I teach middle school technology and use PowerPoint in 5,6,7. I teach them how to do PowerPoint and have them use a subject in Math, SS, English and create a Powerpoint. I am looking for more extensive projects. In other words, I am tired of the same old PowerPoint.

Any new ideas?

Tags: PowerPoint, Technology

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I'd definitely have them make games and they'd practice a lot fo "content" and higher level thinking.... then the "publishing " component would definitely be playing the games..... See a whole slew of templates and games I've designed at http://eflclassroom.ning.com Hit Games and scroll down....

Powerpoint is one of those good news/bad news applications - it's easy to learn and use, but doesn't get you very far. (Also known as "low threshold, low ceiling"). I disagree with this and don't follow the common pooh ha arguement about ppt. I've gotten very far using it and it is precisely that easy ability to deconstruct and "learn" that is its power and high ceiling.

Here is the latest , BAAM. The flag version. I designed BAAM as a way to keep all kids interested in the game and not just the smart ones....

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com
Lower your stress level by seeing what is already out there. Tammy Worcester (great workshop leader) has phenomenal books to look at and are worth the expense (no, I don't work for her) at http://www.tammyworcester.com/Tips/Products_Tammy_Worcester_Tech_Ti.... I have teachers in my bldgs. who have used her ideas in their classrooms and find her ideas very practical and useful. Also, I have some links on the right side of my blog to Rockingham County and a Tennessee school that my give you some ideas: http://ppsblogs.net/brianmckee.
I also commend Tammy Worcester's materials and suggestions. Saw her at a CUE (Computer Using Educators) conference in 2007 and was able to implement projects and ideas with my students as soon as I returned.
I teach the same ages to do Windows Movie Maker - free on PCs. I think there is iMovie on Macs. You may want the kids to try that for projects.
PowerPoint has really gotten the raw deal when it comes to presentation tools. It has been over used quite a bit, but there are ways to make it come alive. I always let my students know up front that designs and colors schemes can add or take away from the ppt. I would suggest having your students create a nonlinear ppt. Start the students out with the first slide and create a home page so to speak. Then they will add buttons for links to other slides. Each slide should contain a button linked back to the home page or it should contain site navigation. Content that is interactive, audio, video, embed flash objects, will help the presentation come to life. Students can present their information by recording their voice directly onto the slide. Instead of using text, have the students use recordings. Students love hearing their voices. Also, the students create a short interactive quiz at the end of the show. The entire class spends about two days using rubrics to provide feedback about the project. Kids love it. They report back to me as well as the ppt project owner. Some Sample Projects

I have also had students create interactive games with PPt. It looks like a flash animation when played. Students create objects and add custom animations to them. If the mouse is clicked the object is hit they gain points or end the game.

Hope this has helped. I am sure there are tons of links out there for cool ppt projects. I hope you can find some good ones.
The last time I spoke at a marketing conference, my first PPT slide was "there will NO slides for this presentation".

I find that people who heavily rely on slides are often lacking in content depth. An interesting topic should grab someones attention, with or without PowerPoint. Or PowerPointless!
Go to Dan Meyer's blog. He's had some great discussions (and several contests) focusing on the design elements of presentations.
I think you bring up a good question. Most students learn how to use the bells and whistles of PowerPoint in 4th or 5th grade. By middle school, you really need something to grab their attention, focus them on a learning objective, and make sure they have the technology skills.

I would suggest having the students make a kiosk like they may found in a museum or zoo. Students could link within the PowerPoint to create something interactive. Also, they could create interactive stories where depending on the path of the user, the story would change.

If you are really brave, you can have the students try their hand at animation. There is a good tutorial at http://www.kidzdom.com/flash5.html .

Good Luck!
Coop,

You've already gotten some good ideas from the folks here. I look at a lot of these productivity tools as "blank slates" -- you can do with them just about anything you want. Many folks here have spoken about PRESENTING, as a skill to develop. It's worthwhile, but perhaps too involved for the short timeframe you have these kids.

I think using PPT without bullets is a sound idea; treat it as a storyboarding application... to tell stories (full screen photos), to plan a movie project (takes time, yes, but very rewarding), digital storytelling with something like iMovie (since you have iMacs), but why limit yourself to just the tool?

As some have suggested, thinking outside of the virtual box, and focusing on what kind of outcomes you might want, might lead you into new directions. With the applications you listed, you could put together some excellent lessons on media and information literacy. Or have the kids build something physical, and make an instruction guide with the software. Can someone else build it? A virtual tour of their school? Their community? A make believe place? They could also make a compelling case for something (real or not) using PPT as the main tool to produce a "Shift Happens" style movie with good music.

As others have mentioned, there are some good books out there. One comment mentioned Scratch. I think that's an excellent upgrade to PPT and it certainly taps into the math and logic.

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