Don’t be alarmed or scared that you’re running across a new term and trend in education with this one! In fact many of you have been doing this already throughout the years when you have your students create PowerPoint or Keynote presentations for the class. Even if the purpose of their report or presentation is to provide the class with facts about a topic, these students are still telling a story.
Too many times when assigning these projects, are given a topic, allowed to research, and then they create slides for their presentations. What do they generally focus on when they’re building their slide show? They all love pictures, of course, so there are tons of those; visual effects and swooshing sounds for text are usually next, but sometimes we are left with slides that are “walls of text” that the students will read out loud verbatim to the class.
We need to work through the process of building an effective digital presentation, or story, with our students. The first time through this is a tough process:
- How do you help students organize information effectively so that they are telling a story and not just reading facts?
- When are too many pictures too many? Too few not enough?
- How should the slides be organized and laid out? (Not just the order, but to be visually appealing)
- What’s an effective use of sound so it’s not a distraction?
- What’s the most desirable way to show off the work to the class?
This article by Jon Orech can help you with those, and many other questions about how to help students build an effective presentation. Now they can create those PowerPoints or Keynotes that not only will allow them to help teach their peers, but also will allow their creative juices to flow. Try some of the tips, use some of the guidelines and hopefully the next time you have students create a digital presentation, it’s more storytelling than lecture with pictures!