Re: [xmca] Subtleties of Presentation Media

From: Kevin Rocap (
Date: Sun Feb 18 2007 - 08:33:17 PST

Dear friends,

As a quick follow-up. My context for Power Point use is a bit
different. Sure, I use it for presentations at conferences and in
teacher professional development sessions. ;-) But the more interesting
use for me is getting teachers to use it with their students to shift
their students from being consumers of information to producers of
information. And Power Point does not become a substitute for grappling
with longer, expository or narrative text writing. Rather it becomes an
alternate multimedia medium.

So, for instance, students may still be required to write a paper, but
then to find someway to visually and through use of video and/or music
to create a representation, often in Power Point, and often a Power
Point jointly created with other students (e.g., each student might have
a text bullet slide and an embedded video slide that together comprise
one Power Point on a theme or topic). Teachers do gravitate toward
Power Point use often because the learning curve is (or seems to them,
because of the pervasiveness of Power Point) less steep than for other
tools they might consider (though I've been getting teachers to see
value in and make good use of MovieMaker or iMovie with their
students). But their students Power Points sound a bit more lively than
the ones we're discussing here. ;-)

Also, in teacher education it has been helpful to use Power Point as a
way of presenting on the assessment of young English Language Learners.
Bullet points about things to consider in assessing English Language
Learners can be a part of a Power Point. More importantly, an image of
a short piece written, with artwork, by an English Language Learner can
be embedded on a Power Point slide and, additionally, the audio
recording of the child reading his/her own written piece can be embedded
and a class can discuss how best to assess these language productions
and then either learn about or develop helpful rubrics, together. And,
of course, if there is good access to video cameras, embedded video is
an option.

So my sense is that, as with most things, it may have more to do with
how the Power Point is used, and who is using it (is it only the
instructor, or are students encouraged to bring in Power Point
presentations of, say, their in-person assessments of English Language

Maybe we are challenged when thinking about this because we entered the
thread already thinking of Power Point as a "presentation tool", and so
did not wonder about its potential as a production and/or learning tool
(whether pro or con). Just a thought.

In Peace,

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