A step towards better student presentations?


Voki is an online app which allows users to create an avatar to deliver presentations for them (like the example on the right).  You could use this yourself as part of an approach to flipped learning, for example by getting the avatar to explain a task.  Alternatively, you could get the students to create avatars which deliver presentations on their behalf.

Potential benefits:

  • It might encourage students to think more carefully about the oral delivery of presentations.
  • It may help them to build their confidence in writing the oral part of their presentation, and to become more confident about delivering this themselves in due course.
  • It’s a bit of fun.

Potential drawback:

  • The students may well spend far longer choosing the face, hair, etc for their avatar than thinking about what it actually needs to say.

This app was designed with educational use in mind and is entirely free to use – provided you don’t mind there being significant limitations on what you can do.  As always, to really get the best out of anything claiming to be free, you need to pay for an upgrade.  To find out more about it, and maybe give it a go, click here.



Using images

It is getting easier and easier for teachers to access high-quality images online for use in presentations, displays, hand-outs, tasks sheets, web pages, etc.  However, many of these are subject to copyright, and it is important not to abuse this.  Here are a few tips on how to get this right.

If you are searching for an image on Google, you can use the “Search Tools” to be discerning about usage rights – select the option “labelled for re-use”, as shown here [click to enlarge]:


This website offers copyright-free images.

Here you can find a list of websites which provide access to copyright-free images.

A further image database and information regarding their public use can be found here.

For blogs and websites, you might like to use “Compfight” to find copyright-free images.  Type in your search term(s) and then select an image from below the faint line across the screen.  You can use this image for free in your work, provided you credit the source.


Powerpoints looking a little tired? Give yourself a prezi!

Prezi is an online tool for creating presentations which are a lot less linear and a bit more imaginative than Powerpoints.  If you work or study in an educational establishment, you get a pretty good package absolutely free.  Click here to see an example of a prezi we have prepared all about Learning@Loreto, and here for a link to the prezi website.


For information on over 40 other online presentation tools, click here.

A tool for creating lively video presentations


Why is it that pupils are better at listening to videos than listening to teachers? However annoying this may be, why not turn it to your advantage by creating (and preserving for repeated use) a video which says exactly what the students need to hear. PowToon lets you do exactly that. You’ve probably been shown a PowToon clip at some point yourself (a distinctive feature of this is a hand writing up key words, but you don’t have to include that!). So why not find out how to create your own? This is another web organisation which offers you a free start, and then hopes you will be happy to pay for a bigger and better service, but the free component is pretty impressive. Click here to start creating your own films, or click here for an example of a short film created using Powtoons.

A useful tool when giving presentations

If you or your students are giving a presentation, and especially if it is being filmed, you can set up your very own autocue. All you need to do is type or paste your text into the browser, experiment with the speed at which you want it to move up the screen, and away you go. Try it here. No sign-up required.