Creating an engaging presentation for any learner will often include a need for some kind of visual aid that can be projected onto a screen. There are a lot of options for getting this job done.
One of the frustrations I’ve found is that there is no one single answer for how to create specific visuals that you feel would best meet the needs of your students. A few moments searching on Google for what you’re hoping to find can leave you with your hands in the air in frustration.
The answer I’ve come to find most reliable for these needs is ActivInspire. My school district bought it years ago when we got some of our first Promethean white boards with projectors.
These provided you with a stylus pen that allowed you to digitally write as though you were using a white board marker. They also provided you the option to create quite captivating digital “Flipcharts” that would allow you to capture the digital writing, or whatever you were working on with students and save it for future classes. This was a game changer for me and allowed me to remove the many, many big paper flipcharts from my daily life, reduced the need to create physical paper visuals and in the end led me to create a lot of projectable visuals that have changed a lot of how I share visual information with my students.
I have found some of the best features of this software center around the ability to use the shape tools to assemble anything from stick notation to complex ukulele chord charts.
Click on the image below to download a free trial version of ActivInspire. It is possible to purchase this software as well. With the free trial, you can use all the features in a flipchart that someone creates on the full version, but there are limited features on the trial version when creating flipcharts.
Once you have downloaded ActivInspire, open the program and go to the “File” menu. Click on “Import” and choose “Resource pack to my resources.” This will add the resource pack to your program to make it easily accessible all the time.
Open the “Resource Browser” by using the keyboard to type “Command B” on a mac, or something like “Control B” on a PC. You can also access it from the “View” menu and click on “Browser.” Resources is the second option at the top. It looks like a pair of 8ths notes with a video icon behind it.