My Multimedia Presentation for EdTech513

This week as I sat down to create my presentation the hardest thing was choosing the topic. As a 5th grade teacher, there were a huge number of things which I could do and wanted to do – too many.  As a result, I went back to the guidelines and my own refections on presentations which I have done poorly to try and come up with a suitable topic. My thinking was pretty much based on the guidelines.

I chose the topic of Multiplication which some of our pupils struggle with. We have pupils from all over the world who have had a variety of different methods taught to them. This method is just one that we use as we encourage pupils to find what works for them. No, one-size-fits-all.

I ended up with quite a few slides but still think I could work through this with my class in 5/6 minutes or so. I also thought of it as a resource which could be put in our class folder so the pupils could work through it at their own pace. Maybe with an audio narration or just letting them read some simplified speakers notes. I wanted it to be useful and shareable.

I stuck to very plain white background and didn’t include any images which had no meaning. Not even a smiley maths cartoon on the first page which I would have usually have done! I tried to stick to the things which I had learned. My images are actually numbers and a grid rather than traditional ‘pictures’. I created them all in Slides and so didn’t have to go looking for them. I thought it would be easier to keep them all looking similar that way. I kept words to a minimum and tried to place them beside my images following the principles which I have learned about from my reading.

I think it works quite well. I will try it out in school tomorrow and post some of the feedback which I get from the pupils. That is always the real measure of a resource. I will be interested to hear their thoughts.

Here is a link to my presentation: Multiplication using the grid method.

Feedback greatly appreciated.


Digital Divide / Digital Inequality

Over the last two weeks we have been investigating Digital Inequality and I have found it to be both fascinating and enlightening.  By creating a presentation in a way I have never done before I have been really challenged and outside my comfort zone. I am usually a confident and comfortable speaker, I have spoken in front of many people many times but tonight I realized that it has been a long time since I listened to myself! It was a challenge to get my recording on VoiceThreads exactly the way I wanted it.

In trying to apply what I learned about presentations, I really focused on keeping my slides clean and tried to include minimal writing on the screen. I thought far more about word placement and images than ever before. I wanted the message to be carried in what I said and not just in what I put on the screen.  I stayed well clear of special effects and transitions, which was something which I read before I began. I did try to add some tonality to my voice and make sure I didn’t sound too monotone. It was hard. I focused on keeping the images to a minimum – they were really only used to fill white space and provide simple visual links to what I was talking about. I used an online flat icon generator to make the pictures specific to my purpose.

I learned about the difference between Digital Divide and Digital Inequality and I am fascinated to see what happens next… We are at a point in time when the pace of change is so significant that it is almost impossible to predict what will happen. Will the ‘have nots’ catch up and eliminate the digital divide, or will digital inequality become more significant? I think they way people learn is changing and my hope is that those who have access will drive themselves and their own learning .

As I think about what I have learned, I know that I can impact the learning that takes place  in our school. I hope that I can address the issues which were identified by staff in a timely manner. Knowledge is important but how I apply it is more important. Yesterday I send out invites to all staff to participate in a skills audit and attend a drop in session next week on Diigo and Glogster.

Someone once described a ‘good’ teacher to me as someone who is constantly dissatisfied with their own performance. I hope that makes me a good teacher. I am never really happy with what I create or make. In this case, I think my presentation slides were better than the accompanying voiceover. I wrote notes and a script but not enough of a script. Next time I would write significantly more and rehearse in front of some captive listener, not just myself. When recording a voiceover, a script is good. A good script is even better.

I also submitted my presentation without checking that I had made reference to the AECT code of ethics. An oversight down to bad planning.  I believe that a number of aspects of the code are being infringed in our school, in particular Section 1.2, 1.3 and 1.7.

Overall, I am happy because I helped to identify real issues  and thought of real solutions which will hopefully help to move our school forward.

Here is a link to my VoiceThread presentation.