While preparing for my Mobile Learning presentation at the Leading Learning 2008 conference, I have been toying with the idea of projecting my slide show not from my computer, but from my iPod! I figured that this could add a tremendous effect if the audience were able to see first hand just how powerful the mobile tools are. In fact, this is quite useful for students as well in that while access to a computer is necessary for the student to put the slide show together, access to a computer is not necessary to present that slide show.
How can this be accomplished? Ultimately, it depends on the platform that students are using. For Windows users using PowerPoint, when saving their presentation, students can save their presentation as individual slides in JPG format.
When the images are saved onto the computer, the students can connect their iPod to iTunes and upload the the image slides to their iPod like they would any other image. Once on the iPod, the students can connect their iPod to the projector and present their slides using the scroll wheel (all iPods except the iPod Touch) or the on-screen controls (iPod Touch) to advance the slides. Please note that in order to connect the iPod to a projector, an Apple Composite AV cable or equivalent is required.
When using Macs, students have a number of options. If using PowerPoint Mac edition, the same steps stated above apply. If using Keynote, then students can either export their slide show as images, which is essentially the same as above, or they can export the presentation to iPod. Exporting the presentation to iPod turns the presentation into a Quicktime movie that can be paused and advanced at will. The benefit here is that any audio or video that is embedded in the slide will play from the iPod. If slides are saved as JPGs, only the image will be displayed but any embedded audio or video will not play from within the slide.
As an added bonus, the online office suite Thinkfree has an iPod edition that will allow students to save their presentation to their iPod, connect it to any computer for editing, and will export the slides as images as well.
If you school has some money to spend, the Viewsonic PJ258 video projector has a built in dock so that the iPod can be connected directly into the projector. This option would save lots of time and hassle but that convenience does come with a cost – currently a $1399 cost!
As a presentation tool, the iPod can make student presentations both dynamic and flexible. There is not need to set up a computer or to have a laptop available. Students simply have access to their presentation from their pockets.
Added March 25th – convert PowerPoint to iPod by creating a movie using Windows MovieMaker