Friday, December 20, 2019

Slide Shows

Whether it is time for my students to learn or I am preparing professional development for teachers, one of the decisions that must be made along the way is whether or not to use a slide show.

Most of the time, a few, well-designed slides can aid the learning.  I create minimalist slides these days, but it hasn't always been that way.  I remember one of my first slide shows for professional development.  It had so many words!  The amount of wording overwhelmed me so I added random pictures of flowers and lizards, just to break it up a bit!

That was a long time ago.  These days, slides are chosen and used for a very specific purposes.

The Picture
Just a picture.  No words.  A visual that may help some learners solidify/remember the concept.  A picture can also force the learners to focus on the conversation or activity at hand.

The Directions
A simple list of the directions for an activity can be helpful.  It is better to give each learner a copy.  A screen version allows you to talk through the directions rather easily.

The Question
The question to discuss, ponder, or reflect upon can be helpful for folks who need some thinking time prior to finding the answer or solution.

Your Guide
Simple slides can help you stay on track, but please don't include every point you need to remember in your slides for the learners.

Principals, if you use a slide show for your professional development, please keep it simple!  Use the slides to enhance your material.  The slide show should not be the highlight of the learning.  Be sure to provide each learner with a copy of any words you need them to know or remember.  Do not show it once and expect the learners to take good notes!

Make your words big enough for the old guy in the back of the room to easily see.

Avoid These Slide Show Mistakes
  • Do not read a slide show full of bullets to the learners.
  • If you want to share data, keep it simple.  Do not add a giant spreadsheet that nobody can read.  It frustrates your data hounds!

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