Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining my fellow California K12 High Speed Network Advisory Committee members down at the Capitol for a meeting with our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson. Our purpose was to talk about ways to promote new learning environments in California.
Ironically, California, the home of Silicon Valley, is hardly a leader in implementing eLearning opportunities in its public schools (yikes, we’re ranked 47th in the nation on technology integration in our classrooms) – until now. The framework, the initiatives, and momentum needed to transform the “No Child Left Off Line” mantra from a vision to a reality are now available:
The California Student Bill of Rights Act– The Riverside Unified School District is leading the charge in California’s “no child left off line” movement, with a commitment to eliminating zip code as a determining factor in the quality of education all California students have access to. The proposed law stems from the vision of two Riverside Unified School District administrators: Superintendent Rick Miller (who also serves on the K12 HSN Advisory Committee) and David Haglund, principal of Riverside Virtual School, the largest district-run online school in the state.
I applaud Riverside USD in their efforts to address what Superintentent Torlakson refers to as “the ground swell of public impatience with the lack of online learning opportunities.” I also very much appreciate having access to their district technology plan: Vision 20/20 Plan, a document (and road map) many districts will find insightful as they update their own tech plans.
What If the Story Changed? – David Jakes’ recent presentation for the 2011 K12 Online Conference is a wonderful piece “to challenge your thinking about traditional perspectives on education, and offer insights on how we might rethink these.” 32 very worthwhile minutes, I promise!
I managed to beat the crowds and am now sitting right up front for David Jakes’ session on 10 Points for Improving PowerPoint presentations. Dean Shareski just finished the introduction (hilarious) of David, who is now starting with some images of old technologies, such as the ditto machine…and heading into the ’80s with…PowerPoint. Yep, PowerPoint has been with us since 1987!
“It’s not what the software does. It’s about what they do with it.It’s about crafting the message.”
Teach them biology
The brain is innately designed to communicate visually. Brain wired for visual (30%), but auditory in only (3%). Therefore PowerPoint has to be really visual.Move kids away from templates and away from being text-based. Presentations are indeed performances. Don’t remove all text, but limit it. Dual Processing of brain: visual and auditory + Cognitive load: intrinsic(based on how complex material is) and extrinsic (based on how material is presented).
Teach them how to find images
Flickr – billions of images
Flickr-storm – type in CreativeCommons in search window and select attribution.Select an image and download tray. Toolbar displays URL. Allows teacher to create bank.of images for students.
iStockphoto – Pay site – but wonderful photography. For 1$ you’ll get an outstanding image. Advance search provides grid that allows you to select and add text in bottom area.
Teach them design (Dean Shareski)
How to keep up with all the tools – Using random template that has nothing to do with presentation.So strip the template. Strip away unimportant points. Make the image central and, ideally an image (which will help you retain the information).
Teach them to sell
Antidote to kids copying and pasting. Kids have to learn how to craft a story, not move content from point a to point b. Kids need to write deeply about their topic.Why not have them write a storyboard, just as they would for a digital story. “Communication ia the transfer of emotion” Seth Godin
Color and font choice matters
Color is important.It means different things to different audiences. Dave is showing a yellow-cast beach image. Green suggests renewal. Blue = fav color in US. Red signals danger or alert. Blockbuster = blue with yellow border. Deep blue signifies trust.
Fonts – sans serif vs serif (little feet help your eye travel across text), but when you project, always use a sans serif. Tip: Never use Helvetica with US audience (font of IRS)
Teach them to incorporate multimedia:
But how to get video from off the web to “embed” in presentation.
3 ways to do this:
Zamzar.com (avi on PC/mov on Mac)
Go into PowerPoint and check steps
PowerPt 2003 -07 – YouTube video – creates button to embed into your PowerPoint.
Teach them PowerPoint Secrets
Go online and search keystrokes – “B” – takes to slide to black or “W” and slide goes white
Type in # of slide so that you can bring in hidden content (slides)
Teach them to share
“Back of Napkin” – selling ideas by getting people to think visually
Slideshare – look for exemplars – opening page has “featured presentations.” Show to students and have them critique them
Sliderocket – you can build your presentation online
Google doc – upload a presentation to Google docs and share it – Use chat box on right so others can join into to preso from other sites.