Top Ten Tips for Slideidea
Who likes PowerPoint? I bet the answer is fewer than the number that use it regularly. The iPad offers a wealth of alternatives to the stale Microsoft go-to presentation tool, many of which we featured as a part of the iPresent article.
One app that we mentioned there as an up and comer to keep an eye on is Slideidea. I've been using it more and more and as such, thought it was about time we shed a little more light on this under-appreciated gem. So here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
1. EXPRESS MODE - WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?
I know what a lot of teachers see as the biggest problem with apps like Keynote is the fear that designing content in them will take ages. Not so with Slideidea thanks to the Express edit mode that allows you to design slideshows at warp speed by taking care of the layout and formatting for you. This is great for the time-deprived educator who wants to prep for class and still have time to watch Game of Thrones in peace before bed. :)
2. TEMPLATES GALORE
Select from a great range of templates to apply a theme and format to your presentation. The templates function also continues within the presentation with a selecion of key slide styles - text, text and image, gallery etc. Let Slideidea do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your content....
3. FORGET ABOUT THE FORMATTING
A simple but clever touch is the way that you actually build the content on the slides. Working almost like a digital flashcard, the content is added on one side in simple textboxes and image choices. When you're complete, the "card" flips over and you are offered a selection of layout choices for that slide type.
As mentioned above, this is excellent for focusing the creator (be it educator or student) on the actual content of the slide rather than the font/layout etc. Naturally it also speeds the creation process up remarkably and makes for some really polished looking slides.
4. SIMPLE DATA PRESENTATION
Need a quick and slick data presentation tool? Slideidea has you covered. Again using the simplified entry of information as with text and images, users can build a bar or ring chart in minutes that is colourful and clear. This could even be screengrabbed out and used independently.
Another unique part of the Slideidea app is what they call the transformations. Essentially these replace traditional transitions between slides. Each transformation is applied to the presentation as a whole and affects the way that it is presented. So you can flick through your slideshow in the form of a set of digital cards, turn the pages of a calendar or even view it on a monitor! This unusual aesthetic will catch viewers off guard and instantly let them know that you aren't presenting them with yet another PowerPoint! what's also great is that the transformations are not built into the slideshows which means you can change the effect from one time to the next!
6. LIFE IN THE OLD POWERPOINT YET
Don't want to ditch those tried and tested PPTs? Slideidea allows for import and conversion of PowerPoint files from a wide range of cloud sources including Dropbox and Google Drive. The imported slides can't be edited though you can add additional content to them, reorder them and add additional slides.
You can also import PDFs which, seeing as pretty much any doc can be saved in this format, means a wide range of other documents can be inserted.
8. EXPORT OPTIONS
Completed slideshows can be exported to other apps and email as you would expect. They can actually be exported as PPTs, PDFs or even PNG image sets which is a nice touch. Of course if you use the screencasting tool...
8. FLIP THINGS AROUND WITH THE SCREENCASTING TOOL
Either before or during presentation, the option is available to record a screencast and annotate your slides as a video screencast. This instantly brings up the possibility of harnessing the app within the flipped classroom model as lectures/direct teaching can be pre-recorded, exported as a video and shared to students via email or cloud services.
Alternatively you could record notes on the session after it is over and share them out to the class for their own revision purposes or to reinforce learning.
9. INSTANT ACCESS WHITEBOARD!
One of my favourite things about Slideidea is the ability to jump out of the presentation to a built-in whiteboard and then jump back into the presentation at the same point. This is a superb idea as it means that examples can be worked through (e.g. in a Maths lesson) or brainstorming on a topic can take place within the actual flow of the content you are presenting.
Try it - you'll see what I mean and soon find it invaluable!
10. WANT MORE CONTROL? TRY ADVANCED EDIT
Not enough options for you? Need more control over the way content is added and presented in each slide? Slideidea alos includes an advanced edit option which provides more "traditional" slideshow design including the direct insertion of text, images and objects like shapes.
Some great touches within this mode include:
Easy addition of videos from either Youtube or the native device
Colour themes being maintained based on the chosen template style
Banks of images and icons being accessible for insertion
This means that educators can differentiate sessions where students use the app as more able kids can use the advanced option whilst those that need more support can use the intuitive express mode!