These videos were so applicable to me because I teach Microsoft Office programs in BIM (Business Information Management). I have used clips of the death by PowerPoint video every year when I teach the PowerPoint material. One thing I constantly teach the students is YOU are the presentation. If all of the information presented is on a PowerPoint then, you don’t need a speaker. I teach them all of these tools are to ENHANCE their presentation not BE the presentation. I teach students to fill out your notes at the bottom of the presentation with tons of great information. (or handouts like in the video) Then you have a plan of what you want to discuss in your presentation. We have great conversations about how many adults struggle with this concept. Almost every training I am secretly shouting, “NO, NO! “ So often I can’t even read the information from my seat, which defeats the whole purpose. Also one of the most important things is to guide your reader, which is easy through animations. Just as in death by PowerPoint, you can easily show the audience where you want them to be in the presentation.
I have created a video to portray my blended learning story. I have started it, but through these questions and videos, I have already thought of some things to add. I have implemented blended learning in my classroom this week. Allowing students to choose between flipped videos or teacher led instruction. To my surprise, many students did not choose to watch the videos. Since the implementation, I have had conversations with many of the students to see why they have chosen, what they have chosen. At the end of my video, I want to incorporate students speaking out, saying why they like the choice. Every student I have talked to has enjoyed the choice. Some students have been forced into a flipped classroom or teacher led, instead of being provided a preference.
My plan to move people into a blended learning environment is to model how to do this, and share successes. As the department head, I have decided that the monthly meeting will revolve around how as Career and Technology teachers we have unlimited options to empower our students. We have a curriculum to follow, but complete flexibility. We are experiencing a teacher’s dream world. (Which is why I switched from math to CTE classes) Many of the teachers I work with have never thought about the expansive opportunities and flexibility they have because they have never taught a core class. I want to continue to have discussions about how they can incorporate innovative ideas. Their plan may not follow exactly what I am doing but will aim to increase student’s growth through hands-on, and experimental learning. I like the idea of using and following the guidelines by Nancy Duarte when creating an Agenda for monthly meetings.
1. Pay attention to what the team members WANT to learn.
2. We will not discuss anything that could be summed up in an email.
3. Provide visual and audio options with new information.
4. Keep things simple.
5. Cultivate relationships with team members, by being prepared.
There will always be obstacles when any change is taking place. But this is when it is important to always bring others back to the heart. We do what we do for students, so if it benefits students, we should be following through with changes. I plan to always start and end with the “Why.” When others understand that you aren’t just trying to embed technology, but trying to provide a significant learning environment for students, they will be much more willing to change.
For the call to action, I want to show my colleagues that we already have the technology at our school within their classrooms. We just need to be using it in a more effective way. I plan to share success stories coming from students.
“I like having a teacher show me how to do something, I watch videos in my other classes. “
“I am going to go back and forth between the videos and your teaching, to see which one I prefer.”
“I don’t understand through videos, I would rather have you show me how to do something.”
“I like being able to pause the videos, and re-watch things I didn’t understand.”
We have to remember no matter how hard change is, it’s not about us. It’s about the students. I am hopeful that with this continued reminder, we will all do great things in education!
Duarte, N. (2013). Resonate: Present visual stories that transform audiences. John Wiley & Sons. An online media version of Resonate can be accessed for free at http://resonate.duarte.com/#!page0
Phillips, D. (2014, April 14). TEDxStockholmSalon. Retrieved from How to avoid death by PowerPoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwpi1Lm6dFo&feature=youtu.be
Reynolds, G. (2013). Presentation zen design: simple design principles and techniques to enhance your presentations. New Riders.