Teaching Tips

Ask the Experts: What Are Your Favorite Presentation Platforms?


Q: My students just stand in front of the class and read the screen of their PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations. Is there another platform that's better at capturing attention?

A: A new option I like is Sutori, in which you set up your presentation on a vertical timeline. It changes things up by having the viewer start at the top and work downward, with items placed on either side of a center line. The program is intuitive, and the presentation flows nicely. You can add text, images, sound files and videos—and even create multiple-choice quiz questions. It also has a forum option to cultivate conversations. Since it lives in the cloud, it can be created collaboratively, making it great for group work. It's also an effective way to communicate step-by-step directions for an assignment, and it functions well as a self-guided presentation, like a study guide.

My go-to for presentations has always been Prezi, which allows you to create a presentation with audio, video, text and graphics that you can choreograph. You don't have to just slide left—you can travel in any direction through the presentation. I always recommend structuring the presentation in a way that reflects its subject matter. When it's done, you can share it with anyone, and then they can dance their way through your material.

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Courtesy Lovely Leaps

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Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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