Saturday, March 13, 2010

Prezi: A Creative Presentation Tool

I have bookmarked a link to the Prezi website for awhile now, but I have never tried to use the site as I had no presentation system in my classroom. This week with the installation of an Eno board and a ceiling mounted projector a whole new world of creativity and teaching has opened up for me. While I wait for the install of the lesson making software, I decided to give Prezi a try. Teachers can sign up for a free Prezi account here.

According to the Prezi website, Prezi is a living presentation tool.

Prezi is zooming sketches on a digital napkin.

It's visualization and storytelling without slides. Your ideas live on stage and on the web. Have you ever wondered about presenting your thoughts as free as they come? Ever got tired of creating a slideshow?

It's been said, that the best innovations come from people who are unhappy with the tools they use. We realized that our ideas won't fit into slides anymore. Putting together creative thinking and technology expertise, we have created Prezi, a living presentation tool.

I decided to try my hand at Prezi and in about an hour, I came up with this presentation. It is far from perfect and needs a lot fo cleaning up, but it shows the capabilities of the program and I am already thinking of new ways that I can use this in my classroom.

I look forward to seeing how this looks and works on my Eno board when I return to school. Here is an embedded version of my lesson. It is based on a mini writing lesson from Grammar Lessons and Strategies That Strengthen Students¹ Writing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Best math Lesson EVer?

Sometimes mutliplication and division can seem a bit confusing. Can you figure out what these old-timers are doing wrong when solving the problem 25/5? Does it equal 5 or 14?

Can you think of other ways to do something similar?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Beautiful Minds: The Amazing Power of the Brain

Here is a fascintating video of an autistic man named Steven Wiltshire. In this video Steven takes a 45 minute helicopter trip over Rome, Italy and then spends three days drawing a precise and near perfect aerial view of the city.

Stephen Wiltshire from London is a star among savants. Stephen is autistic. He did not speak his first words "pencil" and "paper" until he was 5. Yet, when he was 11 he drew a perfect aerial view of London after only one helicopter ride. For this film we're testing the "Living camera" in Rome.

A savant is someone who is exceptionally gifted in a specialized field. An autistic savant is a person, like Steven,  can be gifted in music, art, or math. Some savants suffer from a brain injury and then their brain shows remarkable talents like Alonzo Clemons. He can create perfect 3D representations of any animal (except humans) even if only shown a photograph.

The mind is very powerful and has incredible capabilities.