In this episode, Ricky and Matt discuss the Ed Tech news of the week and give PowerPoint tips to help make presentations better on person at a time.
Listen to the Show:
Ed Tech Disaster –
iSchool Guide reports about an ed tech disaster in Modesto, California. Elementary school teachers are reporting that the devices, which the district spent about 2.2 million on are simply not working. Reportedly they are suffering from the blue screen of death and are not usable. We aren’t talking about some annoying bugs here, this is total failure and devices not working at all. The panasonic tablet devices that do work don’t seem to be working well for the elementary school students as they are, perhaps, too small. Cindy Minter, the district head of technology claims that it isn’t necessarily devices but the wi-fi may be causing some of the issues.
3D Printing in Education-
TechCrunch reports on how education has influenced the 3-d printing industry. They compare 3-d printers to computers in the late 80’s… not many found in homes but a large amount in the education world. They go on to talk about how education is innovating what 3-d printers are being used for and as a result shaping how students are able to relate to math and science in an immediate and physical way. Students are connecting with geometry in a way not possible before a 3-d printer and engineering is a much easier trial and error process. CAD software is now being developed with an educational focus to help students grasp engineering and math concepts where before 3-d printing it was simply made for very specific business industry purposes. From the article… “Competitions such as the Edu-Tech 3D Challenge are helping children discover their design talents, as well as giving them the chance to showcase their work and potentially win a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printing unit for their school.” I recently worked in a large k-12 school district and I can tell you that although few schools currently have 3-d printers there is a large push to get them in schools. I feel like 3-d printers needed education to get on board and were smart to target schools but what is happening is to some extent organic at the school level.
New PowerPoint Tools-
The Verge reports that Microsoft’s new PowerPoint tools make presentations decidedly less boring… Unfortunately they can’t make you less boring… but they are trying. When I look at this it reminds me a lot of what Prezi has been doing… adding motion to the overall presentation. The demos on the website do look pretty cool and like it or not you need to have some sort of interesting motion to make the presentation look fresh and keep students looking at the screen. The real issue is the content around the motion needs to be good… motion with bad content isn’t going to help… and we’ll address some tips for that in our featured segment.
Segment of the Week- PowerPoint Tips
Well, let’s try to help solve the problem one presentation at a time by giving some PowerPoint tips…
- Less text… you can always reduce the amount of text in your PowerPoints
- More images… pick things that relate to the topic or are interesting and spark curiosity as to what you are going to say that goes with that picture.
- Never read from the slides. Choose text that summarizes what you are going to talk about or guides them into something you want them to think about while you are talking.
- Less Text
Here are some resources…
featured in this link – Seth Godin’s 5 rules… the first? No more than six words on a slide. EVER.
From Vanderbilt University… featured in this link are things students don’t like about presentations.
This link provides a more humorous look at tips for a better presentation and while I cringe a bit when they mention experimenting with colors, it provides an interesting take on improving your presentations.