In DigiThings two and three you looked at Presentations using PowerPoint and Collaborative Presentations with Prezi. This week we will be looking at Emaze which has the interactivity and collaboration of Prezi but with the simplicity of PowerPoint.
What is Emaze?
Emaze is an online presentation tool for people who want more than PowerPoint. Emaze lets users create interactive and collaborative presentations via your browser on any device (PC, Mac, Tablets and Smart Phones). Presentations can be personally styled and contain a variety of content including text, images, videos, shapes and charts.
Why would I use Emaze?
Emaze caters to the more basic user. It offers more visualisation and better interactivity than PowerPoint but is far simpler to use than Prezi. Emaze aims to take care of the design, effects and building of your presentation, to let you focus on the content. It is therefore more limited than Prezi in terms of customisation but allows you to create sophisticated presentations with very little effort.
Emaze can enhance your presentations and more importantly your students learning in a variety of ways. Like Prezi, Emaze offers a great deal to visual learners. The interactive templates make presentations a lot more interesting and interactive to the audience. With Emaze being cloud based you can also share your presentations to an online audience of your choice or if you wish, the entire public. This means your presentations will have a greater reach and instead of having to upload presentations to a Digital Learning Environment (DLE) you can simply provide the link to your Emaze presentations.
Emaze also enables the presentation creator and the audience to choose how they interact with the presentation. Unlike PowerPoint which is typically viewed in the lecture theatre or downloaded from a Digital Learning Environment (DLE) onto a PC or Mac, Emaze can be used on Mobiles, Tablets, Laptops, PC’s, Macs or indeed most devices with an internet browser. This enables the audience not only to view the presentation how they like but also to work through the material at their own pace. Equally presentations can be created on a variety of devices and can even be edited whilst offline – for example on an iPad whilst on a train journey.
Another great feature of Emaze is the ability to collaborate with colleagues. Emaze allows you to create and edit presentations with peers and share presentations with colleagues for them to reuse. This includes working on the same presentation, at the same time, but on different devices and at different locations.
Other Emaze features include:
- Built in Automatic Translation of your slides using Google or Bing
- The ability to password protect presentations to restrict access
- Share options via email, Facebook or links
- And the ability to embed presentations on a webpage
How do I use Emaze?
The first thing you need to do in order to use Emaze is to sign up for account by providing your email address and password on the Emaze website.
It’s then worth watching the helpful video tutorials that Emaze offer.
For further tips I have created a presentation that breaks down different functionality into simple steps. The presentation is available to view below:
Finally for help and additional material, Emaze offer a constantly growing support centre.
Now it’s time for you to get hands on with Emaze and create your own presentation. As Emaze can be collaborative you’re welcome to partner up and complete the task in pairs.
The task is to create an Emaze presentation on the topic of your choice using a predefined template. You will need to add Text, Images, Videos and Charts to your presentation and have at least 4 slides. Once finished you will then need to share the results with the group via a link from your Blog post.
Remember: You can view and edit you presentation on different devices so why not experiment!
If you’re struggling to think of a topic why not do a presentation on:
- What you learnt last week on DigiThings…
- Your subject area…
- A sports team…
- The university…
Thoughts on Emaze…
I found Emaze to be a very simple and interactive presentation tool. I found setting up presentations to be quick and easy for the most part but did get frustrated at points. This was due to certain features not acting quite as they should all the time. I believe this is largely due to Emaze still being in Beta as the developers still work on the tool. When I experienced issues I found simply closing the presentation and reopening it would resolve the issue.
Overall I’m very happy with the presentations I can create using Emaze. The presentations offer a lot of interactivity, which helps make the content more interesting to the audience. The great part about the interactivity is that it’s really simple to provide as the tool takes care of it for you. Some things you might want to discuss in your reflective blog this week are:
- What are your thoughts on Emaze?
- How could you use the tool? Will you use it collaboratively?
- How do you think Emaze will impact on teaching and learning?
- What did you like about Emaze?
- What didn’t you like about Emaze?
- Any other thoughts?
If you would like to learn more about Emaze, you may be interested in the following links:
- Emaze blog post by Ross Crockett – http://fluency21.com/blog/2013/09/13/small-byte-5-emaze/
- ‘A better way to make and share presentations‘ by Will Hagle – http://www.allmyfaves.com/blog/productivity/emaze-a-better-way-to-make-and-share-presentations/
- ‘Emaze: NextGen presentation platform‘ by Avishay Bassa – http://www.geektime.com/2013/06/04/emaze-nextgen-presentation-platform/
- Emaze support centre – https://emaze.zendesk.com/
In DigiThings Thing Six you will be looking at Curation Tools which will begin on 24/02/2014.