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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Students and PowerPoint

Part I - Before the Lesson - March 26

Tomorrow, I'm going into a US History teacher's class to help her introduce her students to an upcoming project. They are researching various aspects of early 20th century history, and must create a PowerPoint to accompany a presentation to the class.

Now, if you're like me, you've seen plenty of PowerPoints from students (and maybe from teachers, keynote speakers, business professionals,...) that have slides full of text which they proceed to read to the class. Or alternately, PowerPoints are turned in instead of reports, but the PowerPoints contain just as much text and information as the report would - same format, different application.

I'm taking it upon myself - with the full agreement and support of the teacher - to try to change how students approach using PowerPoint. I'm hoping to show them that a good PowerPoint only enhances what the speaker is saying, not replaces. They need to think more about the content than what animations or fonts they include.

I'm providing the students with a page they can use to storyboard their presentation, as well as some tips on effective PowerPoint design. I've also got a PowerPoint with some do's and don't's; I've uploaded it to Slideshare, although it's not much without narration or the animations. But in any case, here you go:

(You can download the actual presentation from Slideshare here - maybe that way it'll make more sense...)

I'm in the classroom Thursday - when students are beginning their research - and Friday - when they're designing and creating their PowerPoints. I'm going to try to sit in on some of the presentations next week to see how things go. Stay tuned for Part II to see how things went.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I was a little late getting into PowerPoint and using it in my classroom, but I'm certainly glad that I eventually came around. I found some great teaching resources at http://www.dedicatedteacher.com that helped me learn to use and teach with PowerPoint. My students also find these ebooks very helpful and easy to use. Great blog!