Thursday, July 1, 2010

PowerPoint Presentation Assignment Reflection

My PowerPoint presentation is a "concept attainment" lesson that teaches students the difference between exergonic and endergonic metabolic reactions by using real-world examples. I teach them that exergonic reactions are those that release energy into the system (ex. explosion of TNT) and endergonic reactions are those that consume energy from the system (ex. pumping up a bike tire). The concept attainment model is useful for introducing students to abstract concepts that might seem unwieldy at first. The idea behind the lesson model is that you have the students develop their own description of the concept by first viewing a series of depictions or pictures before the teacher tells them the scientific/accepted definition of the concept.

In my presentation I mostly used stock slide layouts provided by PowerPoint to ensure that my presentation had an orderly and organized overall look and feel. I used animations on many of my slides in order to reveal text as I would be talking about it, and not before. I think this is important, especially in high school because students may easily be distracted, confused or even put-off if you present them with too much text all at once. I used a "swipe" transition between all of my slides that contained pictures/depiction of the metabolic concept. I chose to use a transition only between these slides in order to distinguish this part of the lesson from the introduction and the conclusion slides. FInally, I used one advanced feature, which was audio narration. I recorded a brief narration for each of the slides that contained pictures/depictions of the metabolic concept, and I thought this was important because the idea of the concept attainment model is not to give students too much information or too little, so by recording the "best" narration beforehand I can assure the the students will get the most out of my lesson.

With this project I learned a lot about the newer version of PowerPoint. I occasionally used PowerPoint in my undergraduate career but I haven't actually explored the full potential of the presentation software since i was in high school. So it was good to relearn all of the neat ways you can use transition and animations to add some personality to the presentation. I had never used the audio narration before, so it was cool to play with it and I think it could be a powerful tool if used appropriately.

PowerPoint is a great way to enhance a presentation for visual learners. PowerPoint allows us to neatly present definitions, directions, prompts and content in a visually pleasing way that serves to attract their attention of our students. Its also a great way to present pictures to your class to enhance their understanding or simply to add entertainment value. Teachers can also embed videos into their presentation so that they don't have to disrupt their lesson by going to the a website or accessing files and folders on their desktop. One of the best uses of PowerPoint is to keep lectures and lessons organized. Having the text written up on the screen helps the presenter stay on task and prevents them from forgetting or skipping important information. Finally, PowerPoint can be used to integrate some comedy into a lesson. By putting in funny pictures or animation teachers can make sure their students are paying attention.

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