Muddling through the blogosphere

June 29, 2009
by blogwalker

Live from NECC – Slam Dunk Research via PowerPoint

I’m drawn to this session because the write-up states “model has your students investigating and answering higher-level questions.” The presenters are from Deep creek Magnet Middle School, outside of Baltimore.

A slam dunk model has 5 basic steps:

  1. questioning
  2. information sources
  3. activity
  4. assessment activity
  5. enrichment (extended) activities

Here’s a link to the session wiki –

Why PowerPoint? To help ‘late adopter’ teachers. Jamie McKenzie has already created the PowerPoint template – The idea is to make it easy for teachers to organize the project for students, including providing the links.

Session was a good combination of Jamie McKenzie resources and a truly simple way to introduce late adopters to using technology (which hopefully filters down to their students).

June 23, 2009
by blogwalker
1 Comment

Bad PowerPoint vs. Good PowerPoint

I had the opportunity to participate in last week’s Computers and Writing 2009 Conference at UC Davis. One of the highlights of the conference was getting to hear Bill Cope’s Saturday keynote: The Social Web: Writing in the Era of Digital Reproduction. The good news is that Bill’s keynote was recorded and I know that immediately following his address, participants cornered conference organizer Carl Whithaus with the request to post the presentation in the same way CUE posted Marzano’s presentation (PowerPoint slides in the background or as close-ups, with Marzano narrating each one), or to upload the presentation WITH the accompanying podcast.

I find it frustrating to view the many PowerPoints educators have generously uploaded to Slideshare and other venues WITHOUT an audio file or script to clarify the meaning and intent of each slide. As for Bill Cope’s presentation, each slide is probably fairly self explanatory – but, oh my, hearing Bill explain and build the case for teaching multimedia literacy is a tool every educator and administrator should have access to. So as soon as that resource is available, I’ll post the link.

In the meantime, I’ll point you to a few other PowerPoint resources I gleaned from the conference. Although I missed Fred Johnson’s Friday morning Starting with Bad PowerPoint, NCTE ACE colleague Rich Rice shared the handout. Fred has posted links to some great resources, including his own thought-provoking When Textual Technologies Transform Writing PPt, but, darn, no audio….yet.

Thanks to Fred’s site and a handout from Betsy Gilliland, also a CW2009 presenter, here are some great resources for moving  your slidehshows from bad to good:

Heading off to update some PowerPoints…

June 30, 2008
by blogwalker

Ten Tips for Better PowerPoints

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:
    • (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.
  • Give photo credits

2008 = lots of ways to communicate!

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