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7 alternative presentation tools for classroom use.
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 [email protected] .
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It’s important for teachers to master the art of presenting engaging lectures that keep kids interested in the material as the weeks wear on. However, it’s equally important for students to master the same trade. As kids progress through school, higher education and, eventually, their professional lives, they’ll need tools besides PowerPoint to effectively pitch ideas and communicate dense material to seminars of bored classmates.
We’re breaking down 8 must-have presentation apps to help both teachers and students find their inner aesthetic and create drool-proof, prize-winning presentations.
- Eiki International, Inc .: Not all classroom projectors are created equal. Some may be user-friendly, but lower in quality, while others show crystal clear images, but prove difficult to operate. One thing that teachers should never have to jeopardize is quality, and one thing they absolutely can’t afford to waste is time! That’s why Eiki International Inc.’s EK-100W “Entry” Series Projector is the perfect classroom companion for teachers: great picture, easy functionality, plus it’s equipped with Eiki’s revolutionary 10,000 hour lamp technology. You can display HD video from your smartphone or tablet and it accepts composite, component and S-Video in all major standards.
- Board Builder : Board Builder acts like a digital poster board that allows teachers and students to begin with a blank canvas and personalize presentations. Customize backgrounds, add imagery, video clips, documents, change fonts, and tie everything together with built-in color schemes that keep slides both engaging and aesthetically pleasing.
- Emaze : With everything that teachers have on their plates – from lesson plans to addressing behavioral problems to making sure struggling students receive extra help – it’s understandable that there’s little time left to customize every presentation. Emaze is an easy , user-friendly presentation app that allows creators to plug in lesson information and aesthetic preferences and watch as built-in templates take over. Choose from learning aids, 3D imagery, transitions, and presentation formats that look professionally crafted. The software is also cloud-based, so Emaze presentations can be edited from any device online.
- Powtoon : Ask any marketing professional how to capture the attention of millennials, and they’ll say video Start thinking of your students like consumers who have hours and hours of advertisement thrown at them every second because, with a smartphone in reach, it’s true that students have content they’d rather be focusing on. It’s your job to grab their attention and, like the best marketing strategists, create custom videos. Powtoon allows users to create animated videos that grab everyone’s immediate attention easily. When was the last time your kids watched a personalized, animated video outlining photosynthesis?
- Educreations : In the same video vein, Educreations is an interactive white board that captures a teacher’s voice and handwriting to create shareable video lessons. Educreations is perfect for struggling students who like going through the material with teachers one-on-one, but still, need refreshers after the review session ends. Educreations records the session and lets students replay the video afterward to review every detail of their personalized instruction.
- Prezi : Prezi is a free tool that takes PowerPoints to the next level. If you’re in a rush, you can import previously created PowerPoints into Prezi and watch as your once plain presentation gets new movement and flare. Otherwise, Prezi lets you create a unique presentation from scratch. Zoom in on images, zoom out to reveal larger backgrounds for dramatic effect, easily incorporate audio components, and choose from endless themes. If you’re struggling for inspiration, Prezi offers suggestions and interesting tools that help boost even the most boring series of slides.
- ClickShare : Is your classroom prone to technical troubles? No IT professional on site? ClickShare is a wireless presentation and collaboration tool that projects slides from any device with the touch of a button. Connecting slides to projectors is so easy that a glitch will never delay the start of a presentation in your classroom again. ClickShare also fosters collaboration, letting multiple students and teachers work together on different accounts. If you want to be there while students master the art of presentations, monitor their progress and provide input when students begin struggling.
- DyKnow : DyKnow allows teachers to create SMART boards from any ordinary whiteboard. The tool opens like PowerPoint and allows teachers to write on computers using special pens while projecting the presentation to students in real time. Students can view presentations on their personal devices and, to be sure students are actually watching, teachers have the power to block websites so students can only access presentations. Have students out sick? Save presentations to a server and kids can access them anytime, anywhere.
With the smartphone and tablet and VR phenomenon exploding from generation to generation, kids have more distractions than ever before. That means teachers today face an especially tough challenge in keeping kids’ attention towards their lesson plans and away from a separate screen sitting in backpacks and laps.
If students are bored with PowerPoint, Google Slides, and other generic presentation tools, WOW them with video, audio, and imagery that mirrors the content they spend hours watching on YouTube and Netflix. As teachers learn to master the art of engagement, kids will inevitably learn by example and begin creating powerhouse presentations of their own.
Disclosure: This preceding post was sponsored. We were compensated by the sponsoring company, and consider this to be an advertisement. However, we only endorse or recommend services or products that we think would be a good fit for our readership. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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8 Tips to Power-Up Your Classroom Presentations
Last month, I attended a Back to School Night for parents, sitting through presentation after presentation by teachers, some with slides that helped make their presentation a delight to listen to, and others . . . well, that's why I'm writing this blog post.
The goal of a classroom presentation is to aid you in effectively conveying information in a way that allows students (or their parents) to remember what you said. Unfortunately, for some, the presentation becomes a crutch, and they begin to rely on the slides to tell their story, rather than to help them tell the story.
I've been creating presentations using software like PowerPoint and KeyNote for 20 years, and I've learned a lot about how to most effectively communicate. Here's what I've found.
1. Use as Many Slides as You Need
It's a common myth that better presentations use fewer slides. This is simply not the case. I once sent an education conference presentation to the organizers so they could preview it in advance of my speaking. They wrote back, concerned that my 45-minute presentation had 116 slides. I looked it over and realized they were right! I revised it and sent a presentation with 135 slides back to them. I finished my talk with 5 minutes to spare -- just enough time to take questions -- and the presentation was a huge success.
The number of slides in your presentation is irrelevant. What matters is how well your slides communicate and how much time you spend talking about each slide. Spending five minutes on five slides will almost always be more engaging to your students than spending five minutes on a single slide, even when the information is exactly the same.
In the movie Amadeus , the Emperor of Austria complains to Mozart that his music has "too many notes." Mozart responds, "There are just as many notes as are required. Neither more nor less." Use as many slides as you need to make your point. No more. No less.
2. Minimize Verbosity
Your slides are there to support what you are saying, not to say it for you. Keep your word count low, and only place one main point on a slide, plus three to five sub-points if absolutely needed. Remember tip #1 above -- don't be afraid to use more slides. They're free! Also, the language in your slides doesn't need to be in complete sentences. Pare the text to as few words as possible, using what's there only to emphasize and reinforce -- not replace -- the words coming out of your mouth.
3. Maximize Visuals
Photos, figures and icons work as visual memory triggers. They help your students remember what it is you're saying. Any time you can add a visual that helps illustrate or reinforce the points you're making in your slides, you should use it. One great way to do this on the cheap is to use public domain or creative commons photos you can find on Flickr or Google .
4. Reduce Noise
Many teachers like to add banners, headers, footers, page numbers and more noise to their slides. Unless the information needs to be on every slide for a vital reason (which is rare), you should remove it. All these redundant elements do is create distractions from the content of your slides. I find this to be especially true of page numbers. Imagine if a movie included a time code at the bottom, constantly reminding you how long you had been watching. All this does is serve to take the viewer out of the moment. Page numbers in slides really don't provide any useful information -- they just remind your students how long they've been watching.
Pursuant to tips #1 and #2, you're not going to win awards by cramming the most content on the fewest slides. Make text and visuals as large as you can. Not only does this make them easier to see and read, but larger images and text make a greater impact to aid memory. There's nothing wrong with filling an entire slide with a photo, and then placing text right on top. You may have to use a transparent background immediately behind the text so that it's clearly readable, but the overall effect is almost always more memorable than just some text beside an image.
6. Highlight What You Are Talking About
While you are presenting, your students may be momentarily distracted taking notes, thinking about what you are saying, glancing out the window, possibly even daydreaming. When they refocus on your slides, though, they need to quickly pick back up where you are, or you risk losing them again.
- Use contrast or call-outs to clearly show the area of the slide you are talking about.
- Reveal bullet points or table rows one at a time so that the last one visible is the one you are talking about.
- Use arrows, circles or other pointers to show what you are referencing in specific parts of an illustration, photo or graph.
- Animate and reveal parts of illustrations and graphs (where possible) to build your story rather than showing everything at once.
- Use bold type or different colors to highlight the keywords in any lengthy text.
7. Transition Changes
Humans suffer from an affliction called change blindness -- we have a hard time seeing changes unless there is a clear transition between the states. This is especially a problem in presentations where slides may look very much alike. Most programs include transitions that can be used between slides or on elements in the slides themselves.
My favorite transition is the cross-dissolve -- where the first slide fades down while the next slide fades up -- but different transitions can help illustrate points in your presentation. Are you talking about combustion or the fire of London? Use a flame transition. Talking about photography or Hollywood movies? Use the flashbulb transition. Even "cheesy" transitions help overcome change blindness and aid student memory at the same time.
8. Repeat Yourself Redundantly
It’s OK to repeat the same slide more than once -- especially when using images -- if you are reminding students of an earlier point. Obviously, this is not a license to be monotonous. However, if you want to tie separate ideas together, emphasize a point or splash in a little comic relief, it's perfectly fine to repeat a slide.
Bonus Tip: Make it Funny!
There's little doubt that emotional responses can aid memory. While it can be difficult to apply this power in a classroom slide presentation, humor is easy enough, and adding a bit of levity to your presentations at the right points can work to give students vital memory hooks.
Remember, the point of presentation slides is not to replace you as the teacher, but to help your students understand and remember what you are teaching. Overwhelming them with too much information can be just as harmful as underwhelming them with too little.
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How Educational Presentation Tools Can Make an Impact on Students
- Published on October 8, 2021
Table of Contents
The controversy between educational technologies and traditional classroom teaching models has led to eye-opening discussions on their impacts. Most often, students get bored when they are given tricky theories by oration alone.
Everybody agrees that visual teaching is the best way to increase cognitive abilities that would be long-lasting and easy to recall. Of course, it may disrupt their natural abilities to think and create. However, it will add millions of new talents and logical capacity to learn and practice.
Delivering an idea through educational presentation tools is one of the best methods to get student interaction.
In this post, I will introduce the best presentation tools and how they impact students’ education. All these guidelines could be practical to any interactive session.
Irrespective of the subject, making impactful slideshows and engaging materials help students get their point across and learn best practices for using software to help them organize their thoughts.
How to make educational presentation tools engaging for students
Some common rules and regulations would make your presentation creative. First, we discuss these rules in the synopsis, and then we explore software tools that assist in your classroom presentation. Here we go:
As we all know, planning is the foundation stone for any action. “Planning in a presentation” refers to organizing your content, knowing your materials, brainstorming ideas, and outlining your thoughts it matches your slides.
If your presentation hasn’t been organized in a logical sequence, it would be losing its scientific foundations, and the students get nothing from you. Both content and slides should be in a continuum with subsequent steps.
Use key phrases
A summarized form of your topic will make students understand better. So, infuse summary slides of your topic either at the end or at the beginning. This will help students stay on the topic. Give your informationally significant lessons in the future because readers and viewers retain the core ideas from your presentation.
Avoid using too much text
One of the biggest mistakes students and even teachers make in classroom presentations is placing their entire speech instead of visual infographics. When I was a student, a classmate of mine, a brilliant student, had imprinted all the texts on a slide. His teacher asked him why you put even unimportant points on the slide. The student answered, unless we put whole the lecture, you people couldn’t understand my matter.is
Limit the number of slides
Don’t use too many slides for your presentation. Use a minimum of 15, not beyond 20. If you are creating 25 or 40 slides, it may harm the preciseness of your presentation even if it might result in losing viewer attentiveness.
Your design must be consistent with the theme
When talking about physical laws or accounting principles, don’t use “graphics of sentiments.” It will weaken your classroom presentation, and you lose the seriousness of the subject. Test it ahead of time to ensure that the text will be readable and that visual graphics won’t get lost in the setting.
Why did traditional blackboards have been replaced by modern whiteboards?
Is it only a matter of color? Yes. Color has a specific role to play. But the important thing is that Chalk also vanished from our smart classrooms.
Many of the teachers who have exceptional abilities in ‘chalk and talk’ deliveries also participate in this digital extravaganza. One of my seniors, who was very opposed to digital devices, including teaching software options, is now running after PowerPoint and Google Slides.
Nowadays, both teachers and students like to have visual classes because it has immense power to learn and understand.
There are three basic teaching methods: lecturing, discussion, and demonstration. Suppose you ask a student which one is most influential to you. Undoubtedly, he will stand for the demonstration method. So, people like live demonstrations instead of unmoving blackboards.
Therefore, celluloid has become the most influential entertainment of the 20th and 21st centuries. When we analyze these factors, we can conclude why visual slides become more impactful to the students.
Many educational presentation tools offering huge improvements on the old standbys are now available too. When you think of presentation tools, of course, PowerPoint will come to your mind at first.
See also: The Easiest Ways to Improve Your Classroom Presentation Skill: Try Free Online Resources Too!
The top 3 educational presentation tools in 2021.
Now and then, PowerPoint is one of the most used presentation tools. However, even PowerPoint alternatives like Google slides have updated overall features to make your presentation more accessible and create a presentation instantly.
Google slide is the first on my list. It is simple and easy to use. It sparkles when it comes to collaboration. You can cross-use contents from other Drive tools. Your template gallery enables options to choose from, different multimedia content into slides, different text fonts, colors, and animation designs.
Sincere teachers always encourage students to think freely. To do that, try Prezi. While Google slides function like a summary, Prezi works more like a concept map that allows you to switch easily between topics from the most page. Features like zooming enable you to outstand improvements on students’ perceptions and also give students the to tackle their presentation in any order.
keynote is one of the free and best educational presentation tools for Mac users. It helps easily integrate all the required features for your classroom presentation. You can save your templates to the cloud. So, from anywhere, you can make a presentation even if you won’t have your PC.
Like PowerPoint, you can add graphs, charts, animations, and tables of various content types quickly.
Apart from these top 3 presentation software, there are some more exceptional tools for your education presentation. Canva, Powtoon, Ludus, Beautiful.ai, and Glogster are a few of them.
All these apps feature pre-built templates, enable sharing and collaboration options, are easy to edit, and help create an outstanding presentation.
See also: 10+ Best Education PowerPoint Presentation Slides: Awesome First Day of School Activities
Final word to teachers.
As a teacher, you are giving classes for the Z generation. They have the most modern senses gifted from approximately 2 million years of evolution. Please don’t bother about them. They know how to overcome digital traps. If you are reluctant to give speeches with the assistance of modern educational technologies (educational presentation templates), you might be thrown away to dump bins. So, keep updated until and unless.
Let’s visit RRSlide to download free PowerPoint templates . But wait, don’t go anywhere and stay here with our RRGraph Design Blog to keep up-to-date on the best pitch deck template collections and design advice from our PowerPoint experts .
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Using Classroom Presentation Tools to deliver engaging lessons
Since I started this beautiful journey as a teacher, I knew it was going to be a great challenge. We all know that we must spend a lot of time planning classes that keep our students engaged and motivated. During these twenty years teaching, I have witnessed all the changes and advances in English Language Teaching, from working with tape recorders, using only print books, and designing materials to fit the right level to all the fantastic classroom presentation tools we have today.
Classroom Presentation Tools have come to make our lives easier. We need to take advantage of all the benefits we get from them. They help us create an interactive learning experience, deliver engaging lessons and save time when planning. What are those features that make Oxford University Press’ Classroom Presentation Tools unique? Well, grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this tour.
Let’s start with the amazing Oxford English Hub , where you can now access Classroom Presentation Tools for our best-selling international courses. Along with accessing Classroom Presentation Tools, Oxford English Hub provides one place for easy access to ALL your digital course materials, for every step of the teaching journey. With interactive content and smart tools to save your time, and integrated professional development tailored specifically to your course, to support your teaching.
Let’s take a closer look at the features of Classroom Presentation Tools. Although all of them are important and useful, we are going to highlight five of them:
1. Embedded audio and video
All audio tracks and videos are just one click away and embedded in the right place in the Student Book or Workbook. The audio player provides great listening practice! You can adjust the speed of the track to support your students when they don’t understand or challenge them to listen to it faster. With the AB loop, you can select one specific part to play on repeat.
The video player supports your teaching by showing students the use of the language they are learning. One recommended strategy is to play it without sound first to make your students guess what is happening and help activate their schemata about the topic. Some videos have the script embedded in them to use them for role plays or discussion.
Focus is an effective tool to help students concentrate on one task at a time and make it easier to answer in class. By opening an exercise full-screen, it allows you to project one activity and not the whole page. Within this tool, you have access to all the other necessary tools such as Draw and Highlight, Check Answers, Show Answers, and the audio and video players.
3. Show answers tool
Most of the time, the answers to all exercises are in the Teacher’s Guide. However, having them embedded in the CPT saves you a lot of time! You can show all the answers at once by clicking on the big eye or request individual answers at the small eye. It will help students to check, correct and review their answers.
4. Notes tool
One way to use the Notes tool is to write or record reminders for your classes. However, you could also use the Text Note to write instructions for specific tasks. You can substitute writing on the physical board, a platform board, or dictating. Alternating them is a way of breaking with the traditional way of teaching.
5. Switch books tool
Saving time has become a key element when planning and teaching your classes. In your planning and teaching, you may use two CPTs: one for the Student’s Book, and one for the Workbook. The Switch books tool helps you change from one book to the other in one click in your CPT. Imagine that you assign an activity in the Student Book, and you’d like to complement it with the related pages or exercises in the Workbook. Simply click the link to switch to the relevant page of your second book. You can go back to your first book using the Switch book icon in the toolbar.
These are just five of many features you have in your Classroom Presentation Tools, available on Oxford English Hub. I’m sure you’ll love them as much I do!
“Bring your coursebooks to life in the classroom. Simply present your learning resources on screen for highly engaging lessons either face to face or online.”
Andrea Espinach Roel is a full-time Oxford Educational Consultant for Central America. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration. Before entering the publishing industry, she taught English as a second language for twenty years in Costa Rica to all age groups (kids, teenagers, young adults, and adults). She’s been an Academic Coordinator in different institutions and has experience in designing English Programs for all ages in areas such as English, Science, Business, Technology, and Electromechanics.
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Great tools for real-time learning.
i will try the recommended presentation tools
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8 Digital tools for engaging classroom presentations
By Diana Zinveliu
Whether online or face-to-face, teachers are always looking for ways to create engaging learning experiences. Integrating presentations in teaching is an accessible way to bring technology to the classroom and make the best digital tools available. A slideshow lesson conveys information effectively and supports learning since most of it is done visually.
Teachers and students can use presentations to support learning and develop creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. However, the final goal is to make information clear and easy to remember, as visuals complement words. For this reason, presentations should remain simple, focused on images and keywords. To achieve this, you need more advanced tools.
Digital tools for engaging classroom presentations
Here are eight digital tools to look for when creating the best presentations for your classroom:
Google Slides is a free app that allows teachers and students to create and edit presentations using many features such as the multimedia embedding option and the variety of themes available. Users can also import their favorite themes from an outside source.
Creating new presentation templates can be time-consuming, so teachers can import other presentations they already have. Google Slides allows you to open, edit, and save Microsoft PowerPoint files. You can also present and share presentations on any device, browser, and even Chromecast Hangouts and Airplay.
Tip : Google Slides promotes collaboration and helps you assign teamwork. Students can work with Google Slides at the same time, and changes are saved automatically. Teachers, group coordinators and team members can leave comments and chat.
Read more: 4 Ways to promote collaboration in digital spaces
Microsoft's Sway has a user-friendly interface compatible with any device to help users create striking presentations.
Sway offers easy editing, like drop-in photos, videos, and other multimedia files. You can choose from three available layouts, seven core styles with different content laying, decorators, image captions, color, and textures.
Users benefit from additional design options in the Customize style panel and can explore different styles on the spot with the Remix button.
Tip : Sway presentations can be co-edited for instant collaboration and visualized on any device or screen size via an automatic optimization feature. It’s perfect for teachers who want to organize their lessons and synthesize information for students.
Nearpod gives users the possibility to create interactive slide-based lessons boosted by the extra tools available. Teachers can add a quiz, a poll, and open-ended questions to any slide-based lesson.
You can also customize any lesson from the Nearpod Lesson Library, including hundreds of already made slide-based lessons. A Nearpod lesson is easy to create using the drag and drop option, allowing users to import Google Slides, PDF files, or PowerPoint presentations.
Tip : Nearpod is helpful when you want to provide extra support for students, guide teaching, check for student understanding and improve student outcomes. Also, Nearpod helps students make real-world connections in integrated VR, PhET simulations, and Immersive Reader.
Read more: 5 Benefits of including VR in classroom activities
Pear Deck is an add-on tool for Google Slides that makes any presentation interactive. Teachers can present their content, include tasks for students to solve online, and check for understanding through questions and quizzes. Pear Deck offers a library of templates from which teachers can choose to support the learning objectives.
Tip : Pear Deck is perfect for online classes because you can invite students to actively participate in the lesson, monitor their work and offer instant feedback.
Haiku Deck is suitable for any web browser, iPad, iPhone, and Chromebook and makes presentations straightforward.
Due to their professional design with stylish fonts, layouts, and image filters, each presentation will be beautiful on any screen. Teachers can also ensure a learning continuum using clear and consistent formatting options.
Tip : You can create meaningful presentations by emphasizing images over words which simplifies the message of any lesson and makes it easier to remember. Teachers and students alike can select from many templates and access over 40 million Creative Commons-licensed images with automatic attributions upon import, promoting digital citizenship.
Read more: Meeting the needs of Gen Z students with visual learning
Sutori allows teachers to offer lessons that focus on collaborative learning as well as promote research, inquiry, critical thinking, and collaboration in any school subject. Using Sutori in the classroom will enhance student literacy, creativity, and communication skills, providing the perfect ground for self-reflection.
With access to many templates and lessons, every presentation will provide structure to learning with the benefits of its versatility and simplicity.
Tip : Teachers can also add social media in their slideshows or scroll down presentations making the best visual quality and connecting to the digitally native world.
Prezi helps you create meaningful learning experiences through memorable presentations while providing information, explaining an assignment, or boosting test preparation in face-to-face or online classrooms. Also, students can use Prezi slideshows in the flipped classroom to access the resources needed to get ready for class.
Teachers can foster interactions and leverage emotional connections with their lessons using visuals and stories.
Tip : Prezi is perfect for online teaching, allowing teachers to present information in a slideshow while simultaneously interacting with students.
Read more: Creating more interactive learning spaces in the new school year
Canva helps users design powerful and engaging presentation slides that provide a great visual component to support lessons.
Teachers can choose from hundreds of beautiful layouts, a wide range of presentation templates in various styles and themes, add animations, videos, and audio for the best slide-based lessons, which they can easily share with students.
Tip : Save the slides and use them as handouts.
Presentations are easy to integrate into face-to-face, hybrid and online lessons. With so many online tools available, teachers can share information with students, assist them in the learning process, ensure they understand and remember key concepts, and provide support.
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Sora is ChatGPT maker OpenAI’s new text-to-video generator. Here’s what we know about the new tool
FILE - The OpenAI logo is displayed on a cell phone with an image on a computer monitor generated by ChatGPT’s Dall-E text-to-image model, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Boston. The maker of ChatGPT is now diving into the world of AI-generated video. Meet Sora — OpenAI’s new text-to-video generator. The tool, which the San Francisco-based company unveiled on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2024 uses generative artificial intelligence to instantly create short videos based on written commands. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) — The maker of ChatGPT is now diving into AI-generated video.
Meet Sora — OpenAI’s new text-to-video generator . The tool, which the San Francisco company unveiled Thursday, uses generative artificial intelligence to instantly create short videos based on written commands.
Sora isn’t the first to demonstrate this kind of technology. But industry analysts point to the high quality of the tool’s videos displayed so far, and note that its introduction marks a significant leap for both OpenAI and the future of text-to-video generation overall.
Still, as with all things in the rapidly growing AI space today, such technology also raises fears about potential ethical and societal implications. Here’s what you need to know.
WHAT IS SORA? CAN I USE IT YET?
Sora is a text-to-video generator — creating videos up to 60 seconds long based on written prompts using generative AI. The model can also generate video from an existing still image.
Generative AI is a branch of AI that can create something new. Examples include chatbots, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and image-generators such as DALL-E and Midjourney. Getting an AI system to generate videos is newer and more challenging but relies on some of the same technology.
Sora isn’t available for public use yet (OpenAI says it’s engaging with policymakers and artists before officially releasing the tool) and there’s a lot we still don’t know. But since Thursday’s announcement, the company has shared a handful of examples of Sora-generated videos to show off what it can do.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to ask social media users to send in prompt ideas. He later shared realistically detailed videos that responded to prompts like “two golden retrievers podcasting on top of a mountain " and “a bicycle race on ocean with different animals as athletes riding the bicycles with drone camera view.”
While Sora-generated videos can depict complex, incredibly detailed scenes, OpenAI notes that there are still some weaknesses — including some spatial and cause-and-effect elements. For example, OpenAI adds on its website, “a person might take a bite out of a cookie, but afterward, the cookie may not have a bite mark.”
ARE THERE OTHER AI-GENERATED VIDEO TOOLS OUT THERE TODAY?
OpenAI’s Sora isn’t the first of its kind. Google, Meta and the startup Runway ML are among companies that have demonstrated similar technology.
Still, industry analysts stress the apparent quality and impressive length of Sora videos shared so far. Fred Havemeyer, head of U.S. AI and software research at Macquarie, said that Sora’s launch marks a big step forward for the industry.
“Not only can you do longer videos, I understand up to 60 seconds, but also the videos being created look more normal and seem to actually respect physics and the real world more,” Havemeyer said. “You’re not getting as many ‘uncanny valley’ videos or fragments on the video feeds that look ... unnatural.”
While there has been “tremendous progress” in AI-generated video over the last year — including Stable Video Diffusion’s introduction last November — Forrester senior analyst Rowan Curran said such videos have required more “stitching together” for character and scene consistency.
The consistency and length of Sora’s videos, however, represents “new opportunities for creatives to incorporate elements of AI-generated video into more traditional content, and now even to generate full-blown narrative videos from one or a few prompts,” Curran told The Associated Press via email Friday.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL RISKS?
Although Sora’s abilities have astounded observers since Thursday’s launch, anxiety over ethical and societal implications of AI-generated video uses also remains.
Havemeyer points to the substantial risks in 2024’s potentially fraught election cycle, for example. Having a “potentially magical” way to generate videos that may look and sound realistic presents a number of issues within politics and beyond, he added — pointing to fraud, propaganda and misinformation concerns.
“The negative externalities of generative AI will be a critical topic for debate in 2024,” Havemeyer said. “It’s a substantial issue that every business and every person will need to face this year.”
Tech companies are still calling the shots when it comes to governing AI and its risks as governments around the world work to catch up. In December, the European Union reached a deal on the world’s first comprehensive AI rules , but the act won’t take effect until two years after final approval.
On Thursday, OpenAI said it was taking important safety steps before making Sora widely available.
“We are working with red teamers — domain experts in areas like misinformation, hateful content, and bias — who will be adversarially testing the model,” the company wrote. “We’re also building tools to help detect misleading content such as a detection classifier that can tell when a video was generated by Sora.”
OpenAI’s Vice President of Global Affairs Anna Makanju reiterated this when speaking Friday at the Munich Security Conference , where OpenAI and 19 other technology companies pledged to voluntarily work together to combat AI-generated election deepfakes. She noted the company was releasing Sora “in a manner that is quite cautious.”
At the same time, OpenAI has revealed limited information about how Sora was built. OpenAI’s technical report did not disclose what imagery and video sources were used to train Sora — and the company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment Friday.
The Sora release also arrives amid the backdrop of lawsuits against OpenAI and its business partner Microsoft by some authors and The New York Times over its use of copyrighted works of writing to train ChatGPT. OpenAI pays an undisclosed fee to the AP to license its text news archive.
O’Brien reported from Providence, Rhode Island.
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Black History Month for Kids: Google Slides, Resources, and More!
50 Things You Might Recognize if You’ve Been Teaching More Than 10 Years
Embrace your experience!
Teaching beyond 10 years should be a badge of honor. You’ve seen a lot (some things you wish you could unsee), and you’ve watched things evolve and change along the way.
Now if you’ve been teaching for 15, 20, or 30+ years, that’s an even bigger accomplishment—major kudos to you. So to celebrate some of those familiar, amazing, and old-school moments of being a teacher, we asked our Facebook fans to share with us some of their best Remember when … ? items and practices.
Which ones do you recognize?
1. So. Much. Chalk Dust.
Before whiteboards, we had blackboards and chalk—and all the chalk dust that came with it. And, of course, on the days when you’d lean against the chalk tray while you lectured, you’d end up with a chalk line or two in a rather … conspicuous place.
2. The Joy of Colored Chalk
Most schools supplied teachers with an almost unlimited supply of white chalk, but colored chalk was harder to get your hands on—and that much more exciting when you did.
3. Clapping the Erasers
Every few days, chalkboard erasers had to be “clapped” to get rid of the dust. This was a coveted classroom job, as students usually were sent outside or at least got to lean out the window in order to do it.
4. Chalk Holders
The coolest teachers bought themselves chalk holders to protect their hands from the dry, dry, DRY feeling of holding chalk all day long.
5. The Chalk Liner Tool
This nifty tool let you draw parallel lines on the chalkboard and was great for teaching music or handwriting. Way better than using a yardstick to draw the chalk lines by hand.
6. Old-School Overhead Projectors
Source: Mailer_diablo via Wikipedia
The original overhead projectors used plastic sheets often referred to as “transparencies.” The light bulb was toasty warm, which was great on cold days but also had a nasty habit of melting anything left underneath it for too long (including the occasional transparency sheet).
7. Vis-a-Vis Marker Fingers
To write on overhead transparencies, you used wet-erase Vis-a-Vis markers. These could be cleaned off with a wet sponge or paper towel, but somehow you never had one handy, so you spit on your finger and used that instead. And once that ink was on your fingers, it NEVER wanted to wash off.
8. Opaque Projectors
If you wanted to project a page from a book or something similar, you could use an opaque projector. This also had a nasty habit of burning anything left on them for too long.
9. Carousel Slide Projectors
Source: Steve Morgan via Wikipedia
Once upon a time, if you wanted to show photos to your class, you had them turned into slides and then showed them using one of these projectors. And somehow, they always went in upside-down or backward—or both.
10. Filmstrip Projectors
Filmstrips displayed a series of still images and were usually accompanied by a narrative that had been recorded on vinyl or a cassette tape, which dinged to tell you when to advance the frame (a common classroom job). Later models automatically advanced the film along with the tape.
11. Reel-to-Reel Projectors
Most schools had a couple of these available for teachers to use, and you could order films from a central repository in your county or district. Feeding the film through these took a bit of skill, and occasionally the film would snap apart in the middle of the movie, prompting a loud round of groans from the class.
12. The TV/VCR Cart
Like movie projectors, most schools only owned a couple of TVs back in the 1980s. These were checked out by teachers and rolled around to different classrooms, and it was always an exciting sight for kids to see one of arrive at the door.
13. Laser Disc Players
Those big TVs first came with a VCR, then with a DVD player. But some schools laid out big bucks for the very short-lived laser disc technology, which gained popularity during that in-between time. They looked a lot like compact discs but were much larger. This technology was quickly made obsolete by DVDs.
14. Record Players
There were all sorts of tricks for using record players, like laying a penny on the needle arm to keep the records from skipping, or counting the rings to find the right song or lesson to play for your class. Teachers knew them all.
15. Cassette Tape Recorders
Source: J.smith via Wikipedia
Records were replaced by cassette tapes, which also gave us the capability to record and play back audio. Of course, this came with the inherent risk of taping over whatever was already on the cassette, unless you remembered to pop that little tab first. Everybody forgot that at least once, though.
16. The Cassette Tape Pencil Trick
Source: Adobe Stock Photos
Sometimes, the tape recorder “ate” the tape. After oh-so gently detangling it, you could use a pencil to wind it back into place and hope that it hadn’t been damaged. It worked surprisingly often, though.
17. The Messy Mimeograph Machine
Long before photocopies, mimeographs were the first mass-duplicating technology in most schools. They worked by forcing ink through a stencil onto paper. Teachers had to create the stencils using a sharp pen or typewriter, then ink the machine and crank the copies by hand—usually very messy hands by the time you were done.
18. The Ditto Machine (Spirit Duplicators)
Source: Kimsaka via Wikipedia
Spirit duplicators came next. Teachers created a “spirit master” sheet, which transferred a waxy ink (often purple—hence the nickname “Purple Durple”) to a limited number of copies, often called “dittos.” Ditto machine ink had a faint sweet smell, and students loved to sniff the freshly printed sheets as they were handed out.
19. Carbon Copies and Correction Fluid
Some forms (like early IEPs) came with carbons to make several copies at once. If you made an error on the original top sheet, you could correct it with white correction fluid. But the copies underneath were usually a variety of other colors, like yellow, pink, or blue, meaning you needed a whole collection of correction fluid hues.
20. Slide Rules
Source: Arnold Reinhold via Wikipedia
Before calculators, slide rules did complicated math for you, including division and multiplication. It was also used for exponents, roots, logarithms, and more. And it didn’t need batteries.
21. Typewriters and Typing Class
Typewriters weren’t just for school secretaries. Many schools offered typing classes, with entire rooms full of kids learning to use the very noisy machines. Unlike today, this skill usually wasn’t taught until junior high or high school, and girls were more likely than boys to take the class.
22. Word Processors
For a brief moment in time, word processors were high technology. They had a small screen so you could see and edit what you were writing before you printed it, which was much better than a typewriter. But in just a few years, personal computers were the same price and offered much more versatility.
23. The Apple IIe and Other Early Personal Computers
Early computers seemed like marvels, but mostly what people seem to remember today is playing Oregon Trail and Lemonade Stand, and maybe a typing program or two.
24. Floppy Disks
Source: George Chermilevsky via Wikipedia
Floppy disks went through changes but were around for years. The earliest 5¼-inch disks were actually floppy, but over time disks became smaller and were encased in rigid plastic. Losing one of these was always terrifying because there was no such thing as backing up to the cloud in those days.
25. Dot Matrix Printers
Source: Sennur Dogan via Wikimedia Commons
Early printers fed paper continuously and printed everything with a series of dots. Savvy teachers could make banners for their classrooms, though if you didn’t reinforce the perforated seams with tape, they had a tendency to fall apart at inconvenient times.
26. Classroom Intercoms
Before cell phones, communicating with the main office involved either sending a student with a note or (if you were lucky) using the wall-mounted intercom.
27. Limited Telephone Access
Source: Jonathon Mauer via Wikipedia
With no email and no cell phones, contacting a parent usually meant waiting your turn to use the telephone in the main office or the staff room.
Source: Cornischong via Wikimedia Commons
Back in the dark ages, encyclopedias provided general information on most topics. Schools usually had a set or two in their library for all students to share.
29. Microfilm and Microfiche
Source: David Lisbona via Wikimedia Commons
If you wanted to look up an old newspaper or magazine article, you might have to use the library’s microfiche machine, which stored images on small film reels. Student records were sometimes stored like this, too.
30. Card Catalogs and the Dewey Decimal System
When you wanted to know if the library had any books on Alexander Hamilton, you’d head to the card catalog. Nonfiction books were organized by the Dewey Decimal System , a series of numbers that actually made it quite easy to find the book you were looking for in the stacks. Kids were often required to memorize it.
31. Library Book Cards
No scanners or bar codes here! A card was tucked into each library book, and students wrote their name (and often class or teacher) on the card. A due date was stamped or written on the card and kept by the library.
32. Attendance Registers
Source: Celia Weir via Pinterest
Attendance registers were the bane of many teachers’ lives. They had to be kept perfectly and reported to the main office on a regular basis. One teacher even remembers not being able to receive her last paycheck at the end of the year until she turned hers in.
33. Grade Books
Source: Ashland University
Teachers also tracked grades by hand, writing in each test and homework score. At the end of the quarter, they added and averaged grades by hand too.
34. EZ Grader
When grading papers by hand, the EZ Grader was a lifesaver. The sliding card gave you the student’s grade, based on the number of problems they got wrong. To be honest, you’ll still find these on quite a few teachers’ desks.
35. Handwritten Report Cards
Report cards were done by hand, too. In the early days, report cards were actual cards students took home each quarter and brought back with their parent’s signature. Later report cards were often completed using the Scantron bubble sheets, which then generated computer printed sheets students would take home.
36. Fountain Pens
Early ballpoint pens weren’t cheap, and students used fountain pens throughout the 1960s, and even in the 1970s in some places.
37. Cursive Handwriting
This is a topic of heavy debate these days, and many schools do still teach cursive. But we definitely don’t place the emphasis on handwriting and penmanship that we once did, for better or worse.
38. Diagramming Sentences
Source: Under Western Skies
This is another skill rarely taught these days. It helped students understand the parts of a sentence but could get very complicated.
39. SRA Cards
Source: Hack Education
This self-directed-reading program was a series of cards students could complete at their own pace. They had answer keys so students could correct their own work, and kids were responsible for keeping track of and recording their progress. Obviously, this sometimes worked well—and sometimes it didn’t.
40. Califone Cardmasters
This machine used magnetic cards to record a short bit of audio, often a teacher pronouncing a word or phrase. Students played the audio, then pressed record and repeated the word or phrase. They could then play the whole card to compare the two. These were used a lot for speech therapy and ESL learners.
41. Cutting and Pasting
Before computers, teachers did a lot of actual cutting and pasting. They cut out and pasted items to make their own handouts and worksheets, which could then be run through a copier (once those arrived).
42. School Paste
Speaking of paste, glue sticks haven’t been around forever, you know. Students and teachers used to use school paste by dipping a stick into the pot and spreading it around. This paste had a pleasant minty smell, so teachers had at least one or two paste-eaters in every class.
43. Cutting Letters by Hand
Source: Miss Giraffe’s Class
Before die cut machines, like Cricuts and Silhouettes, teachers cut letters for their bulletin boards by hand. They traced or drew them freestyle and cut them out one by one. To make them last longer, teachers sometimes laminated them by hand between sheets of clear contact paper.
44. Milk Breaks
Some schools still do morning milk breaks, but they used to be common nationwide.
45. Collecting Milk and Lunch Money
At the beginning of each day, teachers would collect milk money and lunch money (there was usually only one option for lunch) and send it to the office along with a count of how many of each would be needed that day. Because they didn’t already have enough to do.
46. Teacher Mailboxes
In the days before email, teachers needed to check their mailboxes at least once, and often more, every single day—no matter how far their classroom was from the office.
47. Student Desks With Storage
Source: Adobe Stock Photo
So many classrooms use tables or simple desks now, but once kids had desks with built-in storage. Of course, the things that got stored in them were often less than ideal—just ask the janitors who had to clean off chewed gum regularly.
48. Stockings and Skirts, Please
Source: Art Blog
Through the 1970s and into the 1980s, female teachers were expected to wear skirts and pantyhose every day. The option of wearing pants trickled in slowly. Even today there are some ridiculous wardrobe rules that teachers face, but most can wear casual pants now. Many even believe that teachers should be able to wear jeans every day .
49. Passing Notes
Source: Like Totally 80s
Texting is the clandestine way to communicate in the classroom these days, but once upon a time kids passed notes instead. These were often folded intricately with early text-speak abbreviations on the front (e.g., LYLAS = Love Ya Like a Sis). Teachers who intercepted a note could throw them out—or choose to read them out loud in class and watch the note passer squirm.
50. Paid in Cash
Yes, before the days of direct deposit and checks (even those are getting to be obsolete), teachers would line up and get paid in cash. Sometimes it would be in an envelope, but other teachers say the cash was just handed to them!
What are your favorite teaching memories? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out these old-school recess games .
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Create your presentation
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AI presentation maker
When lack of inspiration or time constraints are something you’re worried about, it’s a good idea to seek help. Slidesgo comes to the rescue with its latest functionality—the AI presentation maker! With a few clicks, you’ll have wonderful slideshows that suit your own needs . And it’s totally free!
Generate presentations in minutes
We humans make the world move, but we need to sleep, rest and so on. What if there were someone available 24/7 for you? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and ask the AI presentation maker to give you a hand. The possibilities are endless : you choose the topic, the tone and the style, and the AI will do the rest. Now we’re talking!
Customize your AI-generated presentation online
Alright, your robotic pal has generated a presentation for you. But, for the time being, AIs can’t read minds, so it’s likely that you’ll want to modify the slides. Please do! We didn’t forget about those time constraints you’re facing, so thanks to the editing tools provided by one of our sister projects —shoutouts to Wepik — you can make changes on the fly without resorting to other programs or software. Add text, choose your own colors, rearrange elements, it’s up to you! Oh, and since we are a big family, you’ll be able to access many resources from big names, that is, Freepik and Flaticon . That means having a lot of images and icons at your disposal!
How does it work?
Think of your topic.
First things first, you’ll be talking about something in particular, right? A business meeting, a new medical breakthrough, the weather, your favorite songs, a basketball game, a pink elephant you saw last Sunday—you name it. Just type it out and let the AI know what the topic is.
Choose your preferred style and tone
They say that variety is the spice of life. That’s why we let you choose between different design styles, including doodle, simple, abstract, geometric, and elegant . What about the tone? Several of them: fun, creative, casual, professional, and formal. Each one will give you something unique, so which way of impressing your audience will it be this time? Mix and match!
Make any desired changes
You’ve got freshly generated slides. Oh, you wish they were in a different color? That text box would look better if it were placed on the right side? Run the online editor and use the tools to have the slides exactly your way.
Download the final result for free
Yes, just as envisioned those slides deserve to be on your storage device at once! You can export the presentation in .pdf format and download it for free . Can’t wait to show it to your best friend because you think they will love it? Generate a shareable link!
What is an AI-generated presentation?
It’s exactly “what it says on the cover”. AIs, or artificial intelligences, are in constant evolution, and they are now able to generate presentations in a short time, based on inputs from the user. This technology allows you to get a satisfactory presentation much faster by doing a big chunk of the work.
Can I customize the presentation generated by the AI?
Of course! That’s the point! Slidesgo is all for customization since day one, so you’ll be able to make any changes to presentations generated by the AI. We humans are irreplaceable, after all! Thanks to the online editor, you can do whatever modifications you may need, without having to install any software. Colors, text, images, icons, placement, the final decision concerning all of the elements is up to you.
Can I add my own images?
Absolutely. That’s a basic function, and we made sure to have it available. Would it make sense to have a portfolio template generated by an AI without a single picture of your own work? In any case, we also offer the possibility of asking the AI to generate images for you via prompts. Additionally, you can also check out the integrated gallery of images from Freepik and use them. If making an impression is your goal, you’ll have an easy time!
Is this new functionality free? As in “free of charge”? Do you mean it?
Yes, it is, and we mean it. We even asked our buddies at Wepik, who are the ones hosting this AI presentation maker, and they told us “yup, it’s on the house”.
Are there more presentation designs available?
From time to time, we’ll be adding more designs. The cool thing is that you’ll have at your disposal a lot of content from Freepik and Flaticon when using the AI presentation maker. Oh, and just as a reminder, if you feel like you want to do things yourself and don’t want to rely on an AI, you’re on Slidesgo, the leading website when it comes to presentation templates. We have thousands of them, and counting!.
How can I download my presentation?
The easiest way is to click on “Download” to get your presentation in .pdf format. But there are other options! You can click on “Present” to enter the presenter view and start presenting right away! There’s also the “Share” option, which gives you a shareable link. This way, any friend, relative, colleague—anyone, really—will be able to access your presentation in a moment.
Discover more content
This is just the beginning! Slidesgo has thousands of customizable templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint. Our designers have created them with much care and love, and the variety of topics, themes and styles is, how to put it, immense! We also have a blog, in which we post articles for those who want to find inspiration or need to learn a bit more about Google Slides or PowerPoint. Do you have kids? We’ve got a section dedicated to printable coloring pages! Have a look around and make the most of our site!
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Sora: OpenAI launches tool that instantly creates video from text
Model from ChatGPT maker ‘simulates physical world in motion’ up to a minute long based on users’ subject and style instructions
OpenAI revealed a tool on Thursday that can generate videos from text prompts.
The new model, nicknamed Sora after the Japanese word for “sky”, can produce realistic footage up to a minute long that adheres to a user’s instructions on both subject matter and style. According to a company blogpost, the model is also able to create a video based on a still image or extend existing footage with new material.
“We’re teaching AI to understand and simulate the physical world in motion, with the goal of training models that help people solve problems that require real-world interaction,” the blogpost reads.
One video included among several initial examples from the company was based on the prompt: “A movie trailer featuring the adventures of the 30-year-old space man wearing a red wool knitted motorcycle helmet, blue sky, salt desert, cinematic style, shot on 35mm film, vivid colors.”
The company announced it had opened access to Sora to a few researchers and video creators. The experts would “red team” the product – test it for susceptibility to skirt OpenAI’s terms of service, which prohibit “extreme violence, sexual content, hateful imagery, celebrity likeness, or the IP of others”, per the company’s blogpost. The company is only allowing limited access to researchers, visual artists and film-makers, though CEO Sam Altman responded to users’ prompts on Twitter after the announcement with video clips he said were made by Sora. The videos bear a watermark to show they were made by AI.
Introducing Sora, our text-to-video model. Sora can create videos of up to 60 seconds featuring highly detailed scenes, complex camera motion, and multiple characters with vibrant emotions. https://t.co/7j2JN27M3W Prompt: “Beautiful, snowy… pic.twitter.com/ruTEWn87vf — OpenAI (@OpenAI) February 15, 2024
The company debuted the still image generator Dall-E in 2021 and generative AI chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022, which quickly accrued 100 million users. Other AI companies have debuted video generation tools, though those models have only been able to produce a few seconds of footage that often bears little relation to their prompts. Google and Meta have said they are in the process of developing generative video tools, though they have not released them to the public. On Wednesday, it announced an experiment with adding deeper memory to ChatGPT so that it could remember more of its users’ chats.
https://t.co/uCuhUPv51N pic.twitter.com/nej4TIwgaP — Sam Altman (@sama) February 15, 2024
OpenAI did not disclose how much footage was used to train Sora or where the training videos may have originated, other than telling the New York Times that the corpus contained videos that were both publicly available and licensed from copyright owners. The company has been sued multiple times for alleged copyright infringement in the training of its generative AI tools, which digest gargantuan amounts of material scraped from the internet and imitate the images or text contained in those datasets.
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
Saraland hosts dozens of professionals for its 2024 career day
Professionals went from classroom to classroom giving presentations and speaking to students about what they do.
MOBILE, Ala. ( WALA ) - Saraland High School hosted their 2024 career day Wednesday.
Here’s how it works, professionals go from classroom to classroom giving presentations and speaking to students about what they do.
They then have the opportunity to answer questions about their careers. Those questions can include anything from pay, to work hours and qualifications.
“It’s very exciting. Especially when you want to get into it. It’s like getting tips and things that you can pick up as you go through college,” Freshman Melody Moore said.
Moore has expressed interest in broadcast journalism. And our own Chelsey Sayasane and Jennifer Lambers were on hand to give her the tips she needs to succeed.
And days like these are ones that the administration is happy to host.
“Career day is a chance for our students to see career paths and career journeys that they can take after high school that we can’t provide here on campus. So by doing this today, opens up a lot of eyes for students to see that this is possible. This is something I can do after high school, or after college, and it’s something that I can start aiming and setting goals for today,” Principal Brent Harrison said.
And with this advice, we may have some future FOX10 journalists in these classrooms.
“It’s a great career to get into. I highly recommend it,” Moore said.
Copyright 2024 WALA. All rights reserved.
Man dead after being found shot at McDonald’s on Schillinger Road; victim’s brother in custody
Crash in Conecuh County claims life of Satsuma woman
Updated conditions: one dead, two others injured in Saturday morning shooting.
17-year-old charged with attempted murder after allegedly pushing six-year-old into a fire
Large drug bust during traffic stop in Pensacola