Do you teach the children how to make a presentation in your school? I don’t mean ‘how to make a Powerpoint’, but actually how to present. I wanted the children to be able to present information to an audience and I write this a week before the final showcase. I have been planning this project with my KS2 classes across my school and there are some who are flying with it. There are year 3-4 classes who have made some excellent examples and I can;t wait to show them. So what were they learning to do?

  • Research information (building on previous lessons)
  • Display it on a age/slide
  • Include links to useful sites
  • Some included links to other slides to make it non-linear
  • Insert pictures and sound
  • Think about copyright – I wrote that here

So what tool did we use to make these? PowerPoint? Well…yes. Sort of. I gave the chlidren a choice between PPT and ActivInspire. They asked about ActivInspire because they had seen me using it when I taught them and they said that this was me sharing information with an audience so it would be good if they could do it too. After all, they said, we have PPT at home and know how to use it.

The children loved using Inspire because it helped consolidate their knowledge of familiar software. It has a file menu and insert lets you put things in, just like on PPT. They also liked it because they were being rebels and not doing what most of the class were doing. It was a bit grown-up because the teachers usually use it.

Is it better than PowerPoint? No. Is it worse? No. It’s just different. The concepts I was trying to teach were the same. My key messages to them were:

  • No contrasting colours (yellow on white or red on black)
  • They had to be able to say where their information came from or for the lower ability, say what was their’s and what wasn’t (it’s obvious from reading it anyway)
  • They had to face the audience and use the board/PC as a prompt but I don’t want them just reading it
  • ‘Sprinkle’ the fun stuff like sound, animation etc rather than pouring it all over

Now, we could all point to some adults that have done some/all of these things, but I was amazed at how well the children responded to the ideas of making a good presentation. The children have taken this on so well that I have just spent 15minutes downloading ActivInspire so I can put a link to it on our school website. Children have asked if they can have it at home. I had to phone Promethean to find out, but yes they can.

Is this going to change the world? No. But if they can take a few pointers on board when they next use PPT (or whatevr) for their homework, then I will have succeeded.

With more time, they would explore Prezi or Kizoa, but it’s snowed and it’s nearly Christmas so the timetable has been all over the place. They can come later!

So what software do you give your children?Do you even bother teaching PowerPoint? After all, most of them have it at home and know how it works. Have you ever taught the children how to use whiteboard software?

I made a page on our website for parents and that can be found here.