Wednesday, February 4, 2009

everything's zen (presentation zen)

i have recently been working on updating some of my powerpoint presentations for my us history classes. i haven't actually read presentation zen yet by garr reynolds but i have heard enough of the buzz and seen enough of the handouts to know that there is something of merit there. this has caused me to go back and look at my presentations and to begin the process of reworking them.
i don't think that my slides were horrible to begin with, but i have begun to use my slides as more of an aid. an aid that helps to tell the story, but doesn't tell the whole story. i had/have a fair amount of words on the slides but i was cognizant in the beginning of overwhelming my audience with too many words. best to keep it simple and let me tell the story than have them looking and trying to read too much while i am speaking.
anyway, i am adding more video, more pictures, and more questions. i am also attempting to make the presentations more interactive. so how do i do that? i don't know. right now i am trying to integrate into the slides every so often. the kids will then be able to use their cellphones to answer questions on the slides while we watch the results in real time. it's pretty cool and the kids seem to like it.
i don't lecture all the time and i use projects and group work and lots of other strategies in my classroom. but sometimes, i find the need to lecture. what i want from you, dear reader, is some more ideas to make presentations more interactive. with examples please. thanks for sharing.

1 comment:

geoff said...

The kids are lucky to have are we. You're light years ahead of so many teachers I know. You're always willing to rework things to better serve the kids.

I struggle to integrate all of these concepts as well, and I really struggle to find the time to rework something when it loses value/momentum, etc.

Sorry, no suggestions off the top of my head, but I wish you luck in all the new concepts you're trying to integrate.