Formula for Interesting Presentations

Presentations are often used to deliver information to people. The only problem is, they are often boring and are not useful to getting the point across. I read an interesting writing by Guy Kawaski called presentationzen which gave different ways to deliver presentations more effectively. Before reading this, I knew a few things that could make presentations better, such as not including so many bullet points and having more pictures. However, this writing provided more in depth ideas. There were 4 specific various ways to make presentations more interesting. The 4 elements are contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. I also didn’t realize that putting graphics in a certain place on a slide is more appealing to the eye.

I can incorporate these elements into my own presentations that I create and present to my students. Showing more pictures that take up more screen space, including much less information via bullet points, taking advantage of blank spaces, contrasting different elements included in the presentation, such as color or size, and placing things in a more aesthetic manner. Basically, create slide show that is interesting, simple, and does not distract from the information that I want to get across to my students.

Presentations that I have created over the years have really not fit with these principles at all. A lot of presentations I have made included many bullet points of just facts, with few pictures. When I had pictures they were also off to the side and not a focal point. My power points that I have made in the past were the traditional ones that are just facts and boring pictures that were probably somewhat confusing. I think that the only thing I did right was include repetition, with the slide backgrounds. I have definitely learned a lot from this  article and in class about how to change up the way I could make a presentation for my class and students to make the information interesting and memorable.

Being Information Literate in the 21st Century

An article that I read called “True or Not,” where information literacy, and how to evaluate sources was considered. One of the questions posed was defining information literacy. What does it mean to be information literate? Can it truly be defined? It is such an ambiguous term. I think that the main meaning of information literacy is the ability to be able to look at information and discern whether it is valid and reliable or not. To be able to find the bias is also important.

So being information literate is being able to evaluate information. But how do we teach this skill to students when they have so much information at their fingertips that they must sift through? Teaching students the basic ways to evaluate sources is essential. There are simple thing that don’t take too much effort. When looking at an article, check the date it was published and see when, or if, it was updated. Check the credentials or authority that the author has and the sources the author uses. Also, the amount of bias there is and how in depth the topic is covered.

I believe by empowering the students with the knowledge they need to be information literate and providing specific ways to check different works, we can prepare our students to use this medium successfully. Having the knowledge to evaluate sources is very powerful and important, especially now in the 21st Century, with so much information available at the push of a button.

Using Technology in Elementary Grades

Today, I watched a very interesting video on using technology in the classroom through an example from Mr. Pane through a short video. He used a fun and interesting method to get his fifth grade students involved in learning about technology. He had all of his students create a comic where they create a digital superhero to intervene an internet situation where it wasn’t being used properly. They used their own pictures for the person to be intervened by their digital superhero. These digital superheroes solve things such as not putting your information on the internet or not using the internet to gossip online.

The gallery walk was a good idea in this situation, because the students got to read each other’s work and also see others interpretations of internet safety. I think I could use this in my own classroom when students complete work in class that is particularly interactive or has an underlying theme. I think this is useful, because this way students can see others work and perspectives.

Copyright and Teaching

With all of the new technology available to use today, it is more important than ever to be familiar with copyright laws and what is and isn’t legal to use. In the classroom, there are many tools that teachers take advantage of, but great care must be taken to ensure that the information being used is legal.

First off, many people might ask what is copyright exactly? Copyright is the authors right to their work. No matter where it is, things that are original from the author or even facts put into their own words, can all be copyrighted. However, teachers do have some exceptions from copyright. There are four tests for fair use that teachers can use as a tool. These four tests include the intended use for the work and the kind of material that is being used, for example, a work that is also in print versus a web page. This reason is because works that have not been published often have more protection when it comes to copyright. The amount of work being used also makes a difference. If a small part of a work is used it is more likely to be considered in fair use than simply copying/pasting an entire work. The last test to consider is the effect that using this work would have on its value. For example, the number of people who used or saw by the work that was not purchased might have an effect on earnings for the author.

While all of these tests are important when determining fair use, there are different rules for different forms of media used. For example, materials that are printed can have one copy, or one copy per student if there was not enough time to get permission. Any more used than that would need further authorization. Audiotapes and videotapes also have rules that must be followed. For example, they can be used if it has to do with teaching the lesson, but not for entertainment purposes. When it comes to web pages, links can be used, but the web page itself cannot be taken and changed to use as your own. There are many other rules based on the type of media. If you are planning on using some form of technology, it is always best to check and make sure it is okay to use. It is very important to know what type of medium is being used and know the rules for the use of each form so you can stay within the copyright rules.

Learning of the New Generation

In the recent discussions of how the newer generation is connected to technology, a controversial issue has been whether they naturally learn technological concepts or must be taught how to use technology successfully. On the one hand, some argue that people of the new generation naturally pick up on technology and using it. From this perspective, the new generation acquires technology more easily because it is part of their culture and everyday life growing up. On the other hand, however, others argue that the new generation needs to be taught how to use technology. According to this view, people of the new generation do not naturally acquire knowledge of technology, and they need to be taught to use technology effectively. In sum then, the issues is whether the new generation acquires digital knowledge naturally or need to be taught how to use digital knowledge.

My own view is that the new generation does not acquire digital knowledge, we need to learn how to use technology, either through personal experience or being taught by someone else. Though I concede that the new generation learns more through technology than previous generations, I still maintain that the new generation must learn to use digital technology more efficiently. The issue is important because technology being so engrained in our culture is important to our learning of concepts and our use for it in the future will also be pertinent.

Introductory Concepts

In recent discussions of the use of technology in the classroom, a controversial issue has been how much technology should be used in the classroom. On one hand, some argue that technology is pertinent for teaching today’s youth . From this perspective, youth are not really learning when they have to turn off all of their electronics and be bored in school by being taught things that seem irrelevant to their lives. On the other hand, however, others argue that technology should not always be used in the classroom. According to this view, technology should only be used in areas where traditional methods are limited and the technology can benefit learning in a new way. In sum then, the issue is whether technology should be used in the classroom to make technology relatable to students and only using technology when they pass the boundaries of conventional teaching techniques.

My own view is that technology has a place in the classroom, but other teaching methods can be just as useful and there should be a variety of different approaches when learning. Though I concede that using technology to help personalize learning is useful, I still maintain that there should be many different tools that teachers use to help students learn. For example, learning through a hands-on approach is interesting and good way to learn and get students involved. Although some might object that this does not personalize the learning experience to the student, I would reply that being able to learn information in a variety of ways makes the material more relatable to students. This issue is important because there are many different views about how technology should be used for teaching students. This is important because technology can completely change school and the way students are taught.