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Make better presentations

Download free PowerPoint templates, backgrounds and videos. You'll also find great links to online reference and research tools. There are special resources just for teachers, traveling presenters, ministers and business people.

Recent Posts

What does that number in your presentation really mean?

A lot of our presentations include statistics.  We use charts, graphs and numbers to tell our stories.

Statistics get thrown about for shock value sometimes, so understanding the data source, the sample size and the measurement referenced can help you decide if that headline is really meaningful.

statisticsIn case you have a few questions about exactly what a statistic means, check out this great reference called Statistics Every Writer Should Know.  Find everything from the basics (what is the mean, median, average?) to more advanced topics regarding sample size and confidence.  The author has even compiled a fabulous list of where to find statistical data on the internet.   His list covers sources for information on crime, military, economics, agriculture…you name it – he lists a source for it!

Statistics from over 100 US Government agencies.  The preeminent source for federal government statistics is at FedStats.gov.

Want to Know How Things Work?

How Everyday Things are Made An introductory website for kids and adults showing how various items are made. It covers over 40 different products and manufacturing processes, from airplanes and candy to clothing and plastic. This site has almost 4 hours of manufacturing video developed by Stanford University.

The Tech Museum of Innovation Their mission is “… to inspire the innovator in all learners”. Find a network of teachers engaged in using design and problem-solving as a method of teaching science and integrating other disciplines. The lesson plans and activities offer a design-based problem solving approach to learning science that supports the development of technology literacy.

Free Alternative Software – Free and Good

OpenOffice is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite. An open-source project, it is compatible with all other major office suites. The product is free to download, use, and distribute. Get OpenOffice as a download or on CD.
A collection of five tools, OpenOffice includes Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calc and Base components. The interface will look familiar to MS Office users. This suite was designed as one complete office package. Opens and saves in Office compatible formats. This free software could really help with your classroom budget.

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. Go here and check out the screenshots and features – then download and install.

Keep Art in your Classroom – Resources for Visuals and Art

Art project ideas and techniques for students up to grade 12. Crayola provides great school resources, and not just for art teachers. An amazing array of lesson plans and other useful content. Some of the content does require (free) registration.

Free art project ideas for your classroom abound at Art Teacher on the Net. Photos and step by step instructions for projects.

Great ideas for using digital cameras in the classroom.  Check out the resources and inspiration as well as lesson plans from Kodak.

Interactivity to Inspire Learners

The Map Machine from National Geographic. Although it does have an annoying popup ad, this resource is a must-see. An amazing range teacher resources are available on this site.

The History Channel has interactive resources, history activities, a speech archive and programming information.

A&E Channel. Search 25,000 biographies online. Articles, links to related sites and people.

Discovery Channel School offers hundreds of lesson plans written by teachers for teachers.
Free resources including:
Curriculum Center, activities supporting core curriculum topics for the most popular science topics taught in upper elementary and middle school (includes: Bacteria, Oceans, Chemistry, Solar System, Electricity, The Universe, Genetics, Weather & Climate, Magnetism, Viruses).
For each topic, you’ll find Quick Facts, Hands on Experiments, Project Ideas, Puzzles, Vocabulary Words, and a Review Quiz. Teaching Tools include a Puzzle maker, Lesson Planner, and more.
You’ll also find one of my favorites – Brain Boosters.

Specifically Science – Focus on the Future

ENC The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education is a K-12 math and science teacher center funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Science Friday is a great resource for science teachers. This site covers all the latest topics and news in science from the NPR radio show.

Nova Science in the News From the Australian Academy of Science, this site covers areas from the environment to technology to physical sciences. Some interesting topics and perspectives.

Fun Science Gallery Instructions showing you how to build scientific equipments from relatively cheap materials. Projects include instructions for making telescopes, microscopes, batteries, sidereal indicators, and several other instruments. This site is designed to motivate children to engage in science.

Write It Better with these Writing Tools

A great presentation needs professional and correct writing style, grammar, word usage and spelling.  Need some help? Check out these sites.

An easy to use and comprehensive site when you need help with grammar, punctuation, sentence mechanics, and writing.  The Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus Online for word help.

Add some famous or not so famous quotes to your presentation. Check out The Quotations Home Page or try the Quote Garden.

Classroom Tools that Fit Your Budget, Really

The Online Books Page Listing and links to over 20,000 free books on the Web.

PBS. More than 4500 free lesson plans and activities from the PBS Teachers Resource.

Your Dictionary. Every specialty dictionary, glossary, and word list you could want. Topic and industry specific terms, rhyming, word games. An inspiration for those who love words. One of my personal favorites is the dictionary of the 100 Most Often Misspelled Words along with hints to remember the correct spelling of each.

EdHelper offers teacher resources for K-7. Although some of the site requires a subscription, many resources are free. Lots of lessons, worksheets and theme ideas.

Blue Web’n is a searchable library of about 1200 outstanding Internet learning sites. Find lessons, activities, projects, resources, references, and classroom tools.

Technically Speaking

From Education World, a “techtorial” on Creating a Class PowerPoint presentation.

Need a technical term defined? Check out TechWeb’s searchable encyclopedia of the latest in tech.

Groups of Interest

Kidlink is a global, non-commercial organization whose main focus is to “…empower kids and youth with free educational programs to help them mature, get better control over their lives, encourage creativity, create social networks, and collaborate with peers around the world, individually or through their classrooms”.