One of the most challenging aspects of presenting to students is capturing and holding their attention. Amidst all the distractions in the classroom, it can be difficult for students to maintain focus. Visual aids like PowerPoint slides can help, but even then, it’s often not long before a student’s mind wanders.
Even if using visual aids, traditional presentation formats, in which an educator reels off information to a passive audience, make it far too easy for students to lose focus. On the other hand, interactive presentations allow students to actively participate and are a much more engaging way to present content, especially when paired with fun educational games that encourage audience participation and critical thinking.
What is an interactive presentation?
An interactive presentation is a presentation that has content you can interact with. Interaction may be encouraged through the use of hyperlinks, pop-ups, or games. For example, an interactive presentation may include a prompt encouraging students to click on a picture or a section of text. This then displays a pop-up with additional information or a link to another resource. Alternatively, the presentation may incorporate a quiz or game.
Interactive presentations provide opportunities for students to take a more active role in the content and therefore are much more engaging. Students can actively participate in the presentation, rather than passively listening to the educator reel off information. A Harvard study showed that students who took part in active learning performed better in a later assessment than those who only learned passively.
Interactive presentations also give educators more creativity and flexibility. Rather than presenting content linearly and passively, interactive presentations enable educators to tailor their presentation to the lesson, letting them jump between slides and different pieces of information depending on the direction of the class discussion.
Advantages of interactive presentations
There are many benefits of using interactive presentations.
Students can actively participate in the presentation, increasing the level of engagement. If a student loses attention, they are quickly drawn back in at the next point of interaction.
Better retention of information
Interactive presentations help educators capture their students’ attention and avoid distraction, meaning they’re more likely to retain the information presented to them. Interactive presentations also enable educators to bring concepts to life, which will make a much stronger impression on students than simply listening to the educator and taking notes.
More flexible presentations
It’s much easier to be flexible when presenting an interactive presentation. Educators can add prompts, such as questions, quizzes and polls, to encourage interaction and feedback. Then, depending on how the students respond to those prompts, educators can customise the presentation accordingly. It allows lessons to evolve and flow more organically from topic to topic. And because educators are getting immediate feedback on their presentations, they can better gauge if students are comprehending the content and tailor their lessons as they go.
More fun in the classroom
Interactive presentations add an element of excitement to the classroom. Not just another “boring” lecture, interactive presentations allow students to get up from their desks to interact with the presentation. It makes the presentation much more fun and breaks up the usual classroom routine.
Best interactive presentation tools for teachers
There is a lot of great interactive presentation software available online to help educators create more engaging presentations. Here are 5 of our favourite apps and tools.
Canva is an excellent tool for customising the visual design of your presentations. You can design your presentation directly in Canva using a Canva template or leveraging the library of images, shapes, and backgrounds provided.
2. Haiku Deck
Haiku Deck is one of the best interactive presentation software options for creating simple, image-based presentations. Haiku lets you create slides with a simple photo background and text. Type in text, and Haiku will recommend an image for you from its extensive gallery. You can also upload your own photos.
With Prezi, all information is presented on a single canvas rather than multiple slides. The canvas moves and zooms in and out for a more dynamic presentation, and the tool also includes a library of templates and interactive charts, maps, and graphics to help you bring information to life.
Prezi integrates with video, too, making it a great tool for remote learning. Prezi enables you to overlay visuals on the video as you’re presenting, making for a highly engaging video lesson.
4. Google Slides
While it may not be the most exciting or innovative technology on the list, Google Slides is probably one of the most user-friendly presentation software out there.
Google Slides is a free, simple, and easy-to-use presentation tool. It seamlessly integrates with all other Google tools, and because it’s cloud-based, it’s easy to encourage real-time student participation and collaboration.
5. ActivPanel Interactive Display
Of course, you won’t be able to use any of the technologies above if you don’t have a platform for displaying them. Interactive displays, like the ActivPanel Interactive Display, facilitate interactive presentations and provide easy access to apps and tools, allowing educators to move seamlessly between content and additional resources without disrupting the flow of the lesson.
Interactive displays can be directly annotated and drawn on, and they have options for teaching software, making it much easier for educators to create engaging presentations.
Interactive presentation games
One of the biggest advantages of the interactive presentation format is the opportunity to incorporate games into your lessons. Gamifying some of your presentation content is a great way to break up the traditional lecture format and add a bit of excitement.
Integrate one of these digital games into your presentation to encourage students to apply their knowledge. It’s a great way to promote critical and creative thinking.
Kahoot! is a popular tool for creating quizzes and polls that test your students’ comprehension in a fun and engaging way. Kahoot! for presentations includes a mixture of slides, audience participation features, and games, such as word clouds, polls, quizzes, and puzzles.
Use a free Jeopardy template for Google Slides to create your very own game show. You can copy the template and customise it with your questions and answers. Many free game show-inspired Google Slide templates are available online, including this “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire“-inspired slide deck.
Pictionary is a great game for encouraging creative thinking. You can use a random word generator to find a word, then have a student attempt to draw the word on the interactive display (without using any words, of course). Then have the rest of the class try to guess what they’re drawing.
How to incorporate interactive presentations and games into your lessons
Interactive displays make it easy for educators to create interactive and engaging presentations.
To see how Promethean can help integrate cutting-edge education technology into your classroom, get in touch with one of our experts for a free consultation and a virtual demo of the Promethean ActivPanel.