Changing things up in the classroom and out:
When creating a presentation the hardest thing that I usually encounter is not the research or outlining the best possible discussion points, what I truly struggle with is finding the right images for my presentations.
I started to reflect for a second on what I did in my classroom that was so effective and it suddenly hit me, I was preparing my EdTech presentations all-wrong. When I was teaching in the classroom I would create cartoon characters to show or prove a message.
Instead of searching Google images for an image of a question mark that I can insert in my presentation, I realized why not draw it myself. As a teacher cartoons have always inspired my teachings.
My inspiration goes back to Larry Gonicks books, which I strongly recommend if you are a social studies teacher - Cartoon History of the United States or any other works by Larry Gonick. My students loved learning history through cartoons. Students used to tell me that they understood concepts much quicker this way, specially the harder more complex events in history.
The idea of inserting your drawings in your presentations sound much easier than they really are. The first thing that you need to overcome it the harsh realization of whether or not you have any artistic ability. Now lets get something clear – by no means am I an artist. I love getting my iPad out using the Paper app by Fiftythree and just giving it a shot. The students always loved the fact that I was not an artist but I would always give it my best.
(Paper by FiftyThree) – iPad App
I definitely challenge you to give it a shot. Take a out a pen, pencil, sketchbook, iPad, tablet, computer, and insert your art work into your presentations.
When a presenter has hand drawn illustrations up on the screen as they present, I have found the audience to be more captivated than someone who ran sacked Google images. Don’ t get me wrong, I love Google images, but not for presentations. I am always finding myself to have to go back and see if there is a copyright associated with the Google image, and request for permission of usage and so on. More trouble than it is really worth.
So I leave you with this final message - Don’t copy it – Draw it! Only you the presenter knows the image that would best portray the message you are trying to get across to your audience.