Sunday, December 18, 2016

Thing 33: Presentation Tools

So I probably first did this assignment years ago when I was a newbie to Cool Tools, but I obviously did not master this important area of knowledge the first time around..... and truth be told, I still feel a bit at a loss the second time around, too :-(

I started by reading a couple of the articles to get me thinking about the topic and to see what experts are saying today.  Shelly Terrell's, "Let's Present!", immediately caught my eye, because after doing a Cool Tools assignment on "Infographics", I started to ask my 6th graders to create infographics or posters as part of a research project we do on the Ancient Egyptians.  So this article did give me some new sites to try out, although I'm leery of any tool that requires additional account log-ins for students.  It seems the more steps involved, the more complicated the assignment becomes, and before I know it, we've lost our initial enthusiasm and are just bogged down in remembering where to go and what password to use!

Then I read Naomi Chibana's, "PowerPoint Alternatives", and really liked her clear presentation of each tool, especially in regard to pricing.

But where I decided to spend the most time was with Bunkr, of course, given its new fame as an "AASL Best Web Site of 2016" - so how could I go wrong?  Oh, let me count the ways....

First, I read Heather Moorefield-Lang's article, "Ideas for Using AASL's Best Web Sites: Bunkr", and I watched the embedded video, which said over and over again just how easy this was going to be.  So wasn't I surprised when the first night I logged in to it from my Google account, I pretty much gave up after about 15 fruitless minutes!  But I am one who is seldom daunted, so after a good night's sleep, I got right back to work and was delighted that everything seemed to be going great.... at first anyway!

I decided to make a test slide show where I simply played around with various features.  The first thing I did was import a Google Slides presentation I made this Fall: EASY!  Then I made a fun page where I embedded 4 You Tube videos of fun winter crafts to make from upcycled books: Again, EASY!!!!  Now I thought I had this thing down pat, and I was actually having fun, too!  So wasn't I disappointed when I tried to upload some photos.  I had hoped to upload one from my personal computer and one from the Web.  Neither really worked out.  I couldn't find any way to access my personal files, so I couldn't upload an image that way.  And when I tried uploading from Google Images, I got more than just the neat photo I was after.  Oh, well.  You can't win them all, right?  So I went on to try to upload a PowerPoint presentation, again from my computer - but no dice!  At least this time it allowed me to search my files, but no matter which presentation I selected, it came up with an upload error message: so, so frustrating!

At that point, I had spent well over 2 hours on this and decided enough was enough, so I created one last slide with my general thoughts on Bunkr.

Here's a link to my presentation if you want to check it out here

My conclusion was that although Bunkr definitely has promise, I don't think it's the best presentation tool for my elementary crowd.  I think I'm wiser limiting their exposure to familiar tools, like Google Slides and Docs which are already integrated into their learning environment.  Like I said regarding the digital poster tools, the less complicated the product platform is, the more likely the students will succeed when using it.


  1. Yikes! What a terrible experience with Bunkr. So sorry you had such trouble. Sounds like it really isn't quite ready for prime-time?? Thank you for persisting and testing it so thoroughly though. That's helpful for all of us. I agree, google slides sounds like a safer bet for your students.

  2. Oh, no - by all means do not take my experience as "typical"! I'm sure the folks at ALA had great success with it. For whatever reason, though, I did not find it especially easy to use in all the capacities they said it would be. It could very well just be me, though, and not the product at all.