I always told my students that there was a difference between creating a presentation, and giving a presentation. The creation part was easier for them. They had time to research, build, and revise their work, but when it came to presenting their findings while standing up in front of a room full of people, nerves often got the better of them. Thankfully, there are free, multi-platform tools like Movenote that can make that easier, but it’s not just for students. It is also a great way for teachers personalize their screencasts for a flipped classroom, or other online learning opportunities.
Movenote lets you record a video of yourself talking about a presentation via your webcam, and it syncs it to the slides you are talking about. Here’s how it works. Laptop or desktop users start by creating a free account at movenote.com. Next, you need to give Movenote permission to access your webcam so that it can record the video to accompany your presentation. However, you also have the option to upload a pre-recorded video if you prefer.
Your presentation can now be added to Movenote from your computer, or your Google Drive account. Recommended file formats are PDF, PNG, or JPEGs. PowerPoint files also work, but are sometimes more reliably converted when first saved as a PDF. If you have a Google account, you can bring a Google Presentation over too. Click the Re-order button on any of the uploaded files to rearrange the order of your slides.
The final step in the creation process is recording your video, so clicking the red Record button will quickly get you under way. You can now introduce your presentation on your webcam and move through each slide with the navigation buttons at the top of the screen. (If you uploaded a pre-recorded video, all you need to do is advance your slides in time to the video you uploaded). There are no annotation tools per se, but if you click and drag with your mouse, a virtual laser pointer can be used to highlight areas you deem most important, and you can pause the video at any time to collect your thoughts.
Once you are done, click Save and Preview to replay your video and explore even more options. For instance, you can quickly change the background color of your final video. You can even add a link to a website at the end the video so that the student can click a button to return to your classroom website, or even daisy-chain a link to another Movenote presentation. Videos can be shared via a URL, embedded on blogs and websites, or shared on any number of popular social networks. You can also download a copy of your video to your computer as an MP4.
Completed presentations are saved in your Movenote account and can be sorted into folders. You can also view analytics to see how many times your Movenote presentation has been viewed. On a mobile device? No problem. Dedicated Movenote apps are available for Android and iOS devices, and although Chromebook users can go to Movenote.com, there is a handy Movenote web app available in the Chrome Web Store. It can also be added for free in the Google Apps Marketplace.
So, if you are looking to add videos to a presentation, Movenote is a great option. It is simple, effective, and a great way for students and teachers to add a voice and some personality to an existing presentation.