CCC at the V & A

4 02 2012

Our Create Curate Collaborate! project continued apace with the first trip to the V&A with the students on Wednesday, facilitated by Leanne Manfredi of the V&A. A day’s exploration into Creative Writing at the V&A, designed and presented by Jac Cattaneo and Curtis Tappenden, was the primary focus for the 21 students, from Northbrook College and University for the Creative Arts.

As part of the programme for the day I was invited to do a session on Prezi. This was in four parts, and I share it here in case it is useful for anyone else to use/re-use/adapt/amend. Feedback is definitely welcomed!

Part 1. Verbal introduction
I introduced myself and explained what we were going to do and how long it would take (45 minutes). To enable us to evaluate the project the students were also asked to complete brief paper (1 side of A4) questionnaires. This had already been mentioned as part of the project consent forms they signed before undertaking the trip. Chocolate as an afternoon ‘sweetener’ too!

Part 2. An analogue introduction to the concept of Prezi

You will need (per two students): one sheet of A3 plain paper, three different colour felt-tip pens, a block of post-it notes, some printed out images from the V&A Collections website

The explanation: the sheet of paper represents the Prezi canvas; online this is almost infinite (the paper is limited as one student wrote down); the post-it notes represent the text boxes that you can have in Prezi (click anywhere to add a piece of text then move this around like a post-it note); the images from the V&A were designed to show how Prezi could be used following our visit to the V&A; the felt-tip pens were for writing on the post-it notes (although the students naturally drew arrows as well which demonstrates another Prezi feature too!).

The brief: students were asked to work in pairs with the materials, the object was to define relationships and links between the images (V&A museum objects) based on their own feelings and expressed with phrases of creative writing on the post-it notes. One student was happy to talk about her analogue Prezi to the others and communicated her ideas really clearly to the rest of the group.

Part 3. YouTube demo

I let the following screencast (which I had prepared earlier) play, and described verbally what was happening.

Part 4. Demo of example Prezi

The students were shown the ‘interactive poster’ Prezi that we had created for the University of Brighton Pedagogy conference. They particularly liked the zoom into the Moon Stone jar on the V&A map. This then led into any questions. I gave a one-side-of-A4 handout for their reference: download Prezi handout (PDF).


Jac and Curtis will now support the students getting signed up with Prezi EDU Enjoy user accounts (a few are already signed up), and then I will visit each group of students for another Prezi session.

The death of slides?

12 10 2010

Yesterday I wanted to gather some statistics about slide usage in UK universities, to compare with the United States information covered in many issues of the Visual Resources Association journal.

As a mini-follow-up to the Digital Picture survey (2005), I have sent out a much smaller questionnaire aimed more directly at Slide Librarians, Image Librarians, and Visual Resource Curators:

Q.1. Job Title/Institution Name

Q.2. What has happened to your slide collection in the last five years? e.g. down-sized/expanded, digitised or replaced by new digital image collections, decrease in useage or increase in useage, disappeared, or the management subsumed into a small part of other activities, preserved, or in process of any of the above?

Q.3. Are you still making new slides, is this only by special request? is this still supported within your institution?

Q.4. Does your institution still support those who wish to give slide lectures e.g. by providing the equipment (presumably until it can no longer be repaired)? Or has all equipment been removed?

Q.5. How reliant is the future of the existing slide collection on the DACS licence negotiations? and/or what do you predict for the future?

One of the most sobering comments from questionnaire respondents so far:

at a recent library induction a student asked ‘what is a slide?’


Presentation software in the Visual Arts

31 07 2010

Please note that the survey closed on Wednesday 1st September 2010.

Presentation Technology – horses for courses

15 07 2010

The questionnaire has provided some really useful information already (for more about the survey…)

Andrew Worth, Learning Design Advisor at the School of Services Management, Bournemouth University, has given me permission to quote the following:

“…it is really starting to get down to horses for courses, who is the audience, what is the message, and will the tool get in the way of the message.”

Andrew uses PowerPoint for quick and short, or business presentations but he also uses non-linear software such as MindManager (see post about MindManager here…). Andrew mentioned colleagues presenting using stand alone video, podcasts, blogs, wikis, Flickr, Picasa, Google Maps and so on. This echoes data I have received from interviews and other questionnaire respondents.

Moving between live websites and PowerPoint

6 07 2010

Jacqueline Cooke, Research Support Librarian at Goldsmiths, University of London, filled in the online questionnaire last week and made the following comment:

“I often do presentations about web resources, and find crossing between PowerPoint and live websites can be difficult. I would like a smoother way of doing this, maybe of viewing a website from within the presentation software.”

When I checked that I could quote this here, Jacqueline also mentioned that she often uses screenshots of websites as an alternative approach. I was very interested in her suggestion in quotes above because on the occasions I have given presentations this is also a feature that would have been great for me too, and I am sure for many others as well. Clearly it is not that you can’t go from a PowerPoint to the Web, just that in practice this often feels a bit clumsy. I tried searching for a solution, but I don’t think PowerPoint lets you view the website from within the slide itself? I also tried the Office Live PowerPoint, and this didn’t seem to have any extra features.

Research approach for questionnaire/survey

23 06 2010

After discussion with my colleagues I have decided to avoid the mass email with apologies for cross postings approach. I am going to very specifically target the questionnaire/survey to as many of my contacts as possible. I am aware this will take a lot longer from my end, but I hope that it will result in a higher response rate.

Visual presentation technology survey

16 06 2010

This questionnaire will help provide information to be shared with the visual arts community as part of this research project. The questionnaire should take approximately 7 minutes to complete depending on whether you answer 12 or all 15 questions.

The specific research area is image presentation software and how resources can be better adapted to existing pedagogic practice. I would like to hear from all those who use, support others use of, or would like to use, presentation technology in their current role, particularly to present or teach about images or the visual arts, including: academic staff, support staff, librarians, information managers, slide librarians, visual resource curators, museums and gallery staff, and IT staff.

Any data received will be treated as anonymous and held confidentially. Further details and a copy of the final report are available on request (see the end of the survey for details).