Thursday, July 30, 2009

Earthquake Powerpoint

When thinking about PowerPoint, one usually thinks about slide after slide after slide. It doesn't have to be that way!! Using PowerPoint in the classroom is an excellent way to use technology, that is as simple as you want it to be, or as complex as you want it to be. PowerPoint provides a way to deliver content that is not a worksheet or hand written notes on the blackboard. Students can take notes from it, watch it, listen to it and enjoy it!
In a recent PowerPoint presentation that I used in the classroom, I embedded hyperlinks to almost every page, to make it more like a mini webquest for the students. I added sound for the first time - a large 'BOOM' at the beginning (the unit is on earthquakes), to 'wake' the students up - and it worked - they were hooked.
One of the students' assessment pieces for this unit is to create their own PowerPoint on a natural disaster of their choice. Since they were not too familiar with PowerPoint, I modeled one for them, using animation entrances and exits as well. This allowed for their "learning to take place in an authentic context" (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999, p.1), which deepened their knowledge on the subject.
One of the other students enrolled in this course gave me the wonderful idea of allowing the students to work through PowerPoint by themselves, with a small amount of instruction from the learning manager. I had never thought to use this application in this way, and I can't wait to try it out on my students.
I have also just inserted a windows movie maker file into a PowerPoint for the first time, which I am extremely proud of and happy with the result. I feel that PowerPoint is an excellent tool for students to view as a delivery method, and to learn and create for their assignments. Its versatility and simplicity makes it an easy choice for me.


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 17, 2009, from


Melissa said...

Hi Chenoa,

Well Done! What a masterpiece! I am sure that it was very effective in your recent lesson. I know that it will be very effective in our upcoming university presentation.

Using this tool in the classroom is an engaging an effective medium for students. Do you think that it may be overused? I think that balance in all things needs to be considered.

Using this same method for students' presentations would cause them to become disengaged and disinterested, whereas using a variety of presentation methods (movie maker, avatars etc) would provide variety and excitement for the students.

Looking forward to your next blog!

Mel :)

chenoa said...

Hi Melissa,
I definitely think that Power Point is either totally overused or totally underused! However, I think that when teachers overuse it, they do so in the most boring ways. By having a bit of fun and challenging yourself to make it more interesting, I believe that the students will find enjoyment from it too.

Sarah said...

That power point sounds wonderful.
That fact that you incorporated audio that actually related to your topic is such a good idea. I love it i love it i love. Hyper links, thats a good idea one that I will be using. Im so glad that this technology worked well in your classroom and really hooked your students in, (THATS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT).
Thanks for all the good tips and ideas, i love reading your blogs.