An article in The Conversation recently argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring.
Originally for Macintosh, the company that designed it was bought by Microsoft. After its launch the software was increasingly targeted at business professionals, especially consultants and busy salespeople.
As it turns out, PowerPoint has not empowered academia. The basic problem is that a lecturer isn’t intended to be selling bullet point knowledge to students, rather they should be making the students encounter problems. Such a learning process is slow and arduous, and cannot be summed up neatly. PowerPoint produces stupidity, which is why some, such as American statistician Edward Tufte have said it is “evil”.
Of course, new presentation technologies like Prezi, SlideRocket or Impress add a lot of new features and 3D animation, yet I’d argue they only make things worse. A moot point doesn’t become relevant by moving in mysterious ways. The truth is that PowerPoints actually are hard to follow and if you miss one point you are often lost.
Courses designed around slides therefore propagate the myth that students can become skilled and knowledgeable without working through dozens of books, hundreds of articles and thousands of problems.
A review of research on PowerPoint found that while students liked PowerPoint better than overhead transparencies, PowerPoint did not increase learning or grades
Research comparing teaching based on slides against other methods such as problem-based learning – where students develop knowledge and skills by confronting realistic, challenging problems – predominantly supports alternative methods.
PowerPoint slides are toxic to education for three main reasons:
students come to think of a course as a set of slides. Good teachers who present realistic complexity and ambiguity are criticised for being unclear. Teachers who eschew bullet points for graphical slides are criticised for not providing proper notes.
Slides discourage reasonable expectations
Measuring the wrong things
If slide shows are so bad, why are they so popular?
Exams, term papers and group projects ostensibly measure knowledge or ability. Learning is the change in knowledge and skills and therefore must be measured over time.
When we do attempt to measure learning, the results are not pretty. US researchers found that a third of American undergraduates demonstrated no significant improvement in learning over their four-year degree programs.
They tested students in the beginning, middle and end of their degrees using the Collegiate Learning Assessment, an instrument that tests skills any degree should improve – analytic reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving and writing.
Faculty perceive undergraduates to be less proficient with digital literacy skills. One-third think
their students do not find or organize digital information very well. The majority (52%) think
they lack skill in validating digital information. My note: for the SCSU librarians, digital literacy is fancy word for information literacy. Digital literacy, as used in this report is much greater area, which encompasses much broader set of skills
Faculty do not prefer to teach online (57%) or in a hybrid format (where some sessions occur
online, 32%). One-third of faculty reported no experience with these least popular course types
my note: pay attention to the questions asked; questions I am asking Mike Penrod to let me work with faculty for years. Questions, which are snubbed by CETL and a dominance of D2L and MnSCU mandated tools is established.
Table 5. Do you use these in-class technologies for teaching undergraduates? Which are the Top 3 in-class technologies you would like to learn or use more? (n = 442)
D2Lasa portal to other learning tools (homework websites, videos, simulations, Nota Bene/NB, Voice Thread, etc.)
In both large and small classes, the most common responses faculty make to digital distraction are to discuss why it is a problem and to limit or ban phones in class. my note: which completely defies the BYOD and turns into empty talk / lip service.
Quite a number of other faculty (n = 18) reported putting the onus on themselves to plan engaging and busy class sessions to preclude distraction, for example:
“If my students are more interested in their laptops than my course material, I need to make my curriculum more interesting.”
I have not found this to be a problem. When the teaching and learning are both engaged/engaging, device problems tend to disappear.”
The most common complaint related to students and technology was their lack of common technological skills, including D2L and Google, and needing to take time to teach these skills in class (n = 14). Two commented that digital skills in today’s students were lower than in their students 10 years ago.
Table 9. Which of the following are the most effective types of learning opportunities about teaching, for you? Chose your Top 2-3. (n = 473)
meeting 1:1 with anexpert
contact an expert on-call (phone, email, etc)
faculty learning community (meeting across asemester,
e.g. ASSETT’s Hybrid/Online Course Design Seminar)
expert hands-on support for course redesign (e.g. OIT’s Academic Design Team)
opportunityto apply for grant funding with expert support, for a project I design (e.g. ASSETT’s Development Awards)
multi-day retreats/ institutes
Faculty indicated that the best times for them to attend teaching professional developments across the year are before and early semester, and summer. They were split among all options for meeting across one week, but preferred afternoon sessions to mornings. Only 8% of respondents (n = 40) indicated they would not likely attend any professional development session (Table 10).
Besides Unity, the platform used by Niantic to create Pokémon Go and other popular games, the course also introduces students to AutoDesk’s Maya, a program used for 3D animation, modeling, simulation and rendering.
problem-based learning, which brings the students together for team problem-solving.
Facebook gives priority to native videos (as opposed to video links to external sources) to encourage this type of content. Videos that are directly uploaded to Facebook perform better and provide a better experience. They receive 30% more video views than videos posted from other websites, and have images up to 11 times larger in the news feed.
Flipagram. You can record voice narration, choose from Flipagram’s music or upload 15 seconds of music you already have on your mobile device.
Diptic app is another video tool for making collages that has a newly added animation feature, which works with transitions
Boomerang is a new app from Instagram that takes a burst of photographs and stitches them together into a 1-second video and loops it forward and backward. It’s not an animated GIF, but it’s designed to look like one.
Designed by Chaim Gingold, a Ph.D. student at UC Santa Cruz, indie developer and designer of Spore’s creature creator, “Earth Primer” is a reinvention of the textbook. Unlike the all-too-familiar “interactive textbooks” that are little more than pictures and animations tacked on to traditional text, “Earth Primer” starts from the ground up. It’s elegantly presented and paced.
Money and time are the two most common barriers to using games in the classroom. “Extrasolar” solves both while also striking pedagogical gold: authentic, self-motivated learning. It’s a free alternate reality game (ARG) that mimics the day-to-day life of a rover driver exploring an alien planet for a mysterious space agency. Rather than placing players in some fantastical world, they interact with what looks like a typical desktop interface, giving their rover commands, and waiting to receive photographs and data from the alien world as well as messages from their employer. Each bit of play requires only a few minutes of activity. The wait builds tension, and when matched with the relatively mundane interface and tasks, it doesn’t feel like a game — which is kind of the point. Best of all: It’s all based in real science and, like with any good ARG, has a healthy dose of mystery to give players a reason to return.
Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.
PowToon is Web-based animation software that allows users to create animated presentations by manipulating pre-created objects, imported images, provided music and user created voice-overs. Powtoon uses an Adobe Flex engine to generate an XML file that can be played in the Powtoon online viewer, exported to YouTube or downloaded as an MP4 file.
Videomaker, Presentation tool, storytelling tool.
templates versus starting from scratch
having a plan (or a story, or a screenplay)
narrate with voice over your video. can’t edit recording, but can re-record
Since the emergence of easily accessible dynamic online mapping tools, there has been a drastic increase in geographic interest and awareness. Whether for personal, social, professional or academic uses, people are using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to communicate information in a map format. Whether it’s using Google Earth to study urban change, or creating Google Map Mashups to deliver library resources, more and more members of society are turning to mapping programs for their visualization needs. With so many using GIS technology in their daily lives, library staff are now more than ever assisting library clients with their mapping queries.
This course will introduce students to a variety of mapping tools and GIS technologies such Google Earth and the creation of dynamic KML files; ArcGIS Online and webmap publishing; Google Fusion Tables and geocoding; and GIS fundamentals with geospatial data creation. Students will be able to apply their GIS skills in their reference work, in digitization projects, in webpages, in library instruction, and more. Through hands-on exercises, pre-recorded demonstrations and lectures, students will receive a thorough overview of mapping resources that will enhance and expose their library’s resources.
Discover some citizen mapping projects that you are interested inOR
Contribute your local knowledge to Google Map MakerANDShare with the class online
2. Google Earth Map
Please complete the tutorial and then create a map in Google Earth with the following components:
A written introduction to your project
At least five placemarks, embedded with html tags, and images, if possible.
Imported KML file(s) file format by GEarth, but other apps is using it. using notepad or MS Word, one can create KML file.
screen overlay, can be text, image, anything. legend. HTML code.
A screen overlay (i.e. a legend)
images from the library, Google is willing to buy them. citizen mapping. scanning and uploading.
geographical and societal awareness.
google street view – historical views
Google Earth Mapping
Submit online as a KML/KMZ file
I had the opportunity to experience a gizmo that can be used to display a variety of mapping projects, including citizen mapping:Science on a Sphere. It is a sphere on which you can project static maps or animations. The one I saw, in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s facility on Ford Island in Honolulu, displayed animations showing the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 tsunami in Japan, as well as airline flight paths, ocean currents, polar ice cap change over time, and many other types of geospatial data.
The Great Backyard Bird Count actually starts today and runs through Monday, February 16th. At a minimum, it only requires 15 minutes of observation on any or all the days: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/
Happy Cow is a site well-known to many vegetarians/vegans for finding restaurants which I’ve used when travelling. Users can submit reviews and/or restaurants that they’d like profiled (although the site reserves the right to approve or not the listing).http://www.happycow.net/search.html
One of the impediments to citizen mapping is the line-of-sight cell tower limitations of mobile phones, or the wifi requirements for other mobile devices. Citizen mapping in urban and suburban environments is well-served by mobile devices, but what about natural areas, dense leaf cover, or extreme topography? Even if obtaining absolute mapping coordinates isn’t the issue, much crowdsourcing assumes an ability to connect back to a central data repository (e.g., a web database, ‘the cloud’). Equipment that can interact with GPS satellites and support data capture is typically expensive and generally requires proprietary software.
wq(https://wq.io/) is a framework that is ‘device first’ and ‘offline-enabled’. It attempts to leverage several open source technologies to build an entire mobile solution that can support citizen science data collection work, and then synchronize with a central repository once the device (and operator) return to an area served by cellular or wifi networks.
I’m stretching here, so if I get stuff wrong, please don’t yell. Still, I’ll take a pass at generally describing the framework and its related technology stack.
Finally, wq extends several other open source technologies to enable synchronizing between a central data repository and multiple mobile devices in the hands of citizen mappers. Lastly, wq employs a set of tools to more easily build and distribute customized mapping apps that can be served from Apple’s app store, Google Play, etc.
What wq intends is to allow highly specialized citizen science/citizen mapping apps to be more easily and quickly built, based upon a solid collection of aligned F/OSS tools. Ideally, an app can spin up quickly to respond to a particular need (e.g., a pipeline spill), or a specialized audience (the run up to a public comment period for a development project), or even something like a high school field trip or higher ed service learning project.
Some examples of citizen mapping projects already built upon wq are here:
Georeferencing (geocoding – data, geo referencing – image)
historical air maps or photos are much more useful when they are georeferenced.
Photos from different year is difficult to lay over one another without referencing. the only reference might be the river. usually reference the four corners, but sometimes river. Using GIS program to determine the longitute/latitude for each corner. sometimes only farmland and it is impossible
\three areas that generally get neglected in school: architecture, animation and game design.
students create their own games using these concepts. They may choose from several programming platforms, including Beta, Kandu, Flowlab, Unity, Atmosphir, Gamestar Mechanic and Game Maker. Some of these require knowledge of coding; others are almost purely visual.
– Keep it simple
Your slides should have plenty of white space, or negative space. Do not feel compelled to fill empty areas on your slide with your logo or other unnecessary graphics or text boxes that do not contribute to better understanding. The less clutter you have on your slide, the more powerful your visual message will become.
– Limit bullet points and text
The best slides may have no text at all.
– Limit transitions and builds (animation)
– Use high quality graphics
– Have a visual theme but avoid using PowerPoint templates
– Use color well
Color evokes feelings. Color is emotional. The right color can help persuade and motivate. Studies show that color usage can increase interest and improve learning comprehension and retention.
You do not need to be an expert in color theory, but it’s good for business professionals to know at least a bit on the subject. Colors can be divided into two general categories: cool (such as blue and green) and warm (such as orange and red). Cool colors work best for backgrounds, as they appear to recede away from us into the background. Warm colors generally work best for objects in the foreground (such as text) because they appear to be coming at us.
– Choose your fonts well
Fonts communicate subtle messages in and of themselves, which is why you should choose fonts deliberately. Use the same font set throughout your entire slide presentation and use no more than two complementary fonts (e.g., Arial and Arial Bold). Make sure you know the difference between a serif font (e.g., Times New Roman) and a sans-serif font (e.g., Helvetica or Arial).
Serif fonts were designed to be used in documents filled with lots of text. They’re said to be easier to read at small point sizes, but for onscreen presentations, the serifs tend to get lost due to the relatively low resolution of projectors. Sans- serif fonts are generally best for PowerPoint presentations, but try to avoid the ubiquitous Helvetica.
– Spend time in the slider sorter
According to the Segmentation Principle of multimedia learning theory, people comprehend better when information is presented in small chunks or segments. By getting out of the Slide view and into the Slide Sorter view, you can see how the logical flow of your presentation is progressing. In this view, you may decide to break up one slide into, say, two or three slides so that your presentation has a more natural and logical flow or process.
– mostly it is visual changes. D2L is now using a lot of collapsing / scroll down bars to navigate. it is more compact
– changes and improvements in different tools: e.g. discussion, rubrics, grades (e.g. export straight to Excel), pager etc
– faculty cannot add tools to the default navbar, but can email email@example.com and request a tool to be added. Faculty CAN take off tool; don;t forget to save
– must post first in discussion
10:00-10:30am: Make D2L work for you: discussions and grades in D2L . Dr. David Switzer, Economics
– grades, how to streamline them. copying again and again in D2L can be too timeconsuming. exxporting to Excel, calculating and importing back is easier. Remeber to export a blank D2L grading item, so the template can be set. q/n: when final grades will be able to export straight from D2L to R&R
-use subscription on discussion
-show students in class that surveys are anonimous indeed
– who to turn for help and ideas: colleagues, tech support, tech insrtruct people, students
– how to organize lectures’ content and put it online, D2L in particular
– F2F, hybrid and online. how do we choose and discriminate?
– online learning, disruptive technology. touched on MOOC, student-center edlearning
– Camtasia. free version of the C Studio 8.0 for Win and Mac. Shareware (30 days). for every min of recorded lecture, will take 5 to 10 min to record it, edit it and prepared it.
– Adobe Captivate. use it through the virtual lab. it is not that connvenient. $30 per year for the key server version
-Blue Berry is superior to Camtesia by allowing to draw
– Jing. Free
– Screencast. bandwidh restriction. means that too many students cannot view simultanously the lecture video. Flash-based and this is not compatible with Apple products.
– Mediaserver (media4.stcloudstate.edu) upload zipped folder (SCORM compliant). Need an account, request from Greg Jorgenson.
— Mike from the Adobe Connect participants shared ” I’ve used Screenhunter to captures images (jpg), which is a free software”
– multimedia formats: video, audio, images, animations
– differences between raster and vector graphics. Camtasia will accept only JPG, PNG formats, but not vectorgraphics
11:30-12:00pm: Open time for individual projects and problem solving.
– Steve: rubrics and grading. D2L is not flexible and we need to adapt our assessment to the D2L capabilities.
– homework and papers, holistic and analytic.
– Amazon Kindle much better for grading online then iPAD.
– separate criteria did not work for Steve, but Ken has his rubrics in different criteria. KISS rule. Properly defines students’ expecations. Create a grid of the rubrics and then cut and paste into the D2L rubrics. Also go over with students over the rubrics details.
– Ken: have several levels in rubrics. New Rubric must be “published” and not a “draft” otherwise cannot be linked to grades.
– calibrated peer review.
another way of using rubrics. potential advantage of using this app is to do automated blind peer review. D2L cannot do it that well as this app. handy for large classes and short writing assignments. Contact Joe Melcher (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an account to be created.
crowd control versus really learning the content. The software gives a good feedback what students have actually done (student progress tab).
export callibrated results to D2L
2:00-3:00pm: Open time for individual projects and problem solving.