The article, Eight great tools for classroom presentations, includes information on presentation tools that we may not all be familiar with. Some of these tools may require considerable technical fluency from teachers.
Try this link for some ideas
I meandered into this discussion due to my recently internalized interest in visual literacy. Having become weary of the complaints about "Death by Powerpoint" I have to point out that it is a poor craftsman who blames his tools. We can do more than encourage students...we can teach them. Here are some suggestions we can learn from ourselves:
I think that Stephan Svetsky has an very sensible suggestion. It seems the problem is that we have forgotten that many students suffer a lack of 'prior' training with 'presentation tools'..and the best way is to start them off with tools that they already understand. Changing a Word file..to html will begin the process..they will gain confidence then and possibly want to become more sophisticated. Perhaps we labour under an assumption that because students work on computers that they know how to use other applications that are more sophisticated than Word... This could be the a mis-understanding on our part. It seems deeply unkind to the student/ young person to assume that he or she possess knowledge and skill preceeds prior to being taught or prior to learning these things before hand. We don't assume that newborn babies can read and write before they've been taught.
It is also possible that some people do not have computer applications other than Word..which comes with a computer. Presentation and image processing software can be highly technical as well as expensive to acquire.
alternatively pencil and paper is a good beginning and then progress to different tools..
the danger lies in forgetting that the main point of the process is to learn how to summarise the content of the presentation in to a concise number of relevant points and then orally explain them to the audience.
People need to be encouraged and taught these skills...none of us are born with knowledge in our bodies..we all have to be shown by someone else how to do things.
Standing up in front of an audience and explaining something clearly requires courage, clear thought, courage, and some instruction from people who already have some insights on how to do it. It is deeply unfair to criticise students for their ignorance when clearly they have no knowledge of what to do. Someone who might have taught them otherwise has not done it...Computers and computer applications are tools..they are not content...
Jean makes such excellent points about supporting students to succeed in presentations. Imagine that we were asking students to write a sonnet or a haiku - we would definitely explain what these forms were - and we would discuss perhaps why we had asked the students to produce them - and we might even give them some tips on how to do the task well. In my practice I do something on the what, why & how of presentations (see also http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/presentations.html) - i do something on positive thinking (http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/positive.html) - and often I will do a session on collage as well -asking students perhaps to represent themselves - or a text - or 'their learning so far' - visually - in simple and easily affordable ways - to get them thinking creatively about how to visually support the presentation...
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