In the past the presenter relied on a powerpoint presentation or printouts as a guide to run a graduation ceremony. Grad Bear was developed in response to needing a more reliable and malleable upgrade to the traditional methods used in the past.
Grad Bear is a simple web application that runs in any modern web browser, on desktop, mobile or tablet, with or without internet connection. It is created primarily for graduation ceremonies, with the information being laid out specifically for use on various screen sizes and ratios.
It is the critical tool that displays the names of graduands for the presenter, and ensures that the names are displayed clearly, at the right time, and in the correct order along with a pronunciation guide. The software works by taking the list of graduands, importing the data, and after some magic, sorts and displays the information for presentation. Graduation programme items, such as entertainment breaks and speeches, are also included within the presentation, as well as the names of the previous and upcoming graduands, so the speaker is always aware of where they are up to. Simple intuitive controls allow the speaker to move at their own pace.
Grad Bear was designed and developed by Learning Environments in collaboration with the Graduation Ceremonies team in late 2016, trialled immediately after and successfully proved its worth during the various ceremonies at the end of that year.