As an ICT teacher, I feel I am responsible for teaching the middle school students a lot of what they need to know about presentations. When it comes to presentations, I find that their technology skills are fine and they are easily able to use Powerpoint or Keynote to make a presentation. The problem I see with their slideshows is that they have a lot to learn design wise. With effective design comes effective communication.
To help my students develop effective presentations, I like to educate my students on some simple principals of good design. I use a range of resources for this, but the one I like most is Jesse Desjardins’s (the Social Media Manager for Tourism Australia) presentations on Slideshare that outlines the bad elements of design and gives great tips on how to improve it. The following slideshow is my favourite as it not only tells us what not to do and how to improve design, but it also sets a great example in itself.
Another issue I see arising is that students regularly complain that their content lets them down and that it’s hard to make a boring topic interesting. To that argument, I like to turn to The Oatmeal, who is known for making some very funny comics on the internet. He is most passionate about punctuation and has made a range of comics on how to use specific punctuation conventions in a fun and engaging way. My favourite is the semicolon tutorial which he developed. This would be perfect for a middle school English class. To view the comic click the image below.
I also try to use good elements of design in all of my presentations. It takes a long time, but I think it’s important to show the students good examples. You can see my examples on my Slideshare page. The slideshow I am most proud of is my passwords lesson, I think it’s visually engaging and incorporates a lot of good elements of design. Plus now I’ve spent the time to make a great presentation, I can use it over and over again each year.
How do you teach good design in your classes? Do you always set a good example? Do you give the students any specific, real world examples? Leave a comment below and let me know.