Tag Archives: computer curriculum

Blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs into Curriculum

It can be a challenge to blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs into one program. Are you teaching in a school that requires your students to learn how to use both Microsoft Office and Google Docs? Or are you in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) setting where students have a variety of devices and software applications? There is a solution. TechnoKids computer curriculum is a collection of technology projects that use a project-based approach to learning. Lessons are available for Microsoft Office, Office Online, and Google Docs.

There are advantages to students knowing how to use both Microsoft Office and Google Docs applications. By becoming proficient in both, they will be better equipped to select the best technology tool to complete the task. Use the suggestions below to effectively blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs into curriculum using TechnoKids instructional materials.

Blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs

How to Blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs into One Program

Provide students with the project version that suits their device

Almost every TechnoKids technology project has a version available for Microsoft Office 2016, Microsoft Office 2013, Office Online, and Google Docs (there are a few exceptions). This allows schools with a BYOD policy to accommodate all students. The entire class can complete the same technology project. However, each person will use the project version that matches the software on their device. Since TechnoKids instructions are illustrated and step-by-step, students can work independently to complete assignments.

Select projects based on device availability

Many schools have a blend of devices that are available to students. For example, some may have a computer lab with Microsoft Office installed on the desktops, with classrooms that have access to mobile carts with Chromebooks. In this case, to provide a balanced program, you can divide the TechnoKids technology projects between use in the computer lab and classroom. A computer teacher could select a technology project that targets technology skills using Microsoft Office. At the same time, a classroom teacher could select a different technology project to integrate Google Docs into a curriculum unit during language arts or social studies class.

Divide the projects by grade

Some schools have assigned which grades will use Microsoft Office and which will use Google Docs. Often this decision is based upon when students are permitted access to email and online storage services. TechnoKids computer curriculum is designed to gradually build proficiency in using technology tools. Teachers in the elementary grades can use the Microsoft Office technology projects to build a solid foundation and promote digital citizenship. Later, as students enter Junior and Senior High they can use the Google technology projects to transition easily to web-based applications. Alternatively, a school may prepare older students for Microsoft Office Specialist certification or the workplace. In this case, the school program could use the Google technology projects in the elementary grades and then transition in middle school to TechnoKids’ advanced Microsoft Office technology projects.

Choose a project according to instructional goal

Study your curriculum and know the skills you must teach. Often, the learning objectives will dictate whether Microsoft Office or Google Docs is required. For example, if you are expected to introduce database skills then you will be selecting a Microsoft Access technology project from the TechnoKids computer curriculum collection. Or if you are required to teach Mail Merge then you will be selecting a Microsoft Word technology project as this function is not available in Google Docs.

TechnoKids Computer Curriculum

Pick a project version based on program features that boost creativity

Sometimes you can complete the same technology project in either Microsoft Office or Google Docs, but the final product will not look the same. This is because the software applications offer different features which can restrict or enhance creative expression. Certain TechnoKids technology projects have more razzle dazzle if they are completed using Microsoft Office. For example, TechnoMap uses the Zoom feature in Microsoft PowerPoint which gives the interactive map more “wow” than one made using Google Slides. Another example is the visual story produced in TechnoToon. This is more fun to make in Microsoft PowerPoint because there is advanced control over animation and effects. If you must blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs into curriculum, determine which product features will engage students the most and use that as a guide when selecting the application to use.

Pick a project version based on program features that offer a richer learning experience

In most cases, Microsoft Office and Google Docs are similar. However, there are times when the tools available in one application are superior to another. For example, TechnoKids technology projects that include a poll, survey, or questionnaire are best done in Google Forms because it has more options and better reporting. Although TechnoKids provides choice, you should select the project version that provides students with the most meaningful learning opportunity.

Decide on a project version based on file output

Consider the final product version and how it will be shared with others. For example, will it be printed, shown as a video, displayed on a screen, or posted to a school website? The answer to these questions can determine whether to use the Microsoft Office or Google Docs version of a TechnoKids technology project. For example, you may want to use the Microsoft PowerPoint version if the goal is to convert a presentation to a video to play at an Open House. However, if the goal is to post a presentation to a class blog then it would be better to use the Google Slides version of the technology project, as it can easily be linked or embedded.

Sequence projects to compare applications

TechnoKids computer curriculum provides an assortment of activities that target the same technology skill area while making an entirely different product. For example, there are multiple word processing projects that have students create books, journals, fact cards, newsletters, biographies, resumes, cover letters, advertisements, and more! When offering a blended program, you may want to teach a word processing project with Google Docs and then a different word processing project with Microsoft Office. This will introduce your students to both applications without them becoming bored by completing the same task. It is also an excellent reflective opportunity to compare application features.

Select one project, but complete it using different versions

There are several ways to blend one project version with another. Choose the option that best suits your situation:

  • Start the project in one project version but complete it using another. TechnoKids computer curriculum includes the same technology project for multiple versions of software. If time is a restriction, you can select the beginning assignments from one version of the technology project to start to create a product in one application. You can then select the ending assignments from another version of the same technology project to complete the task in an equivalent application. For example, students could begin to design a fact card in Google Docs by adding content but complete the formatting of the publication in Microsoft Word. This option provides an excellent way to compare program features and maximize instructional time.
  • Create the project in one project version but extend learning using another. TechnoKids technology projects include extension activities. These additional lessons can be used to combine the use of Microsoft Office with Google applications. For example, students could create a publication or presentation using the assignments in the Microsoft Office version of a technology project. Upon completion, they could then use Google Docs to complete an extension activity related to the theme.
  • Create the project in one project version but collaborate using another. TechnoKids technology projects include activities that include an opportunity to work with others. To blend the versions together, students could use the Microsoft Office instructions to create a product. Upon completion, the file could then be uploaded to Google Drive and shared with peers. Using the Google version of assignments, students could co-author, engage in a question & answer session, or peer review using commenting.

We are here to help! If you are expected to blend Microsoft Office and Google Docs applications into curriculum, it is important to be familiar with program features to provide students with the best learning opportunity. Contact TechnoKids to discuss project selection or program design.

10 Things You Should Know When Animating a Presentation

Whether you’re a teacher presenting a PowerPoint slide show to colleagues, parents, or students or if you’re teaching students how to give a dynamic presentation to their peers, following are ten tips to keep your audience hooked! Animating a presentation creatively can keep viewers engaged and interested.

  1. Use a variety of animation types
    There are lots of types of animation effects: an entrance effect makes an object appear, an emphasis effect draws attention to an object, a motion path makes an object move in a selected path on a slide, and an exit effect causes objects vanish. Consider adding more than one animation to an object – it can appear on the scene using a zoom entrance, then pulse using an emphasis effect, move around using a motion path, and finally fly out using an exit animation.
    Be careful though. The variety of animations should not be unlimited. A repeated animation gives consistency to a presentation. For example, text on all slides always appearing the same way lends a professional touch to the presentation.
  2. animating a presentation starburst

  3. Plan the order of appearance of objects and text
    What should show up first? second? third? Usually, you would start with the title, then text, then pictures. If there is a picture of a character and a callout with what he is saying, the picture should appear first, then the words. Sequence the animations in a logical order for what is on the slide.
  4. Consider the audience when choosing animation effects
    Lots of fun, exciting effects such as Boomerang, Bounce, Pinwheel are appropriate for younger children watching a slide show with lots of pictures, while presentations with text for adults would suit more moderate animations such as Fade, Wipe, or Float.
  5. Group objects
    If you want several objects to animate at one time, group them. To do this, click on a slide object and hold down the SHIFT key. Click on the other objects you want to include in the group. Once they are all selected, select Group.
  6. animating a presentation group

  7. Control flow of information
    If there is bulleted text on the slide, the bullets should appear one point at a time. If no animation is applied and text appears all at once, people may read ahead and tune out extra information provided by the speaker. If the text is animated, ensure that there is ample time to read the words. Although you are familiar with your own slide show, remember that most viewers will be seeing it for the first time, and need extra time to read the words and watch the action.
  8. Suit the type of animation to the topic
    Pick appropriate effects. For example, a bounce effect works for a ball but not a car. Spinning text is confusing; appear, fade, and object color effects work better for words.
  9. Choose effect options
    Animation effects often have a number of options which can be adjusted in most apps. The type of options such as direction, speed, or color, vary with the particular type of effect. For example, you can choose to have text float in from the top or bottom. Not all animation effects have options.
  10. animating a presentation

  11. Manual or automatic?
    Decide if you want to control the animations manually – use the On Click start action – or automatically – choose After Previous. Some apps, such as PowerPoint, allow you to change how an animation starts, how long it plays, and if there is a delay between effects. Some apps, such as Google Slides, set the speed as slow, medium, or fast. Make sure the animations play slowly enough so that a first time viewer is not confused by the action.
  12. Make objects appear and disappear
    When animating more than one text box on a slide, you can make them show and then vanish, one at a time. In this way, you can have several text boxes placed on top of one another, yet appear separately and then disappear. This is perfect when characters speaking or debating. A conversation can be animated on one slide.
  13. animating a presentation debate

  14. Don’t animate everything
    Animating a presentation should attract viewer interest, not distract them. Clip art that is scenery such as a building or tree may look odd zooming onto the slide.
  15. Have fun with animation using these TechnoKids technology projects.

    animating a presentation

    Use TechnoPresenter to teach essential research and presentation skills. Students create a slide show on any topic of their choice, then build public speaking skills as their present to their peers.

    toon animating a presentation

    In TechnoToon, students create a digital story that looks like a cartoon or animated comic strip. Inspire young writers and budding artists using Google Slides or PowerPoint.

    animating a presentation

    Take a stand! Students collaborate with a partner to debate the pros and cons of a controversial issue of their choice in TechnoDebate. They use Google Slides or PowerPoint Online to prepare an animated debate.

Zoom Tool in PowerPoint for Awesome Presentations Part 1

Slide Zoom is a new PowerPoint tool that can make any slide show into an interactive, non-linear, and engaging presentation. It’s also an easy way to make links in a presentation look professional. Use the Zoom Tool to navigate through slides in any order. Or, if you’re designing a presentation for use in kiosk mode, where users play the slides themselves, Slide Zoom allows you to effortlessly organize how they will experience the show.

zoom tool

PowerPoint Zoom Tool

When you create a Zoom in PowerPoint, you make a link to a slide. For example, on a title page you may choose to have a number of links to different slides in a presentation. For different audiences, different topics, or to have flexible ways of navigating through a slide show, the Zoom Tool allows you to make thumbnail versions of slides on the title page. These thumbnails are also actual links or buttons to connect to the slides.

How to Create a Slide Zoom

Here’s how to make a link on a PowerPoint title page to other slides in the slide show.zoom tool

  1. Open a slide show in PowerPoint. You should have a minimum of three slides.
  2. View the title slide.
  3. On the Insert tab, click Zoom. Select Slide Zoom.
  4. Pick Slide Zoom

  5. The Slide Zoom dialog box opens. Select the slides in the presentation.
  6. Select Slides

  7. Click Insert. A thumbnail of each of the slides appears on the title page. These are the Slide Zooms.
  8. Move and resize each thumbnail to arrange them on the title slide.
  9. Select a Slide Zoom. From the Zoom Tools Format tab, click Return to Zoom. Check Return to Zoom for the other Slide Zooms.
  10. Check Return to Zoom

  11. Use the tools on the Zoom Tools Format tab to customize the thumbnails:
  12. Change Image – Swap the slide thumbnail with a picture file, online image, or icon.
    Duration – Set the length of time it takes to zoom from one slide to another.
    Zoom Styles – Apply a style to the Zoom.
    Zoom Border – Customize the outline color, weight, and dash style.

    Zoom Effects – Add effects such as a reflection, glow, or shadow to a Zoom.
    Zoom Background – Show or hide the frame of the Zoom.
  13. Click Slide Show in the taskbar to view the presentation in full screen mode. Click on any of the slide thumbnails to go directly to that slide.
  14. Click on the title slide (not on a slide thumbnail). You will notice that you are able to see the next slide. You need to fix that! Exit Slide Show view.
  15. Click the Transitions tab. Remove the checkmark from the On Mouse Click box in the Timing group.
  16. Now view the Slide Show again. You should be able to click the title slide and it not advance.

Slide Zoom Ideas for Curriculum Integration

Slide Zoom is a nifty tool to easily make navigation through a slide show dynamic and unique. Use it in any slideshow that doesn’t require the viewer to follow a linear or predetermined path through the slides. Create Zooms for each slide on the title page so viewers can move through the slideshow in any order.

Here are some ideas:

  • Understand the Human Body
    Make a slide with a diagram of the human body. Create additional slides explaining each system of the body, for example circulatory, respiratory, digestive etc.
  • Explore a Map
    On the title slide, insert a map of a country, region, or any area under study. Make slides that allow a viewer to learn more about the place such as tourist attractions, physical features, ecosystems, capital city, endangered areas, economic resources etc.
  • Discover Space
    Create a title slide with an image of the solar system. Make separate slides for each planet or space phenomena such as comets, asteroids, and meteroids.
  • Label Parts of a Plant or Animal
    Make a title slide with a picture of a plant or animal. Create slides that describe the parts of object and explain their function or importance.
  • Highlight Stages
    Create a title slide using SmartArt that outlines a process. For example the life cycle of a butterfly, stages of manufacturing, or water cycle. Design slides to provide details about each stage.
  • In my next post about the Zoom Tool, find out how to make a Section Zoom and a Summary Zoom.

    TechnoMap PowerPoint Lesson Plans

    map skills lesson plansTechnoMap is a technology project that teaches map skills. Students create an interactive map of a location, connecting places with events, issues, or people. In this project, students use Zoom to link markers on a map to slides explaining the significance of each area. Learn more about TechnoMap here.

Why Students Should Use Presenter View in PowerPoint 2

In my previous post, I explained how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint 2016. It’s a nifty feature that, if you have a projection system, allows a presenter to see the current slide, next slide, speaker notes, and presenter tools on a separate screen. The audience sees only the slide.

Benefits to Presenter View

Speaker Notes

Teaching students how to give a presentation that is informative while captivating the attention of the audience is a valuable skill. An essential part of a presentation is the preparation of speaker notes. These notes provide structure to a presentation and encourage the audience to listen as well as view the screen. Speaker notes can include reminders of what to say and additional information or facts that do not appear on the screen. If a second screen is not available, speaker notes can be printed as Notes Pages or as an Outline. But if you have a projection device and can see the computer screen while presenting, Presentation View allows you to see your notes and reminders on your computer screen during the presentation. The projector only shows the slide to the audience.

Practice Practice Practicepresenter view
Any presentation should include a number of rehearsals, either privately or with peer coaching, before it’s ready to unveil to an audience. Using Presenter View, the speaker can rehearse with the navigation tools, see the current and upcoming slides, practice using his notes, and become proficient using the pointer tools.

Control the Flow of Information
If the text on a slide is contained in bulleted points, set the animation so each one appears upon a mouse click. That way, you can limit the amount of words the audience can read and expand on the information as you speak. The audience will focus on both the slide as well as the speaker.
If there are pictures, you may want to control when they appear. Set the animation so images or diagrams show upon a mouse click. The viewers will focus on the picture only when you cause it to appear.
Presenter View allows you to preview what will happen when you press ‘next’ in advance of the audience seeing it.

Tools
The laser pointer, pen, highlighter, and eraser allow you to annotate, draw, or direct the eyes of the audience to particular words or images on the slide. Used sparingly, these tools help to attract and hold the attention of the audience. You can even black or white out the screen should you want to stop or pause the slide show.

presenter view

Use the laser pointer, pen, or highlighter to direct the viewers’ attention.

See All Slides
During the question period at the end of the presentation, or at any time during the presentation, you may want to go to a particular slide. If you click See All Slides, a thumbnail of all slides appears on the presenter’s screen only. Click on the desired slide and it will appear on the audience’s projected screen.

Timer
The stopwatch at the top corner of Presenter View is handy if there is a time limit for the presentation. It’s also useful when practicing – are you speeding up each time you present? Be careful not to talk too fast when you become familiar with the slide show. Remember that the audience is watching it for the first time.

Teach Presentation Skills

technopresenterTeach essential research skills, power up a presentation, and build public speaking techniques with TechnoPresenter. Integrate this technology project into a curriculum area using any topic of study. This project is suitable for student in junior and middle school grades. Learn more about TechnoPresenter here.