Creating Interactive Presentations Using myBrainshark

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OverviewInstructionsResourcesActivity Management

Brainshark is a free online tool that allows you to upload PowerPoint slides, images, PDF files, documents and other media, and then embed your narrations over the content.  Additionally, you can add music and multimedia to the presentation to make it more engaging.  The final output file can be streamed online or embedded onto your website or blog.  This software could be used for online presentations, slideshows, flash cards or even podcasts.

Units

Presentation Tools

Duration

1 hour

Standards

Communication, Comparisons, Connections, Cultures

LEVEL

Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate, Novice

WEBSITE

Visit Brainshark Website

OS

PC or Mac

PREREQUISITES

None

OBJECTIVES

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Upload PowerPoint content into your user account in Brainshark.
  • Add audio narrations over each PowerPoint slide.
  • Add notes and music to the presentation.
  • Make your presentation public for sharing with your audience.

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • PowerPoint slides (or similar)
  • Microphone or headset
  • Internet connection

Step-By-Step Instructions

What is Brainshark?

It is an online tool which allows you to create animated and narrated presentations.  It allows you to upload PowerPoint slides, images, PDF files, documents and other media, and then embed your narrations over the content.  Additionally, you can add music and multimedia to the presentation to make it more engaging.  The final output file can be streamed online or embedded onto your website or blog.  This software could be used for online presentations, slideshows, flash cards or even podcasts.

How to use Brainshark?

  • Create your presentation in PowerPoint offline

  • Go to Brainshark’s website: http://www.brainshark.com/ to click on the Try IT FOR FREE button

 

  • Click on the Sign up for Free button

  • Click on the gray Sign up for Free button

  • Fill in the required fields and click on the Register button to submit your registration

  • You are now logged into Brainshark site

  • To create a new presentation, click on the Upload Content button

  • Click on the Upload a PowerPoint to upload the presentation you have created before.   Read the steps listed there.

  • Browse to find the PowerPoint you want to upload

  • Wait for your file to be uploaded and fully converted and then fill in the missing fields. Click on the question mark next to the category if you don’t understand what it means.

  • Click on the Next button to continue.

 

  • Now it is time to narrate your presentation.  There are two ways to do so.  You can either use your microphone to record or use a phone to call in to record

  • Click on the Allow button to allow Brainshark to access your microphone

  • Click on the Record button to record your narration to the slide displayed on the left.  When you are done, click on the Preview button to preview and the Save button to save your recording.

  • Repeat the previous steps to complete the narrations for all the slides

  • Click on the stop recording button

  • Click on the Play button to play your presentation

  • There are two ways to let your students view the presentation.  You can either embed it on your website by clicking on the Embed/Link button or email the link to your students by clicking on the Share button

  • Your presentation will be saved on Brainshark’s site.  Next time you want to access your saved presentations, go to  My Content area.

 

  • There are a lot of more things you can do with Brainshark.  Other than uploading a PowerPoint presentation, you can also upload video files.  You can upload video files into your PowerPoint and you can upload PowerPoint files into the video files.  See the image below

 

Go to this site for more detailed instructions on the use of Brainshark: http://www.brainshark.com/help-and-training.aspx

How can you use Brainshark in the classroom?

Suggestions for Language Class Use:

You can deliver your instructional contents for students to view either before the class or after the class.  You can require your students to create Brainshark presentations to check their understanding of the material you covered in the class, to use the target language to deliver presentations.

Example 1

Use Brainshard to create a presentation to show your students about the Chinese number gestures.  You can insert images below into your PowerPoint and talk about the cultures associated with the gestures, and then even make a comparison of them to the gestures of other culture.  

  • Create title slide in PowerPoint

  • Create outlines of the presentation

  • Insert the above images

  • Save the Powerpoint

  • Login to Brainshark

  • Upload your saved PowerPoint

  • Narrate on each slide

  • You can also go to Youtube to find related videos

  • Use Keepvid to download the video

  • Insert the video into your Brainshark presentation

  • Share it with your students!

Example 2

Give students homework to ask them to use Brainshark to create presentations.  For example, if you talked about the ancient Chinese inventions in the class, then you can

  • Ask students to go to free images sites to download the images about the Chinese inventions

  • Insert these images in the PowerPoint

  • Upload the PowerPoint into Brainshark

  • Narrate on each image in the target language

  • Share the presentation with you or the classmates

  • Ask students to peer review the presentations

Activity Management

  1. Discuss challenges in making face-to-face collaborative or communicative presentations into online modules.
  2. Introduce Brainshark and give an overview of the functionality.
  3. Show learners how to create an account.
  4. Walk learners through the process of uploading a file into the system, recording audio over each slide and editing the slides as needed.
  5. Show learners how to make their file available for viewing by their students.
  6. Brainstorm on ways that the learners plan to integrate Brainshark into their classroom activities.

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