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Posts Tagged ‘presentations

I have spent the last few Saturdays facilitating a Masters course either in the morning or the afternoon. With just a handful of students, I implement a studio approach.

Reality Bytes: A primer on VR, AR, MR, and XR

Reality Bytes II: A primer on AI, CT, and CSCL.

I still do short presentations, primers if you will, of some content. But the latter half of the course depends on learners creating content, sharing it, and teaching one another.

Why take that approach? I share three image quotes that explain my approach.

No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.— Alexandra K. Trenfor

To teach is the learn twice.

It has taken me a month into 2015 to change two things in my social media presence.

First, I have updated my Twitter profile. I used to mention that I was the Head of the Centre for e-Learning. Proud as I am of what I was and did, that is the past.

Now I merrily proclaim that:

I’m a child in an adult’s body wanting to show other adults how to educate with technology. Founding member of #edsg & member of TEDxSG Brain Trust.

This will invariably invite questions and comments both online and offline. It is also what I am and do.

Second, I am also doing something a bit different at my Presentations page. Not only am I providing some insights into why I designed a presentation a particular way, I intend to share some audience feedback if I have it.

I am not including all the feedback there though as doing this seems self-congratulatory. I will keep those as Twitter favourites, backchannel comments, or other feedback channel artefacts. Such encouragement serves as support for the glass stage on which speakers stand.

Here are some screenshots of a few things I have been working on.

This is the opening slide of my MobiLearn Asia 2013 presentation.

And this is one is for a panel session at the International Symposium on Technology-Enhanced Learning.

I have also completed the first of five videos for YouTube on the flipped classroom.

I have barely scratched the surface of what I need to do in the weeks to come. It is going to be challenging to keep the balls in the air, but I am going to to make it fun!

[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

The end of the ICT course draws near and my trainees have started presenting their projects.

Half of them presented this week and the other half will do so next week. All of them present using my “walkabout” format.

Here is a Flickr gallery of mostly group shots.

Click to see all the nominees!

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My tweets


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