Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Start Explaining with Mysimpleshow

When I heard about mysimpleshow earlier this week, I was pretty eager to try it. I love technology that makes presentation easy and engaging. I was blown away by how simple these are to make and how slick they end up looking. Mysimpleshow provides an elegant solution for your presentation needs.

This tool is web-based, so anyone with a web browser can use it. Teachers could use this to develop "how to" videos for lessons, or challenge students to use it to teach a lesson or create a presentation on something they have researched. This would be a great way to have students show their understanding after a lesson or a unit.

The real selling point of this tool is that it's so easy. I made a practice one about the life of Jimi Hendrix and it took me about 10 minutes from beginning to end. I really like the way it turned out.

The setup is genius. It's really as simple as filling out the information in the boxes, confirming the pictures and the voice over information, and saving your video. After typing up your script, mysimpleshow will give you suggestions for images that go along with your words. You can keep them, change them, or select new words and images that it didn't choose. The site is pretty bright though - it generally hits the high points of your presentation. Still, you'll want to check over the final product to make sure it found the kind of images you were going for. We had some confusion with "record" (music album vs. writing down information).

Follow the simple steps and soon you'll be creating your own awesome presentations. A slick visual presentation with a pretty quality AI voice over of your script. You can also record yourself, but seriously, the robot reading chops are legit here. 

Once published, your videos will be available in mysimpleshow, or you can export them to YouTube and share it however you want. I really can't say enough about this awesome tool. Check out my sample presentation below to get an idea of what you could be making.

Get started using mysimpleshow now! I can't recommend it enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Spinning Plates

I took my girls to the state fair last week. Between stuffing our faces with corn dogs and riding trains that weren't built to accommodate the adult male body, we did manage to squeeze in a pretty sweet circus session. The girls loved the clowns and the acrobats, and the stunt bike show was very cool....but the thing that really got me thinking was the plate spinning act.

If you don't know what I am talking about, the plate spinning act involves a guy sprinting back and forth on the stage, placing an absurd amount of plates precariously atop long poles. Once they are spinning, he is forced to maintain each plate's motion, even as they come seconds from toppling over and breaking. The crowd is absolutely dying with each near plate collapse. The tension is palpable.

So why does this act resonate so greatly with me? Because as educators we do something very similar. Your job has so many points of accountability - planning, instruction, grading, creating safe learning environments, maintaining student relationships, parent contact, collaboration, etc. etc. etc...It's madness. When you work in schools, you have a lot of plates, and those plates are always spinning out of control. It takes constant care and vigilance to make sure that you are getting everything done. The plate spinner of course has one major advantage over the teacher -- if his plate falls, it's only a bit of broken ceramic. If your plates fall, well, the consequences are much worse.

To all my friends as we begin a new school year, may your plates spin swiftly and may they never fall.