Serif in Education

A plain presentation is a thing of the past

We know that good creativity comes from inspiration, so we like to provide teachers with ideas for creative ICT that link to the curriculum. One of our newest videos guides you through the new Rostrum camera in DrawPlus. Look at this really cool presentation slideshow that was built in DrawPlus:

Want to know how to make one yourself?

Well first, let us think about how we present things nowadays. At school, students don’t just hand in pieces of A4 paper. They often present things online. This (happily for us) has opened up new ways for students to practice their creativity. It’s not just about the content; it is also about how it is presented to its audience.

Can you believe that people have been producing computer-led presentations for more than 25 years? Wowing an audience with an effective presentation, rather than a few boring old slides full of text, enhances the delivery of the information you are trying to get across.

Studies show that 91% of listeners at business presentations admitted to daydreaming, and an impressive 39% admitted to downright falling asleep at some point! This gets even more interesting considering that we spend 37% of our time in meetings and presentations.

It is therefore important for students to understand why a presentation should be engaging, eye-catching and interactive, but also, how to put one together.

DrawPlus X8 is an accessible, high end vector drawing and animation programme that makes it possible for students to produce professional standard work in the classroom. The new Rostrum camera can be used to create eye catching, interactive presentations to communicate ideas in Computing and across the curriculum.

We have produced a video tutorial for teachers and students using the example of a presentation for Food Technology on ‘5 a day’. You can find it here:

The Rostrum camera is an easy way to animate. Students can take a regular document, like a poster or infographic, and choose an area to showcase slides, and in which order. In DrawPlus, use the rostrum camera tool and click on your page. A new slide will be added at the right shape for either a regular or wide screen. Position over the content and resize to zoom in or out, either to show content at its best or for a creative effect. Then simply click the + symbol to add the next slide and again position and resize it.

It is important for students to think about how their audience will view their presentation (and how they will capture their attention). The slides tab shows previews and offers customization controls. Once there are a few slides, students can customize their presentation. Change how slides progress by clicking the slide settings button and configuring the hold time. Transition time can be a set value, or automatic, which is based on distance between slides in the design.

Another control in slide settings allows slide content to be displayed all at once. Or progressively, based on document layers, or sequentially, giving strong focus to the newest content. Students can preview their presentation or slide show at any time in the built-in flash player or in the browser, a great way for students to check if any changes need to be made. They could also show each other, and gain feedback (positive or negative).

Deciding which files types to use, and thinking about cross-platform viewing, are important considerations for students. When saving their work, students can choose to save as a flash file with interactivity to advanced slides, or as an AVI or Quick Time movie, that can be streamed on tablets. And, when the final animation is complete, students can import their presentation to a WebPlus website or make it part of a larger video with more effects with MoviePlus, taking it cross-curricular.