Integrating twitter voting and feedback into PowerPoint

This post originally appeared in the RSC Scotland North & East Higher Education blog (MASHe) on the 6th October: 

Regular readers of this blog will know that one of my current interests is using twitter as a live in-class voting tool (TwEVS). Today, via Jane Hart, I was made aware of ‘Free PowerPoint Twitter Tools’ developed by Timo Elliott.

Timo’s solution not only integrates voting within a PowerPoint presentation, but he has some other nice features including a real-time twitter ticker-tap and a feedback wall which pulls questions and response from twitter (shown below).

Using these tools is very easy and all you need to do is download the PowerPoint .ppt file with embedded tools and instructions from Timo’s site (unfortunately PowerPoint for Mac isn’t support yet).

The technology behind this solution is simple Adobe Flash which was developed using SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding product, Xcelsius (don’t worry all you need to use this solution is PowerPoint and Adobe Flash Player). Initially the PowerPoint file didn’t work for me but thanks to a suggestion from Timo it was traced to a problem with my Flash Player installation. If you experience problems I would suggest following the uninstall/install instructions provided by Adobe.

When I presented my solution using twitter and yahoo pipes for voting last week  I would say most of the interest was in combining in-class and out-of-class activity. Timo’s solution potential fits in well with this giving an easy way to use voting as well as a the feedback wall which could be used at any point during a presentation to stimulate dialogue.