Photo by superkimbo in BKK/flickr
Today’s students are, as Marc Prensky puts it, digital natives. In order to reach them effectively, we must speak on their terms and distribute information in a format that is easily digestible to them. We, as digital immigrants, must learn their language and speak it as fluently as we are able. The more we use technology in our classrooms, the more respondent our students will be, and more learning will take place.
Modern students are very tech-savvy. Whiteboards are obsolete. Overhead projectors are obsolete. Standing at a lectern and yakking at them is obsolete. Workbook pages copied from (most) textbook supplements are – you guessed it – obsolete. Obsolete is boring, and bored people don’t learn well.
Given that there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, understanding how to use, develop and create Power Point presentations for classroom use is an indispensable tool to have in your teaching Box o’ Tricks. And I don’t mean the hideously lame stuff like the presentations provided by textbook publishers. You need a resource for interesting presentations that contain pertinent information and are available for you to modify to fit your classes’ needs. You need Pete’s Power Point Station.
Pete’s is a place where teachers and students (and presumably others) have uploaded Power Points on nearly every subject imaginable. Some are better than others, but it is a great place to find ready-to-show presentations. (Some might need tweaking to meet your needs, but some are pretty dang good all by themselves.) Teaching your kindergarteners their ABCs? How about an elementary school lesson on the solar system? Middle schoolers need to learn about the Constitution? An AP history lesson on Charlemagne? All at Pete’s
There are even Power Points (and other sites) that show you how to make Power Points!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Couple these with a presentation remote or wireless mouse and you can stroll around the room, constantly monitoring the students for understanding. Add sound effects to help them relate things they know and recognize to things they don’t. Create quiz questions within the presentation to assess their understanding in real time. The possibilities are endless.
We are not effective teachers when we act alone. By finding, sharing and utilizing available resources, we make ourselves better educators and our kids better learners. Pete’s Power Point Station is one of these resources that should not be missed.