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The power of a good presentation can have an amazing impact on student learning. For students giving the presentation, they learn how to orally communicate a topic, structure arguments and increase their confidence with public speaking. They receive feedback from peers, and presentations generate discussion and give a change of pace to the usual classroom day.
iOS app Phoster, provides students with a creative way to make high quality posters and visual aids to complement their classroom presentations. The user-friendly app is well worth the reasonable US $1.99 price tag, especially for teachers who have students frequently creating unique presentation materials.
Creating beautiful, high quality visuals with Phoster is as easy as selecting a template, choosing the images you’d like to use, adding your unique text, and selecting from a host of finishing options. Once the poster or visual is complete, users can save them to the Phoster gallery or “share” them to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, a specified email address, a printer, or with other compatible apps.
In particular, Phoster embodies gorgeous design. The numerous available templates are visually stunning and completely responsive, with very little effort on the user’s part. In fact, Phoster invites a light touch, or you might find yourself changing more than you want to! The Phoster app also has its own Flickr community, where users ask and answer questions; this helpful community helped us understand some of the limitations of the app (for example, posters cannot, apparently, be printed to large sizes without becoming pixelated), and offers an expansive inspiration gallery.
Using Phoster in the classroom is really only limited by you and your students’ imagination. Educators have been using Phoster in these innovative ways that can give you ideas for your own classroom presentations:
Developing teaching materials.
Creating visuals for lesson support will never be easier, and you can add them to your PowerPoint presentations effortlessly by emailing them to yourself.
Having students create visual accompaniments to their oral reports.
The flexibility of the templates allow you to use images as backgrounds and to insert text, so students could easily use them as substitutes for more traditional poster board visual aids for projects and presentations.
Encouraging reflection on current work.
Students can create visuals to record their favorite quotes from a literary work the class is studying, produce visuals for a website they are developing, or share what they are learning via social media. Focusing on encapsulating and visually interpreting what they have been learning can be a powerfully reflective tool, cementing knowledge and encouraging higher order thinking.
Teaching the power of good design.
You might, for example, use Phoster to conduct a social media experiment, to see how quickly a pithy quote produced in a visually stunning way can go viral. The discussion about why that poster, over another one less carefully designed, was attractive to social media users may elicit great insights into the power of digital design in today’s world.
Developing digital literacy through personal expression.
Students might be tasked with developing a unique poster about themselves, from start to finish, to test their skill sets and to express themselves in an emerging medium.
Phoster’s simple-to-use design tools are a great addition to any classroom, and you may find yourself using it quite a bit outside of the classroom too!