Thursday, April 20, 2017

Presentation Matters Too!

April 2017: Presentation Matters Too!

As we continue to journey through our @ibpyp exhibition exploring our central idea "Collaboration in the ultimate classroom can change how kids problem solve, interact, and learn" (written by students... which I still can't believe) and explore our lines of inquiry: organization of space, how kids learn best, and types of learning technology (also written by students), we get closer to our final celebration and presentation of our journey. A celebration of this magnitude is worthy of some powerful and dynamic presentations.

Last fall, I took a course from +EdTechTeam on visual literacy. I had no clue what to expect going in, but I learned a lot about images, myself, my way of teaching, and the power of teaching your students not just how to present, but how to create presentations. After all, that's a life skill. While we have had a lot of conversations about design as an element of presenting, many of my students still needed ideas beyond what I could give. They needed to hear from someone who has given dynamic presentations to a lot of people. While I attempt to give my best go at being a dynamic presenter from day-to-day, there is power in learning from others and hearing special guests within the classroom. As much as we want our students to hold our everyday activities and teachings as gold, it is the inspiring presentations from beyond the classroom that really captures their attention. Plus, it's fun to sit back and learn a thing or two from a special guest too!

I reached our on Twitter to Sandra Chow (@watnunu) about an interest in doing a Google Hangout with my class about some ideas, guidelines, and advice for building a captivating presentation. I had seen Sandra's keynote and took several of her sessions when she came to the Cleveland Area Google Summit. She had tapped into the power of Dr. Seuss in her keynote and captured her ideas with powerful images. During our Hangout, Sandra shared her screen with the students as she showed them several helpful hints on how to build a presentation that hooks the audience in Google Slides. All the while, my fourth grade students were busy jotting down things that stood out to them, ideas that were important, and asking questions about presentation making.

I as reflect on this experience with my students, I wanted to share several of their questions, my observations, and other ways learning about how to create presentations has already impacted my 4th grade students:
  • One of my students is taking action by going to teach K, 2nd, and 4th graders are lesson on bullying and mindfulness. While the student had already created her presentation, she wanted to make it more visually appealing for audience. This student started to explore SlidesCarnival, selected a new theme, and integrated it into her presentation.
  • Another one of my students was busy working a presentation he is created as part of his independent corner action project. I found him Googling  Slide Master and several other formatting tools in order to figure out how to use them and their features within his slides.
  • A group of boys who is preparing a presentation BYOD to share with another fourth grade class as part of their action project began working to align the slide format throughout their Slide Deck so that things were less confusing. 
  • Some of the questions my students had were: 
    • Should there be more words or pictures?
    • How do you draw attention to yourself when you are giving a presentation?
    • Bright or dark colors?
    • Is it possible to have a presentation that no one disagrees with?
    • What color pops out the most for a presentation?
    • How can I make it so you could focus on the speaker more than the slides?
    • What would you do to make the people remember facts other than writing shorter?
    • What do you do if you freeze or things go wrong in your presentation?
As of right now, I still have no clue what our final presentation is going to look like. I can't wait to see where the students take it with all of their newfound knowledge!