Thing 5: Presentation Tools


Our scissors are now digital
CC by pollyalida

Our next topic is Presentation Tools. In the past this topic was combined with  Digital Storytelling, since the two topics are so intertwined. After all, giving an effective presentation is really all about good storytelling. But the lessons were getting far too long and there are so many great tools to explore. Keep in mind that there’s still lots of overlap in the tools in these two lessons.

This lesson includes a selection of tools to help you and your students create more compelling presentations. Many of the tools in the Digital Storytelling lesson could also be used for presentations.

HELP! There’s a lot of information on this lesson page. Don’t let it intimidate you! Look at a few examples and play with a couple of the tools. You don’t have to look at every tool and resource listed. We just wanted to provide a wide variety of resources to meet all interests.

TIP: To test out multiple tools in a hurry, gather together 5-10 of your own photos and use them over and over. That way you can focus on how the tools work, rather than worrying about the perfect photos and the perfect storyline.


Some of the more popular tools with examples and ideas that can be used at a variety of grade levels and for a range of purposes.

Presentation Tools

  • HaikuDeck – Web and app presentation tool. Makes beautifully simple and effective presentation slides.
    Select images from the HaikuDeck collection or add your own. Example: Telling Stories
  • Buncee – A fun tool for creating a single ‘slide’ or many. Lots of colorful backgrounds, images and animations to choose from. Add your own graphics, audio, embed videos, add text and more. Free and fee plans, classroom options as well. Use it for student presentations, flipped classroom content, storytelling and more.
  • Google Slides – Easy to use, integrated with other Google tools. If you’re a Google school, this is a no-brainer!  Slides Carnival – free templates for Google Slides.
  • Tellegami – Fun iOS app that creates a short message with a background, your customized character on the screen and your voice. Use a photo of a book cover as the background and students could do 30 second book talks. Or a photo of a character, an animal, a drawing, etc. Great for younger students to do short presentations.  Example: Student book talk
  • ceased March 2017 bunkr – A fairly new presentation tool. Easily include content from other sources like your instagram, twitter, flickr, youtube, etc accounts. Tons of options for grabbing content from around the web. Or just use it for simple slides with your own image backgrounds and text.
    An AASL Best Website 2016. Ideas for Using AASL Best Websites: Bunkr  Example: Present the Whole Web – demo by the bunkr team shows many options.
  • Prezi – An interesting way of creating a presentation in a somewhat non-linear way. Place text, photos, and other media on a big blank screen. Arrange in the order you want to present it and add paths to connect all the pieces. Lets you zoom in and out to put focus on different pieces of the presentation. Could be used as a mindmapping tool. Limited free account for educators.

Pre-recorded Presentations with Audio

  • Screencastomatic – Free, web-based tool that records what is on your screen, while you narrate. Set up your slides in PowerPoint or another tool, launch the recording tool and go.
  • MoveNote – Upload your slides and record your narration. Includes a video of your “talking head” alongside the slides. Has a free trial and an inexpensive entry level plan at $5 year.
  • Knovio – Upload your slides, then narrate slide by slide.  Free!

Visual Storytelling – Photos, Text & More

  • Exposure, Steller, Adobe Spark These tools provide templates and design options to help you easily create beautifully laid out stories with photos and text.
    Use these for student presentations, creative writing, photo stories, newsletters and more.

    • Exposure is web-based with 3 free stories. Stellar is iOS only. Adobe Spark works on the web and
    • Examples:
      • BGS Teacher Talk – A newsletter created with Adobe Slate by @bgsteachbetter
      • The Garden – My test of Slate. Easy to search for photos within the tool and it automatically credits the photos at the end
  • Microsoft Sway – Microsoft’s entry into the digital publishing/viusal storytelling realm. “Create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more.” Lots of options, a little bit daunting at first. Start from scratch or import from PowerPoint, Word or PDF. Create on the Web, Windows 10 and iOS. Probably not for elementary school students.

Tools, tips and Resources


Finding Media: Searching for photos and music can take a lot of work, especially if you’re preparing an important presentation and are looking for just the right image to convey your message. Listed below are some tools to help you find media for presentations. The best way to find photos you can legally reuse, is to search for Creative Commons licensed images. Some image search tools have a way to limit your search to CC licensed content.

  • IMPORTANT: Check for licensing terms of any photo you download. You’ll need to keep track of where you got the photo to give it proper credit.

Image search tools:

  • LibreStock – a meta search engine for 47 sites that have CC0 licensed images.
  • Pixabay – My first stop for photo searching. All images are CC0 licensed, free to use.
  • PhotoPin – Very easy to use and searches a number of sources for CC licensed photos.
  • CC search – search for images, video and music from one search page. Handy!
  • Flickr advanced search – Under the “any license” dropdown, select the Creative Commons setting.
  • Copyright Friendly Images – a list of resources from Joyce Valenza
  • NYPL Public Domain Collection – Over 180,000 digitized items now in the public domain. Great resource!

Music & Sounds:


This learning activity is easy, fun and very flexible!

Basic AND Advanced Activity!

  • Step 1: Pick a tool, any tool and create a short presentation of some sort. Or pick an idea from the More Ideas list below.
  • Step 2: Write a blog post about the tools you explored, how you might use them in your library and school, share other ideas and thought.
  • Step 3: Link to your project: either post a link to your project in the blog post OR embed it in the blog post if the tool you chose has that feature available.


  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL for the post.
  • Return to the lesson page on the CanvasLMS site.
  • Use the SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT button in the CanvasLMS page and paste in your URL.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Canavas LMS system.

More Ideas to Explore

  • Pick an iPad or Android presentation/storytelling app to explore.
  • Brainstorm an idea for using tools with your students.
  • Search for some lesson plans/ideas that you might use as inspiration. Discuss how you might implement them.
  • Or any other creative project that involves storytelling/presentation tools.







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