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MonthAugust 2014

The Secret to Unforgettable Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling has transformed the way we experience and share ideas. We’re surrounded by digital tales that we can even access right from our cell phones! But with so many stories echoing across the web, making yours stand out can be challenging.

Here at Haiku Deck, we like to think we know a thing or two about telling stories… and we’d like to let you in on a little secret.

Picture-Perfect Digital Storytelling

Presenting your story in a way that ensures it will be exciting and worth interacting with is easier than you might think. Whether you’re rallying support around a cause, or just telling folks about your cat, audiences go nuts for visuals. Want to see a great example? Just check out our deck explaining Ten Reasons Why Visual Communication Can’t Be Ignored:


Ten Reasons Visual Communication Can’t Be Ignored – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Once you’ve gotten a chance to let that soak in, here are a few more resources that might help give your story even more reach:

And of course, if you have any questions, you’re always welcome to drop us a line!

Optimizing the Appearance of Haiku Decks on Social Media

One of our main goals at Haiku Deck is to make things simple and easy, especially when it comes to sharing your beautiful Haiku Decks. But, the different image sizes and dimensions on various social media channels can be a bit less easy to handle. We’ve experienced just about everything from having words and images cut off in odd places, sizing of slides that don’t necessarily align with sizing on that specific social media channel, and the inability to reposition the image for a post all together. So, we’ve come up with some ways to handle situations just like this.

First, you’ll need to know how to save your Haiku Deck slides as images. Here are 2 ways:

  1. Take a screenshot.
  2. Export your Haiku Deck to PowerPoint/Keynote, then save your slides as images.

Now that you know how to save your Haiku Deck slides as images, let’s get started!

Facebook

When sharing a link to your Haiku Deck on Facebook, Facebook will automatically pull the image in the first slide to use for the link’s preview. Sometimes, the link preview looks perfect:

Facebook

And other times, when your text isn’t centered on the slide, it looks like this (the majority of the text in the top/bottom of your slide gets cut off):

 

Facebook

There isn’t a way to reposition the image on Facebook, so here are a couple things you could do to workaround this:

Showcase a different slide from your deck by using the arrows at the top left corner of the image to view the different slides in your deck and select one that looks the best.

Or, if you’d like to use the title slide, here’s a workaround:

  1. Take a screenshot of your first slide, or export your deck to PowerPoint and save your slides as images.
  2. The recommended image upload size for shared links on Facebook is 1200 x 627. You can use photo editing software such as Photoshop, or free web based tools like PicMonkey or Canva, to upload and resize/crop the image to the correct size and save it as a .jpg or .png image file.
  3. Once you’ve saved that image, you can use the “+Upload Image” button to replace the original image with the new image you just created. It should look something like this:

Facebook

Tip: If you’re sharing the link and using Facebook’s default link preview, you can delete the link in the status box. Your posts will look more clean and less cluttered with text. You can also edit the text that appears in the link preview to include more details about your deck.

Google+

Google+ will also provide you with a link preview similar to Facebook, but the preview perfectly adjusts to the size of the slide so you won’t need to manually resize the image. You should see something similar to this:

However, if you’re not a fan of the link preview, you can upload an image instead and include a link to your deck within the status. The recommended size for a shared image on G+ is 497 x 373, the same proportion of our Haiku Deck slides, so resizing/cropping is not needed. The result should look something like this:

Google Plus

Not only does sharing an image give you a beautiful G+ post, images that are shared on G+ also have a higher chance of being highlighted (taking over both columns of posts) in your followers’ G+ stream.

Tip: If you’re sharing a quote or blog post that doesn’t have an accompanying image, you can create your own with Haiku Deck. We love doing this for our curated content; here’s one example. And if you’d like to take it a step further, G+ also supports gifs. If you’ve already exported and saved your Haiku Deck slides as images, you can use GIFMaker to create a gif out of your slides, giving the illusion of a slideshow on auto play. Here’s an example from one of our posts.

Instagram

Because of the square format on Instagram (recommended image size is 640 x 640), you’ll need to resize the image of your deck’s slide into a square. To do this, you’ll first want to save your Haiku Deck slide(s) as an image in a place where you can access them on your iPhone or Android phone (we like to use Dropbox and GoogleDrive for this).

Once you’ve saved your slide(s) as an image, you can use apps such as #SquareDroid (Android), Squaready (iPhone), or Canva (web), to upload and save your image as a square without needing to crop it when you upload it onto Instagram. You’ll have an image that looks something like this:

Instagram

Tip: The only place on Instagram that allows you to have a clickable link is in your bio. If you’re promoting a new deck or blog post, share an attention-grabbing image, update your bio with the link to your new deck or blog post, and mention it in the description of your post that they can click the link in your bio to see it.

Twitter

When sharing a link to your deck on Twitter, your tweet appears in your follower’s home timeline and lists like this:

Twitter

Tweets like this can be easily missed by your followers, but tweeting a photo helps your tweets to stand out like this:

Twitter

This is also a great way for Twitter chat hosts to highlight their questions. If you’ve ever participated or hosted a Twitter chat, you know how busy those streams can get. Using this method, your questions will stand out and participants are less likely to miss them; they’re also easier to spot if anyone needs to scroll back through the chat’s stream. Also check out our post, How To Host a Twitter Chat with Style.

Tip: If you’re using Haiku Deck to display a quote, soundbite, or question on Twitter, you’ll want to insert the text more or less in the center of the slide to avoid any odd cropping. The minimum size for in-stream photos on Twitter is 440 x 220.

Haiku Deck Accounts for Education

It’s Friday morning. Class is in 20 minutes, and your students are supposed to present the Haiku Decks they’ve been working on all week. But as you’re finishing up your coffee, you’re skimming through an inbox full of emails from students who couldn’t find their projects at the last minute. Sound familiar?

With so many students, email addresses, decks, classes, and shared devices, it’s no wonder teachers sometimes run into trouble finding their students’ projects or accounts. Thankfully, we’re here to help make one part of this equation a lot easier by explaining the best ways to use Haiku Deck for education.

Haiku Deck Classroom

With Haiku Deck Classroom accounts, the teacher and all students associated with a Classroom account will enjoy the benefits of our paid product which includes privacy features, the ability to download decks for offline viewing and editing, the ability to embed YouTube videos in presentations, and more.

Classroom also includes a handful of new features designed specifically for the teacher:

  • Classroom management dashboard for adding/removing students
  • Course galleries where teachers can review the presentations that students submit in one convenient location.
  • Optional Integration with Google Classroom and Google sign-in

Haiku Deck Classroom is affordably priced for educators on tight budgets and department, school, district, and institutional pricing discounts are available. Learn more about Haiku Deck Classroom here.

Creating a Single Account for Your Class

One Account - Haiku Deck for Education

This is probably the easiest method (and our favorite), but it’s not ideal for all classrooms. You can create one Haiku Deck account for your classroom, and your students can all sign in using the same email address and password. This will save their work to the same account, so we recommend having students include their names in the titles of each deck to make them easy to find.

Pros:

  • Easy to keep track of login credentials
  • Work can’t really ‘go missing’ from account mix-ups
  • No time spent signing in and out of separate accounts
  • No risk of students accidentally saving to the wrong account
  • You can sign in at any time to review, share, and delete student work
  • Students can save their work as ‘private’ and you’ll still be able to view it

Cons:

  • Students could inadvertently delete or edit other students’ decks
  • Scrolling through everyone’s decks to find the one you’re looking for could be inconvenient

Group Accounts - Haiku Deck for Education

Maybe your students will be making too many decks for one account to sound appealing, but having separate accounts for each of your students sounds like a headache waiting to happen. In this case, we recommend taking advantage of a nifty little Gmail trick that not a lot of folks know about: the ability to create variants of your Gmail email address that all go to the same inbox.

With any email address at gmail.com, you can add a plus sign and more text after your username to create a variation that will still go to your inbox. Gmail ignores everything from the + forward, so the possibilities are endless.

You can set up one Gmail account (for example, ‘msbeifong@gmail.com’) and then use variants of it to set up separate Haiku Deck accounts for specific groupings of students, such as:

  • msbeifong+history@gmail.com
  • msbeifong+morningclass@gmail.com
  • msbeifong+thirdgrade@gmail.com
  • msbeifong+fourthgrade@gmail.com

This way, you only have one email address through Gmail – but you can have as many Haiku Deck accounts based on that email address as you’d like.

Pros:

  • Easy to keep track of logins
  • Easy to keep track of student work
  • Low risk of work being saved to the wrong account
  • You can sign in at any time to review, share, and delete student work
  • Students can save their work as ‘private’ and you’ll still be able to view it
  • Not as much time needed signing in and out of accounts on shared devices

Cons:

  • Students signed into the same group could accidentally edit, or delete other students’ decks
  • Even if they save decks as ‘private,’ any work students are doing can be viewed at any time by other users signed into the same account

Individual Accounts - Haiku Deck for Education

If you’d prefer to keep all of your students’ decks separate, then you could have students set up accounts under their own school email addresses. From a support standpoint, we get the most troubleshooting emails from teachers with classrooms set up this way, due to the increased chances of work being saved improperly. If you decide to take this route, here are a few things to consider:

Pros:

  • Students’ decks are saved separately
  • Lower likelihood of students editing or deleting other students’ decks

Cons:

  • The inconvenience of having to sign out/in on shared devices
  • No access to decks until students share them with you
  • Students cannot save decks as ‘private’ and share them with you
  • High likelihood of decks being saved to the wrong accounts due to sign out/sign in confusion
  • Higher likelihood of accounts being created improperly (misspelled email addresses, passwords, etc. or accidentally using a personal email address instead of an .edu one)
  • Account mix-ups, improperly saved decks, etc. can be somewhat tricky and time-consuming to resolve for all parties involved in this case (less than ideal when you need a fast resolution)

For an easy alternative that still provides each of your students with a unique account, you could take advantage of using the Gmail trick mentioned above (under Method #2). For example, you could create the email address mrbarnesclass@gmail.com. For your students, you could create Haiku Deck accounts for them as follows:

  • mrbarnesclass+jonny@gmail.com
  • mrbarnesclass+sarah@gmail.com
  • mrbarnesclass+alexi@gmail.com, etc.

All emails pertaining to any of the accounts created using this method will go to the original email address, mrbarnesclass@gmail.com. Here are the benefits of using Gmail instead of student email addresses:

  • You can easily reset the password for any student account
  • Students won’t receive emailed updates, news, etc. from us
  • It’s super easy for us to look those kinds of accounts up to provide support
  • We can get all of the accounts created for you – just email us at support@haikudeck.com
  • If your students have educational email addresses that don’t accept incoming messages outside of the school district, this is a better method to use so that their passwords can be reset

In Summary

We recommend Haiku Deck Classroom for teachers using the app with their students. This provides the greatest convenience for the teacher and also provides important access to student presentation privacy features and download. We’re here to give you a hand and help out if you ever have any questions. Just drop us a line!

Haiku Deck App Mashup: Skitch

Just imagine how cool it would be if you could notate and mark up some content and use that in your Haiku Decks. It’d be pretty awesome, right? You could build recipes, create how-to guides with screen shots, point out things in photographs you’ve taken, and a billion other things. Good news is, you can do it for free with Skitch, and we’ll show you how!

The app: Skitch

Skitch Screenshot

Skitch is a free app by the folks who brought you Evernote. It’s straightforward, easy to use, and allows you to add shapes and text to images, then easily save your creations for use elsewhere.

The possibilities:

  • Notate your slide backgrounds
  • Blur portions of slide backgrounds
  • Mark up photographs, screenshots, and anything else you want to use as a slide background

App mashup example:

Here’s an example deck that one of our talented education users put together to demonstrate how well Skitch and Haiku Deck can be used together in the classroom:


Skitch – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

How to use it with Haiku Deck:

  1. Download Skitch on your Mac or PC.
  2. Use the drop-down menu in the top center of Skitch to take a screenshot, snap a photograph, open a file, create a new blank document, and more.
  3. Go nuts! Use the tools on the left to add text, shapes, tags, drawings, etc.
  4. Drag the file icon on the bottom, center tab in the app to save your creation to whatever folder you drop it on (I like using my dekstop, personally).
  5. Use your Skitched-up image as a slide background uploaded into either the Web App or the iPad app.

Tips:

  • Try to be consistent in your color scheme if possible – it keeps your image from looking too busy and distracting
  • Sign into Evernote in the top left corner of the app to save your Skitch work there
  • Adjust how zoomed-in you are in the bottom left corner of the app
  • Save your Skitch creations to a place like Google Drive or Dropbox so you can access them easily from your iPad
  • If you need help with Skitch, check out their support site here.

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