Things 19 and 20: The Legals and Presentations

I am in danger of losing my momentum with Rudaí23 Things, so in an effort to get back in the swing of writing - and to get caught up so I can finish the course in time - I am going to look briefly at two Things in this post: Thing 19 - The Legal Side of Things and Thing 20: Presentations.

Thing 19: The Legal Side of Things

I am going to write about a lesser known feature of the most popular search engine on the net - the big G. Google Images has some great search options to can help you find the image you need.

  1. After searching for your term in Google and browsing to the Images section of the site, you are presented with a seemingly endless stream of images.
  2. Click "Search tools" in the menu bar below the search box to reveal filtering options. Click the "Usage rights" option.
  3. This reveals 5 options for filtering by image licence1. Choose the one most appropriate for your needs:
    1. Not filtered by licence (the default search) - no filter has been applied to the search;
    2. Labelled for reuse with modification - the image has permission to be reused and modified for any purpose;
    3. Labelled for reuse - the image has permission to be reused (but not modified) for any purpose;
    4. Labelled for non-commercial reuse with modification - the image has permission to be reused and modified for non-commercial use only;
    5. Labelled for non-commercial reuse - the image has permission to be reused for non-commercial use only.
  4. Apply any other filters as necessary2.
  5. When you have found an image that you would like to use, click on it for a closer view and to see more options. Then click "Visit page" to be taken to the picture's home on the interwebs.
  6. This page should have more detailed information about the image's usage rights, and the kind of attribution you need to give.

Using the above method, I found this image3 when searching for 'book':

Bookmark Road
Bookmark Road

Using Google Images is easy - perhaps a little too easy. It is a great starting point, but you cannot necessarily trust that the images you find are free to use. I found the image below on a Google Image search for 'book', using the 'Transparent' and the 'Labelled for non-commercial reuse with modification' filters. Only by clicking through to the images home page did I find the full details of the image's licence and how to attribute it.

Book copyright icon
By Tkgd2007 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thing 20: Presentations

I have used Prezi a couple of times before, PowerPoint many times and Google Slides occasionally. So for this Thing, I thought I'd try out a new presentation tool that I have heard about recently: emaze.

Prezi is a great tool, but has two main disadvantages to it:

  1. a steep learning curve
  2. it is very easy to go overboard with the effects and give your audience motion sickness.

PowerPoint is easy to use, but clunky, old-fashioned and uninspiring.

emaze takes the best bits of both of these tools and combines them into an easy to use presentation tool with a "wow" factor. I created a very brief slide show to play around with it and see how it works. The result can be seen here:

Some good things:

  1. It is free (with paid options available for more features)4.
  2. There are plenty of impressive-looking templates (this is the only one I have played with so far).
  3. You can embed audio, video, widgets, images...
  4. You can import existing PowerPoint presentations (I haven't tried this yet, either).

Some not-so-good things:

  1. I've come across a couple of technical glitches, but these disappeared when I reloaded the page.
  2. I don't think it auto-saves your work - I had to start from scratch when my browser crashed.

From the brief play I've had, I would summarise emaze as:

"Simpler than Prezi, Wowier than PowerPoint!"

The thing to remember about presentation software is that is the means, not the end, for your presentation - it's what you do with it that counts.


 

 

Asides

  1. A word of warning: do not take the filtered Google search results as gospel - always click through to the original website to check the exact details of the licence. The usage rights search is NOT foolproof! Google does not provide public domain content itself, it is still just a search engine. Have a look at the "How do I know if an image I find is safe to use?" section of this article for more detail.
  2. I often use the "Colour" option to search for images with transparent backgrounds - useful when creating multi-layered images in applications like Photoshop, GIMP and Pixlr.
  3. This image is licenced under Public Domain, which means "You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission" (Public Domain Dedication, Creative Commons).
  4. they also have an Education account for education, government and NGO use. I have yet to investigate the features of this account, but it is on my todo list.

2 thoughts on “Things 19 and 20: The Legals and Presentations

  1. Hi

    Firstly, I do not think you're in danger of not finishing on time, so don't be so hard on yourself! Your pacing is just about right. You have a few Things left, with over a month to go. Plenty of time. If there's a motivational issue behind the scenes, drop me a email and we can chat about it, but on the face of it, you're doing fine.

    Some great tips on advanced search features of the big G, thanks for sharing.

    I like your use of emaze. I've had a go at it myself, and I think the way you summed it up is perfect. I think that for someone with the time and inclination to learn the best practices of Prezi, it's perhaps a better tool than emaze, but the ready-made templates in emaze are very easy to get to grips with, and as you say, are nicer looking than Powerpoint.

    And I'm totally with you on these being the tools, and a means to an end rather than the end. If I have to give a lecture on a new topic, I would ALWAYS start by writing the story I want to tell. I never "script" things, but I have a decent outline. Only when I an happy with that would I consider looking at the technology. A big pitfall for anyone planning a presentation is to start by opening up a new Powerpoint file (or other software) and trying to write from there. Get the story right, then hit the tech.

    Great post.

    The Rudai23 Team

    1. Thanks Wayne!
      My main worry was about losing momentum - running out of steam at the last hurdle (to mix metaphors!). I'm happy writing one blog post a week, and I'd like to keep that up after the course, but I know that if I don't manage it, then the longer I leave it, the harder it is to get back on the blogging wagon (throwing another metaphor into the mix!).

      And thanks for the kind words!

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