Thursday, March 1, 2012

PowerPoint brought into the future, App #9: PowerPoint as a movie

PowerPoint as a Movie:

(I am cheating on this application because this is not really a Web 2.0 tool; however, it is useful knowledge for anyone in business or education).

Synopsis: My first year of teaching, I came barreling into the classroom with ideas to use iMovie (before I realized we were not a Mac school) or Movie Maker to turn poetry into a new medium--digital stories. In the process, I discovered how little my students had been exposed to such movie-making technologies, despite being products of eMINTS (click here for more information on Missouri's technology inclusive program). On the other hand, my students were PowerPoint masters. It seems, by that time (circa 2005/2006), PowerPoint was a one trick pony in the classroom. And, as lessons often go, there were several miscommunications, one of which being the medium by which the projects could be created. With a week left, I discovered that many (all were anxious so they took their projects home to dig up photos and audio clips, and other memorabilia) had done their projects on PowerPoint. As a first year teacher, I was frazzled. I did not know how they could move all of their work into Movie Maker in a timely fashion. However, that's when one of the students showed me that PowerPoint slides could be saved as JPEG files. Well, JPEG files can then be imported into Movie Maker, iMovie, or any other movie-making software. That saved a lot of headaches.

Now, PowerPoint has an option so where you can even bypass the saving as JPEG images. Instead, (in PCs) you can simply go to File Save As. In the Save as type drop-down menu, select Windows Media Video and press Save. It will then export it as a Media file that can be opened in Windows Media Player (just like finished Movie Maker projects). In Macs, you have the same options; however, the steps are slightly different. Instead of going to File--Save As, go to File--Save as Movie. And, that's it! When you save it as a movie, all of the transitions and animations are also still in effect. Of course, now PowerPoint can be saved as almost any type of file or exported into almost all of the Office products. It can be imported into Google Docs, with all of its formatting still in tact.

Integration: Personally, I like that existing PowerPoint presentations can be turned into movies, a new medium. These movies can then be imported into Movie Maker or other movie making software to make a combination of PowerPoint movies. This file can now be uploaded into VoiceThread. And with VoiceThread, you can add audio commentary or visual commentary about the presentation. Therefore, a once good PowerPoint presentation can now be a movie with commentary capabilities. It expands on the PowerPoint one-trick pony. PowerPoint now allows for videos, audio clips, and media to be included within each slide. When the PowerPoint is saved as a movie, those same media clips are exported into the movie. Therefore, all original work is kept in-tact. Perhaps the best use of the PowerPoint-as-a-movie option is its ability to be combined with other PowerPoints into longer movies and to act as a video clip when making longer movies. It is also a great file to upload to your Website for students to watch when they need extra help. PowerPoint is just another software that is working towards inclusive platforms, where multiple file types can be integrated into one, larger, more acceptable file type.

Check out this PowerPoint I created that is now saved as a movie (and can now be imported into this blog).

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