Adobe Presenter Resource

Adobe Presenter is a tool that is useful for creating voice-over screen movies from an existing Power Point set of slides. Because of the shallow learning curve associated with Presenter, CEER has developed a set of online screen movies to help faculty, staff, and students quickly come up to speed with the tool. 

Uses for online screen movies lie in general anyplace where you want to convey content to a target audience. For example:
          • for times when you (a faculty person) will be away from campus but you still want to provide your students with standard content you would have delivered if you were in the classroom;
          • more broadly, for as a part of a "flipped classroom" learning environment - which largely inverts the standard (a) come to class, (b) absorb material, (c) out of class do homework problems.... to instead be (a') watch the "lecture content" on line before class, (b') come to class, (c') work problems based on the material in class with mentoring and collaboration with other students;
          • as a backup for critical material that the "next instructor" may want to use; ... and many others.

The metaphor for using Presenter is a good match for what you already do if you are a PowerPoint user: You use PowerPoint to anchor your thoughts and the content you want to impart to your students, you show a "slide show" in class and talk over each slide emphasizing the points you think are most salient. Use of Presenter turns what you do in the classroom into an online experience that students can use out of class, in times and places of their choosing. 

Of course, use of screen movies you produce with Presenter is not a 1 for 1 match with a live classroom. For one, a live class room can and should have more interaction than an online movie. But going the other way... a screen movie enables students freedom to choose when they watch, and the ability to stop the "lecture" and go over points they are not sure of. In addition, appropriate use of animations in screen movies can make them "active" in the sense of helping students to engage in your material. 

In general, best practices for a live classroom are going to find an analog in best practices for online screen movies. CEER stands ready to help you with pedagogical issues you may want to discuss or for which you may want recommendations. Use our Contact Form in the menu at the left, of just drop by CEER and talk to Jon Sticklen, Mark Urban-Lurain, or Claudia Vergara. 

One set of hardware tools to get started with Presenter. 

These recommendations were made on October 2, 2012. The prices may change over time. The hardware recommendations will also change over time. This set of recommendations is meant more than anything to give a flavor for the amount of funding you can use to get started. 

 Blue Microphones Snowball Plug-and-Play 
USB Microphone in Brushed Aluminum 
with Studio Headphones and Microphone Pop Filter 
(This is three things in one package: a microphone
a studio quality headset you can use with the mic, and
a "pop filter" for the mic that takes out "plosives"
like the popping you can get when you saw a word
on a good mic that starts with a P.)
one place you might buy: Amazon, here  
one review here
cost: $109.99 (at Amazon)
get with it a "ringer stand". This isolates the microphone
from any noises like you hitting the desk while you are talking.
This ends up being very useful in the long run, and does not
cost very much.
cost: $40.73

That does it for a microphone. This is just one of a universe of possibilities, but if you have a look at the review you will see that the cost benefit ratio for this particular unit is reviewed as very good by C|NET, which is a usually pretty reliable source.


(I am assuming you want a relatively good webcam that you can use to do video blogs and to do record yourself in front of your computer as you run demos … and similar things. If you instead what a camera that you can use in a classroom to "film" a lecture, that is a wholly different thing. I am assuming the first.)

There are about a million different webcams out there. Here is one that is good.
Logitech HD Webcam C615
cost at Amazon: $53.99

You might also get a small tripod for it. (The webcam is tripod ready.)
Polaroid 8" Heavy Duty Mini Tripod With Pan Head 
With Tilt For Digital Cameras & Camcorders
cost at Amazon: $7.00


This might seem odd to spend more for the microphone than for the camera. But it makes sense if you think about the movies you have seen on YouTube or on the web in general. In general we are much more forgiving for lower quality video but high quality audio is very "professional" in feel. 

If you get really serious about making web movie blogs, or using the camera to record you while you do demos on your machine, eventually you will want some kind of lighting for your filming area. That is pretty cheap and can amount to as little as high intensity lights and translucent shower curtains to diffuse light in your camera area. 

There are tricks too for making movies that work well. Like wearing always a light colored shirt when you record. A webcam sets its light intensity level based on the brightest thing in the field of view. If that is your shirt, then your face will most likely be in focus and have a reasonable set of the light level. 

But the watch word really is… to get the stuff above, and try it out. If you are happy with the results you get, then no more is necessary. And the mic and camera above should produce quite good results with out anything else.

Remember this is the short form. I would not want you to think that these are the absolutely optimal choices. Of course in reality there is no single optimal, but it depends at the margin on what you want to do with the equipment. 

But I think the above choices will serve you well. And you have a bill of
camera and tripod: $53.99
mic and associated audio stuff: $150.72
TOTAL: $211.71

The following resource set is not complete as yet. Each of the titles below will be part of the eventual set. The titles with links lead to a screen movie. Titles without links are still in preparation. Presenter runs as an add-in to PowerPoint. Its best if you have PPT 2007 or 2010, although current versions of Presenter will function with PPT 2003. 

1. Getting Setup for Using Presenter
How to start.
LIcenses for Presenter (free for MSU faculty and staff).
Where to get the installer.
Where to get help with getting going with Presenter.
Is Presenter a good match for your task?

2. Creating and Publishing Presenter-based Screen Movies
Adding Voice Over to your slides (you can also watch this as a stand along movie)
Adding Voice Over to slides with animations (you can also watch this as a stand along movie)
Publishing your Presenter Movies to the MSU Connect Server (you can also watch this as a stand along movie)

3.  Capturing Full Motion Video from your computer screen (In preparation)

4. Embedding Full Motion Video Movies into Presenter/PPT movies  (In preparation)

5. Embedding Quizes into Presenter/PPT movies
 (In preparation)
Quizzes with Feedback to the Student Only
Quizzes with Feedback to the Instructor and the Student

Several other web resources introducing Presenter you may want to use are ..