This is a wiki

5.7 Presentation tools

Good presentation of curriculum is an important aspects of motivating learning. The quality of data and class content looses its value without good presentation. Entertaining and efficient tools such as vAcademia, OpenOffice Impress and Prezi might be used for increasing  motivation and interactiveness in elementary school history classes. These three tools are explained more detailed in the following sections.

5.7.1 vAcademia


A tool that can be used for presentations is vAcademia. The application is a virtual space where pupils or students, teachers or professors, can be artificially present in the same class at the same time to present academic content. How to use it is a website where users can sign up and create a personal account. After signing up, the user has to make an avatar, and he or she is then ready to enter the virtual presentation space. The avatar can then navigate through the virtual space by using the cursor keys. There are also functions available on the screen, such as adding and watching  presentations. Value for history learning

vAcademia enables convenient classrooms, text and voice communication, web camera support and interactive whiteboards. The site distinguishes itself from other tools by enabling 3D recording of classes. Such an ability is attractive to young pupils and makes teaching different and engaging. Section Interactive activities discusses the importance of teaching outside the classroom. vAcademia is a very good opportunity to create a different reality and in this case a virtual reality. The pupils will experience the class as interactive and this will increase their motivation.

 29 minute tutorial:


5.7.2 Open Office Impress

Open Office Impress is an open source and free software that is an alternative to Microsoft Power Point. The tool is used to create multimedia presentations and slide shows from scratch. How to use it

To use this tool, one has to download the software from the Open Office website and install it on the computer. Impress is th

en ready to use, and users create slides one by one and presents them on a big screen in a specific order. Special effects and entertaining transitions can be added to the presentation, to make it easier for students to follow and to be motivated.  A tutorial on how to add animations to a presentation is shown below. Value for history learning

Open Office Impress is standardized and familiar to most people, and thereby the threshold for use is quite low. Also, Impress is constantly improved and more functionalities often become available. This tool is perfect to use for teachers to create easy to understand and holistic presentation of class contents. Multimedia effects can be included to make the teaching more exciting and motivating, as it is different from ordinary black board teaching. As described in section Teaching Approach, connecting pupils to the material makes them more motivated and good presentation of the material is a strong contributor to this connection.


5.7.3 Prezi


Prezi presentations offers a new dimension to the art of presentation tools. The tool is cloud-based and lets users create presentations on a virtual canvas. Prezi distinguishes itself from other presentation tools by the fact that it is based on a ZUI (Zooming User Interface).Teachers worldwide employ Prezi to augment and enhance their pedagogy(Wikipedia 3, 2012). How to use it

Prezi presentations are created by users on the web site and the tool is developed in Adobe Flash. Presentations that are created for free are made available to the public via the Prezi website. Navigation through the presentation is done non-linear compared to the linear navigation used in similar presentation tools. Another difference from comparing tools is that Prezi presentations has a map layout and not a slide stack layout. Value for history learning

As it says on the Prezi website; “Prezi’s zooming canvas opens up the classroom to active learning and interactivity, making lessons understandable, memorable, and fun.” ( To create a different learning space, which is a possibility with Prezi, is important to make each class unique and to engage pupils as much as possible. As mentioned in the part about Openoffice Impress, section Teaching Approach, describes an important value of this presentation tool; connecting pupils to the material makes them more motivated and good presentation of the material is a strong contributor to this connection.

Below is a tutorial on how to use prezi:




Discuss & brainstorm