Hand-drawn illustration of a talk and making it a video

by Marty Crossland on January 5, 2011

In an earlier post, I shared Mr. Daniel Pink’s talk on his book, Drive. I discovered this additional version of the presentation. I believe it is the same audio track, but an organization named RSA has modified the video to be a very innovative, hand-drawn-on-a-whiteboard illustration of the talk. I find it fascinating for its communicative value. The site where you can see more illustrated talks is

Here is the illustrated talk:


April Fool in math class

by Marty Crossland on April 12, 2010

A math professor at Biola University set up a hilarious technology interaction for his class on April Fool’s Day. He interacts with his own shadow on the video projector. Check it out and have a good chuckle!


Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

by Marty Crossland on November 5, 2009

Corporate communications coach Carmine Gallo has written a new book titled, “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.” He reviewed hundreds of hours of presentations by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, arguably one of the best presenters in the world. After all of his study, he has identified four key components of an effective speech:

  1. A headline. The one thing you want the audience to understande and remember from your presentation.
  2. A villain. Some kind of shared enemy (e.g. a competitor, a problem or challenge, etc.)
  3. A simple slide. Jobs uses imagery almost exclusively, with very few textual words. And no bullet points!
  4. A demo. Some kind of engaging activity for the audience to participate in, at least vicariously.

It would seem to me that we can and should apply some of Steve Jobs’s masterful techniques to the presentations we give our students. They deserve no less than the stakeholders of Apple!

Here is a link to an article on BusinessWeek’s web site to read more. Also, there is another interesting interview with the author and some video clips of Steve Jobs’s presentations in an article on CIO magazine’s website.

Below is a short video interview with author Gallo where he make these points:


An alternative to PowerPoint:

by Marty Crossland on November 1, 2009

I recently attended the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning. In one of the presentations I attended, the presenters used a fascinating and quite effective presentation tool called Prezi. I talked to them afterward and found that they thought it was easy to learn, easy to use, and there is a free version. I have since tried it out and I like it!

Prezi basically allows you to create your presentation as a sort of mindmap, and then it handles all the zooming and panning during the presentation. Check out this example to get a flavor of how it works: After you open the page, click on the Play button at the bottom right to advance the views. But as you can see, you are displaying subsequesnt zoom-and-pan views of a single large canvas. Kind of cool!

Here is a short video showing what it’s like to create one of these presentations:


How Not Use PowerPoint

by Marty Crossland on November 1, 2009

How many times have you had to sit through a bad PowerPoint presentation? Even worse, how many times have you, perhaps unwittingly, foisted one onto your students?

See if you get a kick like I did out of this comedy routine pointing out some of the (regrettably) common misuses of this potentially powerful software package.


Presenting a live, interactive session to participants on mobile devices — for free!

October 7, 2009 Teaching With Technology

I’m really intrigued with a new service just announced, called YouVersion Live. It’s been created mainly for churches and ministries to host live, interactive events at a site, and have interactive particpation by people on their mobile devices. The interaction could include answering polls, submitting questions, and even online giving or payments. I think this […]

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Do you pecha-kucha?

October 4, 2009 Teaching With Technology

A new type of speaking club is starting to be the rage around the world. It’s known as pecha-kucha (pronounced (peh-chock-uh-chuh), from a japanese phrase meaning “the sound of conversation.” It is characterized by succinctness of presentation, imposed by a mandatory limit of twenty PowerPoint slides shown for twenty seconds each, automatically advanced by the […]

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