” You can access each with a single-click, then bookmark the magazine if you find it interesting and relevant.
A Note on the Use of Wikipedia
Wikipedia can be a great source of information, as long as it’s used cautiously. In this text, I link to numerous topics in Wikipedia. Most of these topics seem fine in terms of the validity of their content. A couple may be suspicious, but you’re told that at the heading of the topic. You’re an adult, so reader beware…
There is so much information being produced on a daily basis–great ideas, new tools, novel instructional practices–that it’s just about impossible for one person to keep up. This does not bode well for the instructional designer just starting a career, or the K-12 teacher, or college faculty trying to ﬁgure out where to start their entry into the digital world. Drowning in information is not a very productive way of starting a new career! In fact, writing this text was somewhat akin to my standing in the torrent and ﬂipping out a spoonful of gems now and then, hoping they would land somewhere where I could ﬁnd them later. This is called “curation.”
Copy the link from your Browser URL and email it to a colleague who may be interested!
Click each graphic to see more information in the format of an online magazine!
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