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Wishing for something different than the same-old-same-old PowerPoint presentation? Presentations are a great way to convey information, or for students to digitally demonstrate what they've learned, but who wants to sit through the traditional mundane slide show presentation these days? Take a look at some of my favorite free alternative presentation tools that go beyond the basic slide show.
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We all know how important it is to keep students interested in the classroom. The more we can stretch their brief attention spans, the more information we can get to stick in their brains. Knovio is a presentation tool that gives you the chance to present information in hundreds of creative ways.

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You can use Knovio to share all of your ideas with students, and even create a video of your presentation so students can take a look at it on their own time (great for those of us using a blended learning model with our classes).

Have effective PowerPoint presentations already finished? One of my favorite features of Knovio is that you can upload your previously created slides. This makes it super easy to get started with your first Knovio, because you can take advantage of all the materials you've already completed. Then all you need to do is embellish as needed, and add in your video content to finish off your Knovio.

Overall, this is one superb presentation tool for teachers and students alike.

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Google Presentations

This presentation tool follows many of the traditional rules, with one big twist - it turns the traditional slide show presentation into a collaborative work environment.

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With Google Presentations, you can have up to 10 people at one time (students together, you and students, you and other teachers, or any combination of students or teachers, or perhaps even parents) working together at the same time on a single project. Like PowerPoint, with Google Presentations, you add slides and content, and then manipulate them into a logical sequence to form a presentation.

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This tool helps minimize off-task behavior by helping you construct your own interactive lessons.

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Nearpod makes it simple to create engaging, interactive lessons that YOU control, while students interact with them from their devices. Use Nearpod to create new lessons from scratch, or import existing PowerPoint slides to Nearpod. You also have the option to include interactive activities, questions, quizzes, and polls, as well as online, pre-made lessons.

Mobile devices are great for individual exploration and personalized learning. But it's easy for students to get distracted or pulled in another direction, with so many options available via their mobile devices. Now, with Nearpod's help, you can control the content your students see on their screens.

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This interactive media platform will really spark your students' interest...

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The concept behind ThingLink is simple. First, choose an image to use as your background. It could be anything... an image of a person, the night sky, or a map of the United States. Then tag additional information to the image -- text, video, audio clips, images, or other elements. This additional information will appear on screen as viewers mouse over that part of the image. Using the examples listing above, students could create ThingLinks labeling parts of the human body, identifying features of the sky, or providing information about each state on a map.

To walk through a step-by-step example of the creation of a ThingLink for classroom use, watch this video, Digital Storytelling with Interactive Images and Videos. Technology Trainer Susan Oxnevad goes through how to create your own ThingLink, and shares a bunch of different ideas for how you might use one in your classroom.

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Keynote App

Have you ever wondered how to create a presentation directly from your iPad? Allow me to introduce the Keynote App.

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Keynote is an exceptionally powerful presentation tool to have access to on your mobile device. While you don't have to use Keynote on other devices to use the app version, this app is especially useful for those who have Keynote access on a computer as well. For those who have access to Keynote on a computer, you can sync your presentations via iCloud so you always have access to the most recent versions. This means you'll have access to all of your Keynotes on the go, and you can edit them from your mobile device, or a any computer with access to iCloud.

If you happen to use AirPlay or Apple TV at your school, Keynote is the ideal presentation tool for you. Because Keynote is Apple's presentation tool, you'll be able to seamlessly present your Keynotes wirelessly.

For more in-depth information about using Keynote on your iPad, take a look at the training video, Create Awesome Presentations on Your iPad.  This training shows you the basics of using the Keynote app on your iPad to create dynamic, stand-alone presentations. Experienced educator Chris Casal also shows you how to use the app to work on and show presentations that were originally created with the desktop version of Keynote.

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Have you ever considered presenting information to students via a video lesson? Let's take a look at how Tellagami can help...

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Tellagami is a free mobile app that allows you to create a character quickly and share an animated video, or gami. There are two versions of the app available, the free general version Tellagami, and the paid education version Tellagami Edu. The general version may still be used by educators, but the edu version has extra features (and no in-app purchases) for teachers and students to enjoy.

Using Tellagmi, you could create video lessons animated with a character that resembles you. Embed the finished videos on your classroom website, so students and parents know exactly where to find them at all times. Creating different types of video lessons and tutorials engages students and keeps things interesting. It also allows students to watch the lesson over again easily, if necessary, and for students who are absent or working from home to have access when you're not available face-to-face to help.

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Emaze has a few wonderful templates designed with educators in mind. Your students will love themes like Chalkboard, 3D Gallery, and School.

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You can get started with eMaze for free and create new presentations with just a few clicks. One of my favorite things about emaze is you can import your old powerpoints and turn them into emazes. This is a great way to upgrade your old presentations and give them a new look and feel.

To learn about more alternatives to the typical presentation, check out this on-demand training video, Alternatives to Slide Presentations – Free Tools for Student Projects. Join technology trainer Lauren Boucher as she introduces free tools for student projects that go beyond the slide show. In addition to sharing the free tools, Lauren provides project ideas and classroom tips that can be used across curriculum and grade levels.

Which of these tools are you planning on using first? Let us know how you like to present information in your classroom — please leave a comment on this article below.

Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics, and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at editor@simplek12.com.

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