Teaching inquiry, collaboration, and technology through inquiry, collaboration, and technology.

Don't Be Boring

February 21, 2013 No Comments

As my Engineering class began preparing final design presentations for their Wind Turbines last week I had groups brainstorm the 5 most important things to think about when preparing digital slides for a presentation.  Having already sat through two periods of presentations at the end of the last design project, they had some strong opinions about what they did and did not want to see on presentation slides.  Among the usual things like “use pictures” and “don’t put too much text on the slides” two insightful and important ideas emerged:

  • Don’t be boring
  • Keep in mind what the audience is thinking

I decided to turn these into our essential questions for the week:

  • Is it boring?
  • What do you think the audience needs to see on the slide to help them understand?

Every time a group asked me for some feedback or advice on their presentation, I simply asked them to reflect on those two questions.  Of course this infuriates the kids who just want to be told exactly what to do (where did they learn that?).  But in the end it led to some great insights into how to use text, graphics, and speech to communicate clearly and effectively to an audience.

Here are some examples of groups that thought beyond the bullet point list:

, Student work

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