Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘slideshare

This semester I am including QR codes in my ICT course in a more basic way.

In semesters past, I have used QR codes for station-based learning and scavenger hunts.

This semester, I am simply adding QR codes to presentations in SlideShare. The QR codes lead to resources that are relevant to the content on a slide.

I hope to add value to the presentations by allowing my student teachers to not only get information on their smartphones but also go beyond the content of each slide.

Tags: ,


Here are some reused and rehashed slides from Steve Wheeler about The Future of Learning.

Not that reusing or rehashing is a bad thing. Things worth saying need to be repeated and sometimes said slightly differently before others get it.

I get it. I am excited by it. Don’t know what “it” is? Process Wheeler’s slides for it!

Embedded below is an excellent Slideshare on Why Technology is Failing in Schools. (Spoiler: The leadership, administration and pedagogy has not kept up.)


For any change to take place effectively, there must be shifts in leadership, adminstration, pedagogy and a whole host of other factors. But if there is one factor that can forge ahead without the support of the rest, it is changing the way teachers teach.

How might this happen? Shelley Blake offers a few clues as he shares how teachers might Stop Teaching.

The same message is delivered in different forms. One is an electronic slideshow and the other a simple digital narrative. Both raise (or imply) questions and both provide answers (sometimes for the other piece). It’s up to us to connect the dots.

Here is a learning approach that is about as old as when Man started cave drawings, but I think that it is just as relevant today.

Now consider how this approach might be empowered with collaborative tools like Dabbleboard or MindMeister.

My simple answer would be: Why not? In the context of education, I’d add that the fact that our learners are already using them is another reason.

Leslie Bradshaw has a longer and better illustrated answer.

SlideShare source

I am looking forward to next week because I will be in Paro, Bhutan.

I will not be there on vacation. Instead, I will be there to conduct a workshop on educational Web 2.0 for teacher educators from Paro (in western Bhutan) and Samtse (in the south). This is part of a project by the Singapore International Foundation.

Here’s a draft of one of my presentations:

But I think I will take back more than I will give. After all, the Bhutanese were the first to come up with the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and I have much to learn.

As GNH was conceptualized in the days before broadband, I’ll try to blog, tweet and post photos when I can.

[image source, used under CC licence]

Blasting PowerPoint is not new. Seth Godin blogged about how PowerPoint bullets can kill and it was an entertaining read, as was the original NYTimes article which got Godin rolling.

The original “PowerPoint kills” context was its use in the US military. PowerPoint was described as a tool that “stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making” and “can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control”. Some more choice quotes:

it ties up junior officers — referred to as PowerPoint Rangers — in the daily preparation of slides, be it for a Joint Staff meeting in Washington or for a platoon leader’s pre-mission combat briefing in a remote pocket of Afghanistan… Last year when a military Web site, Company Command, asked an Army platoon leader in Iraq, Lt. Sam Nuxoll, how he spent most of his time, he responded, “Making PowerPoint slides.” When pressed, he said he was serious.

But PowerPoint was not without its charms.

Senior officers say the program does come in handy when the goal is not imparting information, as in briefings for reporters. The news media sessions often last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes left at the end for questions from anyone still awake. Those types of PowerPoint presentations, Dr. Hammes said, are known as “hypnotizing chickens.”

I’ve blogged about what I think of PowerPoint before and I’ve shared my philosophy of presentations [1] [2].

PowerPoint tends to be used in a frontal, delivery-oriented way. Worse still, it is linear and bulleted by design. But teaching and learning are not always sequential. We should not to let the medium restrict a message. In the context of education, I’d add that the medium should not restrict multi-way communication and learning.

Slideshare source

I am not saying that PowerPoint presentations cannot be effective. Many of the ones at Slideshare are testament to how good they can be (see the one above for practical tips and the one below as an example of visual design). The best ones often speak for themselves and the reason they do that is because their creators don’t restrict themselves to what PowerPoint does. It’s another example of how social and pedagogical affordances trump technical ones.

Slideshare source

Slideshare source

Give your beast permission to play and encourage it to do so!

Slideshare source

Take home message: With online collaboration, the conversation itself is an artifact.

Do we have to teach naked? That’s a provocative a title, but thankfully it is not the headline for another school-related scandal. Teaching naked refers to bare bones (or bare skin) teaching.

Instead, the article explores the discrepancy between what technologies professors use in class and what students expect to use:

…students and teachers have potentially different skill sets, but more importantly, we’re at the point where it seems apparent that we prefer different kinds of technologies to learn, communicate, create, connect, and participate…


The author of the article then suggests the SlideShare presentation above on how to bridge that participation gap. Know what they like and don’t like: They don’t like death by PowerPoint; they do like archivable podcasts and social media. My takeaway? Meet them where they are already at rather than build elaborate bridges that no one uses.

But there is a problem with only doing that. They are not necessarily into Google Docs or wikis or shared concept maps or even blogs. Yet these tools (and their accompanying methods) are useful now and in their future. My suggestion? Use the social bridge to connect to these tools and strategies. Meet them where they are at, but also bring them on other meaningful journeys.

In other words, it is not prudent to teach naked because the environment has changed. Put on the bits that will make your body of teaching meaningful and engaging!

Click to see all the nominees!

QR code

Get a QR code reader to figure out what this means!

My tweets


Usage policy


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 71 other followers

%d bloggers like this: