Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wanted: The Perfect Tool for a Quick and Simple Presentation, Nicole Guevara, Librarian, Washington High School

Washington High School has a specific focus on close text reading and argumentative writing. To support this initiative, our juniors take a College Prep class. In College Prep, students practice researching, close reading, annotating, forming arguments, and presenting. College Prep classes read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi for the last unit of the year.  As an introduction to the graphic novel, every student completed a webquest about the history and culture of Iran. I worked with two classes. They spent two days on information seeking and two days creating a short 1-2 slide presentation.

When creating presentations, I have found that students spend too much time on formatting instead of content creation. Because of this, I went on the hunt for the perfect presentation tool. I typically instruct students on Google Presentation because every CPS student has a Google@CPS account and it is great for group work. However, the formatting issue comes up every single time. Many students cut and paste and spend too much time on figuring out how to fix the various formats. If that isn’t the case, then it’s trying to find images before the content is even posted.

After asking around and searching online for assistance, I finally chose to use Haiku Deck with the iPads. I like Haiku Deck because formatting is quick, easy, and can be decided by picking from a few themes right when a presentation is started. You can’t change the font or font size. The letters simply get smaller to fit. I also like that it has an image bank built in where students can search using one or two keywords. The app has a quick learning curve. Students actually surprised me by how quickly they began to navigate the app with ease. They felt very comfortable clicking around to get a feel and even began to help each other with questions (always a goal)! Generally, formatting options are limited yet sufficient for a professional looking final product.  

I created a Haiku Deck account for this project, meaning all students used the same username and password to log-in and create their project. This was done so that the teacher and I would be able to view all presentations and also so that students wouldn’t have to create individual accounts. I had the app open on the projection screen so students could follow along with me for the beginning steps. 

In retrospect, there were several things I would have done differently. Since everyone was using the same username and password, it would have been more useful to project that information instead of the app. One class had an exceptionally difficult time getting logged on because of this issue. Also, when students logged in, they saw all of the presentations that had been created under that account. They weren’t properly prepped for this and became a problem when a student accidentally deleted another student’s project. If time allowed, it may have been beneficial for each student to spend the time create a personal account. This could be useful if a teacher plans on using it multiple times a year or if a students would like to use it in multiple classes. I know I will definitely be using it again with my students when they need to create a quick and simple presentation.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited for you and your students, Nicole! You're deployment is all cleaned up and you're going to rock and roll in the fall!