Today’s blog is a post by my colleague Adam Torrens, an Elementary Ed-Tech Coach at my school in Singapore, Stamford American International School. I am always inspired by what Adam does in our school and it is an honor to work with him on a daily basis to lead and drive change and innovation. Today Adam talks about student presentations and how to reinvigorate them to be more meaningful and authentic in the digital age.
Student presentations have come a long way in the last 20 years of education. It seemed like every presentation in the 90s involved students making large posters to present to their classmates and teachers.
With the invention of Powerpoint came a new wave of student presentations that had children across the globe, clicking through slides with amazing sounds and animations. However, it’s 2018 now and students have more technology, more access, and more opportunities to be creative than ever before.
Here are 5 fresh ideas to get the most out of your students’ presentations.
1. Let Your Students Shine
Every school has a projector. They can be easily seen as a waste of space or even a waste of technology. But again, it is 2018 and Projection Mapping Software is starting to hit education and we couldn’t be happier. The most basic presentations can now be turned into a fiesta for the eyes with applications such as Optoma Projection Mapper. Using just one projector and one iPad, a classroom teacher can display all of their student work around a classroom or an entire building. Teachers around he world are now looking for spaces around their school to display student work. Student lockers can now be interactive and classroom displays can also create an audience in awe.
2. Get Creative With Keynote
I’ve said it many times throughout my teaching career… Keynote is the most underrated application in the App Store. Most people see Keynote as ‘Powerpoint for iPad’ but it is so much more than that. From Magic Move transitions to animating shapes and objects, to creating visual bibliographies, giving students just 20 minutes of exploration time can turn them into experts. Keynote provides the foundations of computer programming and brings out the creativity in students. Now Apple as unleashed the drawing feature so that students can finally add their own personality and style to their presentations.
3. Giving Students A Global Audience with YouTube
YouTube has evolved a lot in the last few years. What used to be a platform for mostly cat videos and fails has now become a source of information. With a simple permission agreement, students can start to create videos that talk directly to a global audience. Having students talk about real issues directly into a camera can build their confidence and provides a real opportunity for growth. One of the most effective ways to bring out the confidence of students is having them read their own stories to the camera or to post reviews for books or movies.
4. Creating the Next Spielberg with iMovie
We have all seen a movie that has left a lasting impact on our lives. Whoever directed that moment for you, most likely started filming and editing videos from a young age with their schoolmates. Why not give that opportunity to your students? Instead of having the students making a trifold board or poster about climate change. Have them learn about close-ups, long shots, deep focus. The catch with this technique is making sure the students are thinking about every element of their project, from lighting to editing, to audio. The results will amaze you. The best way to start is to have your students make a commercial while inquiring into persuasive texts.
5. Saying Nothing and Everything with Infographics
Do your students’ presentations require visuals but you are short on time? Try infographic applications such as Visme and Canva. Here the students can choose from an enormous catalog of images and shapes and place them onto pre-designed templates. Some of the most powerful infographics are created in seconds and can change the way people think about issues. Here students can think about design, colors and fonts that can set them up for their future in whatever field they choose.
6. Making Full Use of the World Wide Web
The introduction of Web 2.0 was a game changer for education. The turn of the century brought in a new type of internet where anyone could add content just as easily as professional web designers. Suddenly everyone was creating websites and platforms such as Blogger, WordPress and Google Sites started to appear. Now students can add their interests and projects to the World Wide Web and reach a global audience of anyone who inquires into their topic. With creating websites, comes a journey of learning design principles. Students can also receive data about their website traffic so that they can constantly improve on their designs.
7. Everyone Can Code!
Coding and programming applications have completely changed the way we present information. Now presentations are not a one-way highway that includes only a speaker and their audience, now presenters can interact with their audience from across classrooms and across the globe. Many schools across the world are now ensuring their teachers understand the importance of computational thinking and having students learning the basics of code. Meanwhile, coding applications are popping up everywhere, and developers have one major audience… students. An app such as Tynker, Scratch Jr, and Hopscotch can independently create coding experts in your class. Now students can feel like they can create their own applications and create interactive presentations for their audience.
AppSmashing: Putting it All Together.
Now that you have become inspired to try new things in the classroom, do not limit yourself to single applications or programs. Play around with elements on various platforms and put different projects together. Create elements with a green background in Keynote, screenshot it and drag it into your iMovie. Put your videos on a website for others to view and comment on or even place your infographics within your videos for a more visually enhanced project.
For more information follow me on Twitter at @ATorrens84 and please share your ideas with myself and my Professional Learning Network.