A guide to Reel App: Host and embed PPT and PDF files without registration

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Sharing images, PPT, and PDF files with students is simple enough, but to view the files online or embed them in a website, you would normally need to complete some sort of registration. That is where Reel App comes along. It is an elegant and simple place to upload images, PDF, and PPT files without registration and then you can share a link where recipients can view the slides or pages online. It even gives you an embed code to put into a blog or website. Here is how it works.

  • Go to Reel App and click on ‘Click to upload images, PPT files or PDFs’. A file manager box will appear and you can choose a file from your computer to upload.

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  • Once you have chosen a file, it will begin to upload. A box will come up ‘Creating your Preso’ and thumbnails will slowly appear below. Depending on the size of the file, it may take a while for images to begin appearing.

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  • Once your file is uploaded, you will be taken to a new page saying, “Your preso is ready to go!’ Give your file a name and description in the boxes provided.
  • You can also give a name and description to each page/slide by clicking on each page/slide and then typing in the information.

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  • At this point, you can also add more images or files by clicking on the ‘Upload more images’ link on the righthand side. After choosing a file, it will say ‘Uploading’ and will spin until it has finished adding the new pages/slides to the thumbnails.

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  • You can also rearrange the pages/slides by simply clicking and dragging the thumbnails around. You can also delete a page/slide by clicking on the grey X in the top-right corner of each page/slide.
  • Once you have finished with the names and descriptions, click on ‘Save Preso’ and a box will appear asking you to confirm locking your presentation. Click on ‘Lock Preso & View Report Page’.

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  • You are now at the report page. If you would like to check out what pages people liked or didn’t like, this is where you will be given up-to-date results. Bookmark this page to return here at any time.

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  • To share the presentation with others, simply copy the URL found just above the ‘Start Preso’ button. A box will appear with a shareable link and the embed code.

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TESL Ontario Conference 2013 Session – Implementing and Facilitating Technology- Based Community Resource Centres

This past Friday, I had the privilege to give a 75 minute session on the use of technology to build an online ‘self-access resource centre’. The focus of the presentation was on the reasons for using self-access materials with your students and then working with your students to co-create the library of links and material.

The presentation was meant to be interactive, meaning that the session was less about me and more about the people how came to the session. Instead of showing what the sites looked like or how they worked, I wanted the audience to access the tools for themselves and practice using them.

While the concept worked well in my head, there was still a bit of technology gap that didn’t help in making this a reality. In hindsight, I should have come halfway on the idea of showing how the sites worked. I also tried to do too much in the time frame I was given, so that could be scaled back and still be effective.

Regardless of how it turned out, I am thankful for those who came and gave feedback that will help me in the future. If you were there in person, I hope you got something out of the time we spent together.

Here is a link to my presentation (click on the image below):

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 2.20.23 PMThe links in the presentation will take you to each of the sites that I mentioned. Feel free to explore them on your own. In the weeks ahead, I plan on digging into each of these tools on their own in separate blog posts. I want to extend the conversation we had and hopefully fill in some of those gaps that emerged during the presentation.

I am thankful to all of you for your support.

Gzaas: Fullscreen message fun

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Sometimes you come across a website that doesn’t seem that useful at first glance, but after a while, you can see where it might come in handy. One of those sites is gzaas.com. Gzaas is designed to make a colourful, funky style of display message that you can send as a link to someone else. I used it the other day when students were coming into class. I displayed a message on the Smartboard telling them to go to the computer lab. I could have use a Notebook slide or something else, but this was so quick and simple. Also, it could be used to send a more interesting reminder to students such as this example: http://gzaas.com/VbXb2

For those on Twitter, it could be a fun way of sending a message to someone – kind of an extended tweet. There is also a launcher that can be used as a lead in question before displaying the message.

So, not earth shaking, but interesting for the language classroom.

For students, they could write their favourite quotes, or write questions for other students, or almost anything else that is relatively short.

It is free and doesn’t require any registration.