Every teacher knows that visual aids are a good way to facilitate the learning process and grab students’ attention for a long time. Educators use different posters, videos, slideshows to explain a new topic, provide more details or even test students. Presentations take a prominent part in the visual aids collection. Their main benefit is that teachers can combine various types of content in one presentation: text, images, video clips, music. Saved in a video format, presentations can be easily shown in class, uploaded to YouTube, embedded into a school website, or shared on any other educational resource.
Several years ago, teachers had a limited choice of software to create presentations. Namely, there was only one tool for all presentation needs: Microsoft PowerPoint. With it, educators created, edited, and showed their presentations to students. The software was often non-responding in the most crucial moment. To say more, unskilled users often corrupted PPT files, did undesired edits, and simply could not show their works in incompatible school PC operating systems. Only a couple years ago, Microsoft added the possibility to save presentations in popular video formats and upload to YouTube. At the same time, there appeared a great deal of free alternatives, which allowed teachers to create video presentations much easier and faster than with PowerPoint. Here are the most prominent of them.
Prezi is a wonderful web tool to create stylish presentations on a certain template. To tell the truth, there are so many ready templates and they are so beautiful, so sometimes it is hard to pick just one. When you chose a template, you have to add your content to slides. You may easily insert images, YouTube videos, background music and even paste a PDF file. On each stage of presentation development, you can preview your work. With a free account, users have the option to save a ready presentation in your Prezi account, download as PDF, or share on Facebook. However, you may easily record your presentation with Sreencast-o-matic, Jing, or any other screencast software and show it as a video in class.
Slideshare is not only a great service to create presentations, but a giant presentation hosting. Here you can find ready presentations on any topic. Most of them are downloadable. To create your own presentation, launch a free account, proceed to “Create” tool, pick up theme/font, and start adding content to slides. You may change the layout of text and images; add lists, charts, tables, etc. The site has a big collection of stock images, so you can easily find an appropriate picture if you do not have any. Once your presentation is ready, you may publish it on Slideshare and show online, screencast it in video, or download as PDF.
Powtoon is new resource for creating presentations and animated videos for your lessons. To create a slideshow, choose a style out of dozens available and add your content (text, sound, videos) onto a ready template. To save the result as a video, you need to switch from slideshow to movie mode and click “Export”. However, with a free account you will be able to upload the video to your YouTube channel. The workaround here is to download the video with some YouTube downloader which are numerous nowadays.
Freemake is a free Windows software, with which you can unite several images and videos into a slideshow. It is very handy when you do not need to add any text or lists to your presentation and just want to make it as a series of images or short videos. You can add any background music to your slideshow and save it in any popular video format or upload to YouTube.
Slide.ly is another great online tool to create beautiful video presentations for free. Just upload your images, add music from YouTube or your PC, pick up a theme, and save your slideshow. The only drawback is that you cannot download the file onto your PC. Still can publish it on social media channels, send by email, or embed onto a website. In addition, you may also use the screencasting software mentioned above to record the presentation in a video format.
Elena Vakhromova is a blogger at MP3jam known for free MP3 download software for Windows. Elena loves testing and writing about free software and apps which bring real value to users in all spheres of life.