Teacher Review for Haiku Deck

Modern presentations that are easily created by 2nd graders and up. Templates do not allow much customization.

Barbara T.
Educational Technology TOSA
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, English-Language Learning, Health & Wellness
My Rating
Learning Scores
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
I have used Haiku Deck for digital storytelling, oral presentations, and for demonstrating knowledge with great success. I have tried to use it for vocabulary reinforcement with mixed results. My 3rd graders used this to create informational presentations on the branches of government. They loved the ease of using Haiku Deck and the professional look of the finished product. The full-screen sized images help to reinforce the text. Students made connections with the images as representatives for each branch and this helped to support their learning. There was sufficient space to include information about the role and function of each branch. Test self-sizes as you type, so the Haiku Deck gallery automatically searches for images based on your text. Sometimes, the images don't support the text so students will need to think of new keywords that may give them better results. (Many images will appear that are unrelated to the keywords.) This was challenging for some ELL students. I had this problem too when we tried to make vocabulary slideshows with 5th graders. Students who did not have strong English language skills needed a lot of support finding synonyms for new vocabulary words. One class did research projects on animals and made their own illustrations. They were able to photograph their artwork and upload the images to Haiku Deck, then transcribe their writing to create digital versions of their reports. I used Haiku Deck again recently and discovered that the images are now blocked by the school district's filtering software. The app still works, but it requires more effort to gather the images separately, save them to the device, then upload them to the presentation. For certain situations, I might curate images for younger students and sync them to all the classroom devices to automate this process.
My Take
Haiku Deck is a way to easily teach students the basics of creating a presentation with beautiful results. I have used this with students in 2nd - 6th grade with great success. The templates are easy to work with for beginners, but more advanced users may be frustrated that there is limited customization. Haiku Deck has its own image library using Getty Images and Creative Commons pictures that are free to use. Searching by keywords, students can find an array of images for their presentations or import their own images from other sources. Be forewarned: I have seen images that are inappropriate for school included in the image gallery. Their images may be blocked by some school district filters, so test this ahead of time. The app is still functional without using their images, students will just need to import their own. If you use the in-house images, no attribution tags show up, but the CC logo is displayed in presentation mode. This is frustrating to me as I am teaching my students that they must always cite their sources without exception. My solution is to have them cite the source as Haiku Deck Image Gallery on the last page of the presentation. Ideally, attributions should have the image title, author, source, and license, so this solution is not perfect. Some images in the library are paid, but they are clearly marked. Each template page allows for limited text and imagery with a few options for placement. Some of the templates have text in all caps, which is bothersome to many students who have told them to never type in all caps. There are six free themes and 13 paid. Each slide has different layout options. You may also add public and private notes. The interface is really easy to learn and use. My ELL students had no difficulty mastering what the icons represented and using the app features successfully. Text self-adjusts as you type so users do not have to worry about resizing or changing fonts to make the text fit. As a presentation tool, Haiku Deck helps students avoid text-heavy slides. Digital presentations should highlight ideas and themes, and let the speaker fill in the rest verbally. I have found that students are more likely to use good oral presentation strategies when using Haiku Deck than with other presentation apps. Completed projects may be shared via Facebook, Twitter, or with email sign-in. These options may not be useful for students younger than 13. If you sign in with your email, you can export as a PDF or embed the file into a blog or web page. Haiku Deck is best known as an iOS app, but they have recently released a web version. The web version requires an account, but the app does not. The app has a chart option, the web tool does not.