Chapter 8 - Student Presentations
No more text-crammed PowerPoint slide shows with clashing colors and distracting special effects! Presentation software has become a standard accompaniment to lectures in education. PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google presentations are easy to design, and pre-made presentations are easy to find on the Web. However, too many students use these tools ineffectively, incoporating too much text, distracting special effects, and too many slides. Below are some tips to help your students avoid these pitfalls.
- PowerPoint is a visual medium, so focus on images and graphics. Often an image and a title are all you need for a great slide to support your own words.
Choose powerful images and label them thoughtfully.
- Use text as prompts. The text on your slide should consist mostly of words that will help the audience follow your presentation, like topic headings or concise statements of key points or essential questions. Keep the number of words on each slide to a minimum.
- Use simple designs. When choosing a design template, avoid designs that take up too much space. Stick with basic designs that will keep your audience focused on you and the content, not the window decorations.
- Avoid flashy animations and transitions. Much of what you can do with PowerPoint is a waste of time. Focus on creating great content with effective illustrations, and don’t spend your time making words shoot in on rocket ships.
For more information about using PowerPoint, visit our Teaching History with Technology web site.
Podcasting: Garage Band & iTunes Video Tutorials
Another option for creating a presentation is to have your students make a Podcast. If you have access to a Mac computer, GarageBand is a terrific piece of software for recording and editing audio. Below are basic instructions for using GarageBand to record spoken audio, add background music, and edit your recording. Though the version of GarageBand used in these tutorials is a few years old, the ideas still hold true.