Friday, August 10, 2007

Back to School Night Rethought





Thanks to Dan and to some tech folks in my county, I'm rethinking PowerPoint. That's a good thing. The bad thing is, in typical fashion for me, I'm doing it last minute. So, these slides for Back to School Night don't impress me greatly, but they feel like I'm moving in the right direction.

I teach in a school with many different languages spoken at home and families from very diverse backgrounds. I hope that giving them a presentation with more visuals and less text will help them better understand my philosophy and goals for the year.

Next year I'd like to use pictures of students doing many of the activities I talk about. I included some of that this year, but not nearly enough. And these images don't do as good a job of illustrating the ideas behind them as I would like (which is what I get for trying to put it together in two days). I think it is an improvement over a presentation full of words that is either read to them or talked over while they try to read. I sent them home with a page of information summing up what I had discussed. I'll post this presentation and that page on our class site for those who weren't there or who were but would like to look more closely at things.

I'm not a fan of PowerPoint, but I hope that I'm becoming a more intelligent user of the tool.

3 comments:

Christian Long said...

Jenny -- Consider framing your PPt slides as you would a 'story'. Rather than using each slide to tell facts (so to speak), allow an image to fill the screen entirely with/without a word/phrase,...and trust yourself to 'tell the story' instead of have the audience 'read the presentation'.

Cliff Atkinson (Beyond Bullets) is a wonderful guy to go to for inspiration re: creating 'story boards' to frame the use of slides. Also, look at Presentation Zen for big ideas as well.

Best of luck with the presentation, but most of all: trust yourself as a 'story teller' using slide images to prompt your thinking (rather than to be 'facts').

Cheers, Christian

Christian Long said...

Jenny -- Consider framing your PPt slides as you would a 'story'. Rather than using each slide to tell facts (so to speak), allow an image to fill the screen entirely with/without a word/phrase,...and trust yourself to 'tell the story' instead of have the audience 'read the presentation'.

Cliff Atkinson (Beyond Bullets) is a wonderful guy to go to for inspiration re: creating 'story boards' to frame the use of slides. Also, look at Presentation Zen for big ideas as well.

Best of luck with the presentation, but most of all: trust yourself as a 'story teller' using slide images to prompt your thinking (rather than to be 'facts').

Cheers, Christian

Jenny said...

Christian, thanks for the advice and the resources. Beyond Bullets and Presentation Zen look fantastic and I'm looking forward to spending more time exploring their sites.