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.
Being an ICT teacher, I am using technology in every one of my class. I love teaching children how to use technology and I get a real kick when I see students creating meaningful products that not only benefits them and helps them develop the skills used to create the product, but can also assist others either through passing on motivation or developing their knowledge. There are a range of projects I did last year with my students that would fit into this category but my top three favourite would be Grade 2′s water cycle animations, Grade 4′s video school tour and the book trailers I did with Grades 5 and 6.
Photo by Flikr user ekkebus
However, being a new year with new goals and motivations, I decided to challenge myself once again and facilitate the creation of digital portfolios for all of my students starting in Grade 3 all the way up to Grade 7. In the past, pieces of work that students created digitally had no real place we stored them or view them in an easily manageable way. With the introduction of a public digital portfolios I believe that this will help teachers display the amazing projects they are already doing with technology in their classrooms and in turn motivate others in the school and around the world to try similar projects. For teachers, it can be a bank of ideas for others and for students, a place to proudly display their work to an authentic audience. I hope to get all teachers contributing work towards each students portfolio as a way of motivating technology within all curriculum areas. I believe that this is a very authentic way to use technology, as students and teachers have a real audience, outside of the classroom. I really hope once the students realize this, that the quality of their work will also increase.
So this is my goal for the year, to create an authentic audience for my students, to motivate other teachers at my school to display the amazing lessons involving technology in their classroom, no matter what subject they are teaching and to collect all of a students work in one place, a place they can be proud of. I have already taken steps towards achieving my goals and have hit a few speed humps, but if I remain determined and I am certain I can achieve my goals for the year.
This post should be interesting at the end of the school year to look back on and reflect on.