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E-Learn 2008

I don’t like powerpoint a whole lot. We don’t really have a good alternative for presentations. I’ve been experimenting with different approaches. Most recent is PersonalBrain, which I used for my presentation at E-Learn 2008 in Vegas today. The presentation is here.


  1. Alan Levine wrote:

    “We don’t really have a good alternative for presentations.”?

    Excuse my American, but, “Bull”. The alternatives are limitless, unless we continue to think of presentations as flipping word slides.

    The problem is not lack of software or options, it is lack of creativity, of willingess to step out the comfortable.

    I did my first presentation using local HTML files and a web browser (Mosaic) in 1994.

    I have used… Hypercard, custom Flash, Macromedia Director, Mediawiki, Blogger, Wikispaces, custom HTML, iPhoto, Second Life, Macromedia Breeze, a delicious tag set, S5, a series of PhotoShop images loaded in Elluminate, Vuvox Collage, PBWiki, loaded tabs in Firefox, Flickr,

    PersonalBrain- interesting interface, but how did it work for a visual? It seems kind of tiny on screen.

    But that is thinking different!

    Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink
  2. gsiemens wrote:

    Hi Alan,

    The interface you see online is quite different from what it actually looks like in the tool itself. I’m able to resize the text, incorporate images, etc. It worked fairly well (I think, audience members may disagree :) ).

    Friday, November 21, 2008 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  3. Romi Rancken wrote:

    George, you have been using CmapTools for other purposes, why not for presentations? It has a good (even if not prefect) presentation mode which people does not seem to use much.

    I tested PersonalBrain several years ago and have the recent version on my computer, but even though it’s a nice program I don’t use it for presentations. That has to do with the automatic centering of the current concept – I think that function impedes understanding and learning rather than assisting it.

    I have no scientific basis whatsoever for that assertion, but I believe human thinking and remembering to some extent is spatial – concepts are more easily understood and remembered if they are placed in some kind of relatively stable space. In PersonalBrain concepts are jumping around, and only the presenter knows the overall picture.

    When I present with CmapTools I first give the overall picture of the presentation, in the form of a concept map or a concept “track”, then I make all the concepts but the one I’m currently taking about half transparent (otherwise the map is too overwhelming). At the end I show the whole map/track once again. Then everyone has both overview and is assisted in focusing on the current theme.
    Works for me.

    Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:03 am | Permalink
  4. Scott Leslie wrote:

    George, just wanted to say I quite liked the PersonalBrain approach – it has structure without linearity, and unlike some other “innovative” formats, I could actually make out what the presentation was about afterwards (though familiarity with the topic probably helped in this regard). So, interesting approach, thanks for sharing it.

    Monday, November 24, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink