My class just recently finished making their "Animal Research Report" by keyboarding them in their handheld computers. I am planning to have them present their report (orally)after spring break. (But I think that is very traditional). Any ideas on how I can use technology to make their presentation more exciting in class?

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I think it adds a new layer to presentations when you record them on video. The students can review their presentations with you for some constructive criticism. Also, you will have a copy of the presentation for any students who were absent that day or for an example to the following year's students. You will also have a digital copy of their work that could be saved for class portfolios or accreditation evidence etc.
One other idea is to use Google Earth to display where the animals are located in the world. You could help the students use the polygon tool to mark where the animals live. You can have the mapping for the entire class prepared beforehand, save it in a folder, and switch easily from one animal to another. This could be projected as a backdrop to their presentation or used as a visual aid.

Why not have them build and show a model of the animal they are reporting on. The animals could be made of clay, paper mache, or any other material on hand. For some animals (carefully chosen), they may be able to bring in a caged live one to the class. Keep cages secured!!!
I agree with Rob. Both voicethread and animoto are very engaging for the students. I have experimented with both in my 2/3 classroom.



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