Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that

Monday, 17 December 2012

Make Your PowerPoint Stand Out with 500px

If you are like my colleague and I, you probably use PowerPoint on the nearly daily basis in and out of school. We use it to introduce and explain major grammar points, talk about the major themes in a novel, or to give professional development workshops outside of school. Because of this, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to give our presentations that 'Wow' factor. In a previous post on this blog, my colleague, David, introduced several strategies on how to not only make a high-quality PowerPoint, but also how to present like a trained professional. This post is a short extension of that, so I highly recommend checking out David's post before continuing on. Just click here.

So, now that you have the essential presentation skills in mind, I am going to show you another tip to help make your slides stand out.  More specifically, I will explain how you can add visually eye-popping pictures that will certainly get your audience's attention. Typically, most people, myself included, get the majority of pictures for their presentations from Google Images. Without doubt, with some searching, you can find some striking pictures. The problem, however, is that many of them can be quite small, so when you enlarge them in a PowerPoint, they can look rather blurry. Even worse, I have seen some colleagues include images in their presentations that have a copyright logo on the top of them.

Thus, without further ado, let me introduce you to 500px.  This is a free app from the Apple Store as well as the Google Play Store.  In a nutshell, 500px is an app that has a large collection of extremely high resolution images. For example, when you download an image from Google Images, it normally has a resolution of 100 to 200 kbs, sometimes even less. With 500px, however, images are very likely to be more than 2 mbs. That means that these images are at least 20-30 times sharper and crisper than a typical image on Google Images. The reason for this is because these images have been taken by professional photographers or others with brilliant cameras. Granted, pictures from 500px will take up more space in your hard drive and will make your PowerPoint presentations much larger in terms of space, but the results are so worth it. Both my colleague and I have been asked after giving professional development sessions where we got the images that we used. The audience had simply never seen such high quality images being used in PowerPoint.

500px, being an app, is extremely easy to navigate. When you open it, it shows the most popular 500 pics of the day, hence the name of the app. Simply scroll the page to the right to keep checking out the most recent pictures.  Plus, hundreds are being uploaded everyday. There is also a search function if you are looking for a specific kind of picture. Fair enough, you will not find nearly the amount of images that you can on Google. Nonetheless, the effect you will have on your students or colleagues is worth it.

Just to give you an idea, here are some pictures from 500px that I have used recently in a PowerPoint presentation.

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