Monday, August 9, 2010

Conference Notes Part 1

21st Century education cannot be accomplished by adding computers to teaching.  Classrooms filled to the breakers with IWBs, clickers and computer stations does not electro-magically become 21st century trough addition.  Students may leave secondary education with the requisite knowledge from State mandated testing, but learning leaders everywhere admit that mandatory testing is part of the industrial age of education when 80% of students were trained for factory or agricultural work.  Education needs a transformative experience that addresses three aspects of the classroom environment: 

1.The methods through which students are provided information from learning leaders.
2. The manipulation of the information, and problem solving conducted by students.
3. The presentation of student results and findings

Good presentation design begins with modeling techniques for students.  Learning leaders are teaching more than just the content of their course whenever they present to the class. The presentation style itself is a learning moment.  To often, the complaints coming from classrooms involve students poor performance through presentation, but when I look at the presentation methods of the instructor they are similar to those of the students.  If you present anything with mindless bullet points or overly complex graphics students will return the information to you in a nearly identical manner.  If the instructor reads pages upon pages of outlines from the IWB then student will present the same way.  The following slides come from my student guide to presentations.  Do not read them as rules.  This format is designed to create presentations based upon Duarte Design's and Guy Kawasaki's basic framework. If students are going to be competitive in whatever they choose to do in life they need basic tools to grow.  Their are as many ways to present as their are learning styles.  The object of 21st Century Presentation is to create engagement that makes the audience want to learn more and use the information provided.

Prezi is a great visual presentation method that enables presenters to reach outside of the constraints of PowerPoint.  Like any technique it can be over used.  Learning leaders should create a personal brand, flipping back and forth through presentation styles haphazardly is confusing to your learning team.  Prezi, PowerPoint and the software that came with you IWB are just a small set of tools.  Don't forget that anytime a learning leader is distributing information to a class he, or she, is presenting. Documents, textbooks, webpages, wikis, and blogs are all presentation media. Simply using them is not enough to be 21st century.  The how and the why are the key.

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