Presentation Tools

Presentation Kit by Kei Kondo

Presentation Kit by Kei Kondo

Chapter 7 of Educating the Net Generation discusses the results of a 2004 student technology use survey at 13 selected institutions. How do the results compare with your own teaching and learning experiences? Do you think the focus on ‘information technology’ and the activities that represent them as defined in Table 1 replicates or rejects ‘traditional’ teaching approaches? And is that necessarily good or bad?

Chapter 9 of Educating the Net Generation takes up where Chapter 7 left off and explores some of the issues that arise when students who have had collaborative, multisensory, technology-enhanced learning experiences (inside and outside their school environments) arrive at college. It reminds me of the conversation we had last week when Nicole spoke of the kinds of learning scenarios her young nieces engage in at their schools. Does it make pedagogical sense to replicate the kind of learning experiences the Net Gen has apparently participated in or is there something to be said for a ‘traditional’ college approach?

I’m also interested in your reactions to Educause’s article on Google Jockeying and what this could mean for your future teaching experiences.

If you are interested in seeing how others use web-based presentation tools, head on over to Mark Wagner’s post on The Infinite Thinking Machine where he discusses the interactive presentation feature in Google Docs and provides links to examples of classroom use.


6 Responses to “Presentation Tools”

  1. Jessica McBride Says:

    Table one in Chapter 7 of Educating the Net Generation indicates both the potential benefits and difficulties educators have in integrating technology into courses: on one hand we can clearly reach our students via the internet and computers because it is something they use so frequently in their free time (six of the activities listed in Table 1 were purely for pleasure while several others could be both academic or non-academic). However on the other hand, as Nicole mentioned in one of our first classes, students are sometimes wary of mixing personal and academic uses of IT. From the list of possible technology activities in Table 1 though, I get the impression that we are still using technology in a traditional way, if that makes sense. The Web 2.0 applications did not figure in the most common uses or most hours spent on a computer. This seems to indicate that although we may be beginning to recognize the importance of technology and the potential for its use, we are still lagging behind in how we use it in our classrooms and how our students use it in their free time.

    I wasn’t in class on Friday, so hopefully I’m not way off in my attempts to respond to the second question. I think that Chapter 9 of Educating the Net Generation shows even more directly how technology can be wonderful or insignificant if used with or without pedagogical goals in mind. “Death by Powerpoint” replacing “death by lecture” is not an adequate or influential use of technology in the classroom. It seems that when instructors use technology and are primarily in charge of the content, construction and maintenance of a given tool, the students are less likely to engage and thus less likely to benefit educationally. This is the problem I’m running into with my blog. Because I created it and then invited my students to participate, I feel that they view it as an internet version of a Course Management System. I still think it’s an upgrade from HuskyCt, but I can recognize that because it is not their creation, the educational potential hasn’t been met. These sentiments seem to be echoed in Clayton-Pederson and O’Neill’s article.

    Finally, Google jockeying is something that I have never even heard of before. Although I can’t help but think that it could be distracting at times during a presentation or lecture, I think that the potential it holds for teaching students about “good” and “bad” research tools/ practices online is important. Students often think that because something is written on a website that it must be true. With Google jockeying in class, instructors can immediately explain how and why we need to be diligent when searching for credible information online, and also fix the situation when the Google Jockey for the day stumbles upon an inappropriate/ unacceptable source. I see more benefits for it in a large class/ lecture, but given the topic or material in a literature course it could also be a good tool for discussion sections.

  2. wltung Says:

    After reading Chapter 7 of Educating the Next Generation, I have learned a lot of information from the significant findings of the research. First, most Net Generation students incline to have a moderate preference for technology in teaching and learning in classroom. In Table 1, it points out that they use technology for long hours every day not only for communications and entertainment, but also for educational purposes like writing documents, completing a learning activity and creating presentation. However, according to the article, as we expect them already possessing good IT skills in support of learning, actually they had not gained the necessary skills to use technology in support of academic work outside the classroom. The significant fact indicates that even students feel they can use the technical devices well; yet they still need further training in the use of IT knowledge at the university or college in support of academic learning and problem-solving skills. Second, though the application of course management systems were used most by faculty and students more for communication of information and administrative activities, yet much less in support of learning. Both faculty and students often lacks the appropriate skills or motivation to use technology effectively. For example, since I have learned a lot of technical knowledge in the Web CT course for a couple of months, this week I made a simple survey by asking some of my neighbors at the graduate dorm about how they present their research and if they know Google Docs and Google jockeying for presentation. I would not feel surprised about the answers. All the answers for my first question are ‘PowerPoint’, and only one knew about Google Docs, most of them did not know the two technical tools. As I mentioned more tools like social bookmarking and annotation tools like and Diigo, the answers were quite similar to the former ones, they never learned and used these social tools for research or studying. Yet, most of them express they feel the tools are intriguing and would like to learn if they have chances. The facts above indicate that students and faculty use of instructional technology is more limited than portrayed, and they both need more technical education and training in support of their academic learning and instruction. Moreover, since the article points out that students’ access to computing and networking are ubiquitous, and their expectation of using technology in support of learning, how can faculty keep the traditional lecturing method only. It is necessary and also a trend for us, being instructors, to keep learning new technical tools and apply them appropriately and efficiently for our pedagogical purpose.

    Since the concrete survey indicating the significant value of technology in higher education, the topic of Chapter 9 of Educating the Net Generation goes on focusing on how higher education can use technologies to implement curricula designed to meet the expectations for students learning. I was impressive about some points it indicates. First, being instructors, how can we reach the goal of education in class by fostering students gaining knowledge to reach the requirements of future careers? How can instructors enable graduates to be mentally agile and adaptable if our use of technology in the service of our teaching is limited? It is obviously clear that technology can facilitate the educational goals—to improve the learning of students, and then it is important to ask for the effective and coherent integration of technology into curriculum so as to meet both students and societal expectations. Therefore, there is a need for educators to increase the use of technology tools and also integrate them into the curriculum effectively to enhance student learning. If the faculties are lack of capacity to apply the technical tools effectively in the curriculum, not only they will not meet students’ expectations to enhance their learning, but the bad result will be like the awful experience that students called it “death by PowerPoint.” Thus, faculty must effectively lead students’ existing familiarity with technology to engage them in building an integrated knowledge base and developing their mind as a lifelong learner. And since the truth of the Net Generation will populate in the future classroom, I feel it is important for educators to learn the technical tools for teaching preparation and professional development.

  3. nmcclure17 Says:

    I wanted to piggy back on Jessica’s comments about the involvement of students on the front end of some of these tech tools. I am also using a blog this semester, and it’s okay. Some of the students really took to it and it does provide a space for them to comment as soon as they are ready to do so, not just in class time. However, other students do the blog, but are constantly counting how many entries they HAVE to do for the course. I originally hoped that they would all get more involved to the point that the requirement issue would go away, but it didn’t. This doesn’t exactly relate to the content, but I did notice a difference when I posted starter questions. Again – it’s working for about half of the class, but not all. On the other hand, the class wiki is a completely different story. The students are constantly making adjustments, checking the site, reading the site etc. While I did set it up before hand, the nature of the wiki requires their input and they really seem to like it. This was really surprising because it was a late addition to the syllabus. I originally had thought of using it just to replace HuskyCT as a site for basic course info, but then I came up with the collaborative assignment and it really took off. I’ll know for sure next week as I am sending out a new survey regarding the wiki specifically.

    As for google jockeying, I had heard of this being used for a slightly different purpose than the Educause article mentions. There has been a lot of discussion, at least at UConn, about laptops in the classroom. Many professors had complained that students were playing solitaire or on the internet during lecture, etc. Of course, the immediate response by some professors was to remove the laptops. While there is no official policy at UConn about this, there was some hesitancy by certain departments that there could be resistance in terms of students with disabilities (ie. students who really do need to type their notes, etc.) In order to combat this, some professors have suggested using google jockeying as a means to allow the laptops, but to keep students on task. This means that any time, a professor could ask a student with a laptop to fact check something, etc. This keeps them on their toes and on task. I think this is kind of cool, however, UCIMT would have really stabilize the public network for this to be an efficient and feasible tool!

    I prefer the concept of google jockeying that I was aware of, rather than the Educause example. I agree with Jessie that this constant barrage of info could be a bit distracting and also lead to less focused lectures (I’m particularly thinking of the students who are also IMing requests) although I realize that maybe some courses more than others may be better served by this.

  4. Jessica McBride Says:

    A couple of questions/ responses to Nicole’s post.
    First off, I am having the same half/ half reaction to the blog as you are. I did mid-term evals of the class last week, and only one student found the blog devoid of any educational benefit. The majority of the class liked the idea of a blog better than HuskyCT but thought there was room for improvement. I’ve kind of taken Josh’s idea and asked them to write a page or so every week, but they MUST respond to the student question of the week. This way if they want to participate more or if they will have trouble writing a whole page on one question, there’s room to accommodate that. We’ll see how that goes!
    Out of curiosity, what is the collaborative project you’re doing with your students?
    And about google jockeying…I’m wondering if both of us are concerned about how distracting it could be because we weren’t raised in as tech-savvy an environment as some of our students? Are we just not as good at multi-tasking as our students? (I think back to that video by Michael Wesch). Anyway just some thoughts!

  5. wessam101 Says:

    First when I came here and entered my first class, I was overwhelmed by the high tech classrooms. I kept going to these classes and practice working with these tools till I became familiar with them. In a while after teaching, I asked the students about creating a ning and one of them said, ‘ Why don’t you SIMPLY use HuskyCT?’ I had no idea what HuskyCT is. When I had a look at it and compared it to what we are doing in the class of communicative and social networking tools, I decided that I want to use one of these tools. As shown in the survey of Chapter seven, most of the students are familiar with it but nobody actually expected me to use it. I think that learning these tools through teaching is an endless process and I have to keep myself updated as much as I can to adapt this ” Digital natives” as mentioned in this chapter.

    As for google Jockeing, I am not sure if I got it right or not because I haven’t tried it yet. When I read some of the posts I noticed that it might be an excellent tool of communication but it might be a cause of distraction for the learners. However, I don’t know how to apply it whether to do this before a presentation or during the presentation.

  6. wltung Says:

    The two pretty new presentation tools we have learned this week are “Google Docs” and “Google jockeying”. Since I say they are “pretty new tools” for me, certainly I never use them before. Therefore, I read Educause’s “7 Things You Should Know about Google Jockeying” and Marker Wagner”s “Google Docs Presentation” carefully so as to learn the technical knowledge of these two tools and how they could be helpful on my teaching experience.

    The following points are some brief benefits of the presentation tools that I have learned: (1) The location of presentation is changed from a classroom or a conference room to international community.
    (2) This online presentation tools allow more visitors from around the world to interact and to discuss face-to-face. (3) The technical tools are accessible easily to allow different users to do collaborative work even though they are in different places.

    The multi-functions of the presentation tools make me feel that the technology is so powerful and efficient which invites more world wide interaction and collaborating. Since the presentation tools are build on web-based function, the presentation is beyond the classroom—a world wide classroom. So, being an educator, it is necessary to keep in mind that technology will definitely influence our teaching and teaching environment. And it is inevitable for us to be as live long learners and to develop the professional skills with the technology.

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