Thursday, October 01, 2015

Teacher Tip #18

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #18
I love Keynote.  Not a big Powerpoint or Prezi fan, but I love slideshows.
I’ve always found them a great way to engage and entertain while delivering content.
I admit that from time to time, I’ve gotten carried away with the length and depth of some of my slideshows - where I end up with 50 slides, some of which are crammed with text that force my kids to scribble like madly - or worse - is unnecessary information.
In a way, slideshows have replaced the dreaded overheads of the past.
And it’s a shame, for it’s just another way of delivering notes to students.
That is a process that has bored students to tears for the better part of a century.
One of my favorite quotes is - lecturing is a way of getting notes from the teacher’s board to the students’ tablets without touching the brains of either.
But Keynotes could be so, so much more.
When I read Carmine Gallo’s most excellent - Talk Like TED, I picked up some awesome tips that really made my slideshow way more effective.
The most important one is to keep it short.
That is, don’t put too much text on a slide.  Keep it Tweetable, that is limit it to 140 characters.
If you have to deliver more content, have students read it or highlight it in a text.  Don’t put it on a slide.  Students will either never remember it.  Or - as I did for many, many years - they will write it down but either never remember it or never look at it again.
The best case scenario for this is that they do look at the notes again, but the commit that info to their short term memory the night before the test.
And we all know what happens after the test . . . the “knowledge” oozes right out of our ears as we walk out the door.
Plus, here’s a bonus tip - if you keep it to 140 characters, apple Keynote allows you to send your slides right to Twitter, so you can tweet out the key information from your slideshows either as you create them (as a teaser) or after (to reinforce the knowledge that was shared).

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