Don’t panic this not a latest add-in for PowerPoint , but research from Denmark suggests that careful use of fonts and colours in presentations can have an effect on the audience's concentration. I first encountered this research from Ole Lauridsen, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, a few years ago and whilst sitting in a presentation where he used this research , I can tell you it works.
You can download the full document from here
Some of the great ideas it suggests are:-
We perceive colours in different orders
Red in the foreground, green and yellow in the middle and blue in the background, so put things you want remembered in red.
Our working memory processes information step by step and can never handle more than 5-9 bits of information units at the time. Units include text, images and graphics. As a guideline 7 units is the average that we should use on a slide in presentations. Providing less than 5 information units, we are not exploiting the full the potential of the memory to a sufficient degree, and if we exceed 9 units, it becomes too much for the memory to process – thus when creating a slide you should adopt the 7±2 rule.
There are a lot more insights like this in this research and if you are looking to avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint’ this is well worth a read.
Since working at Microsoft I don’t think there has been such an exciting time as at the moment for in the UK Partners in Learning Team. The recent plethora announcements of the latest innovations, have us very excited on how we ensure that they have a real impact on teachers and learners
Last night, (yes, I did stay up and watch the announcement ) Microsoft revealed the amazing Microsoft Surface - a new family of computing devices. Surface, with Windows 8 will offer some amazing opportunities for education. Like many I suspect, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.
This great news along with the fact that Windows 8 is on it’s way, have a look now by downloading the Windows Release Preview, and there has been a significant redesign of Bing that includes social search. There are also some amazing developments with XBox, in particular SmartGlass which will offer some amazing opportunities for teachers, I am really looking forward to the teachers in the K-Team getting their hands on it.
So keep tuned to this blog and we will bring to you the developments as they happen in Partners in Learning .
When I first started using PowerPoint (many moons ago), images had to manipulated and edited in a graphic package, then imported into a presentation. It could be a lengthy process and I suspect it was one of the reasons teachers filled up their hard drives with clip art to get instant images.
But now, PowerPoint 2010 has an amazing array of graphic tools and functions, that rival many graphic packages, with functionality that allows teachers and students alike to create and manipulate images simply and easily, without having to learn and use another piece of software.
I have been using the graphic tools along with the text formatting tools to create logos like this one for an event in Wales. This is so easy to do and with the live preview feature, students can instantly see the results their formatting.
There are a range of tools in PowerPoint that allow you to edit an image. These include:- Removing an image background, cropping, resize, corrections to colour, brightness and contrast, artistic effects such as mosaic and pencil sketch, special effects such as shadows, reflections and glow.
These combined with the drawing tools, provide and amazing range of options for students to be creative with their image design. This is a great example from Paul Horrell from saltash.net community school. These vector cartoons were created by year 7s in a single hour lesson after a short tutorial on the different shapes. They could choose their own cartoon character, and capture it by using the screen clip feature in PowerPoint and then recreate it as a vector drawing. They can copy their completed cartoon , using the Snipping tool in windows to save it as a JPEG. You have to admire the skills of these Year 7 students in creating these cartoons.
As Paul says ‘Apparently Powerpoint can be used to create slideshows too!’
You can find more creative ideas on how to use the drawing tools in PowerPoint on our Youtube Channel . Here’s a great innovid that shows how to use a little known Combine Shapes function, that lets you combine simple shapes to create more complex ones.
What is a Teach the Teachers Meet? Digital Leaders, a group of students at Fulford School are set to host a unique event to showcase how classrooms can be brought into the digital age. The Teach the teachers Meet, taking place June 28, will be an opportunity for students to show teachers how it can be done. Students of all ages will present and share their ideas on technology as an educational tool to an audience of teachers and education professionals. Usually organised by teachers around the country as a way of networking and sharing good practice in teaching with technology, this TeachMeet, a kind of unconference, is the first of its kind to be planned and presented entirely by students. Major sponsorship has been brought in by the Digital Leaders from industry giants such as Microsoft Partners in Learning.
A-level student and project manager of the event, Mikey Carr said “the event itself is concerned with education and technology. The combination of the two is, we believe, extremely powerful and will enable education to be enhanced dramatically… It’s essentially a student voice encompassed into an event”.
The Teach the Teachers Meet event at Fulford School in York has been arranged by eight pupils, known as Digital Leaders but who are we? We are students interested in technology as a means to lead the way in digital innovations in education. Since establishing the scheme at Fulford in January 2011, our team have been involved in such projects as training staff, monitoring ICT suites, running special interest clubs, renovating the school website and exploring the ways in which video, mobile and web technology can positively transform the learning experience to name but a few. Outside of school, the Digital Leaders have presented and trained teachers, educators student teachers in Universities, Primary schools and national conferences. The culmination of the last year’s work, will be the Teach the Teachers Meet and will provide an opportunity for the students to recount their experiences as Digital Leaders to education experts. The Digital Leaders will also have the chance to present and debate the ideas that they have generated through their work alongside other Digital Leaders, PGCE students and Microsoft, whose headquarters they visited last year.
So how can you get involved? Either come along as a curious teacher/educator, bring students to speak or to be part of the audience. Or if you can’t make it, the event is going to be live streamed, with the hope of using the student-led Fulford event as a model to other schools. (Keep an eye on #TtTMeet hashtag on Twitter for the link).
Teach theTeachers Meet Fulford School, York, 28 June from 4.30pm- 6.30pm. Featuring a range of guest speakers, with keynote from Bob Harrison, the Teach Meet is open to anyone with an interest in discovering new perspectives on education. For more information go to: http://yorkteachmeet.wordpress.com/ To register your attendance go to: http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/w/page/51576373/Sign%20Up%20Here%21 Any questions then don’t hesitate to get in touch on either @FulfordDLs or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week I had the pleasure of working with the Digital Leaders at Cadoxton Primary School in Barry, South Wales. We looked at and explored Kodu . They all had a copy to take home, to begin to investigate for themselves. Our options in school were limited at the present time, as the school is developing an innovative PC network, based on Windows Multipoint Server and powered by Solar Energy, which sounds amazing and will be fantastic and innovative resource when the installation is completed.
So we discussed Kodu, I did some demos and we thought about what skills they might employ to develop computer games.
Here are two initial reactions from Rhys and Tegan, two of this great and talented group of pupils.
Last Wednesday I worked with Microsoft using a programme called KODU . KODU is a programme were you create your own video games .I enjoyed using KODU because it was like I was a professional programmer. When we learnt how to work it we created our own game. I liked it when we found out how to score points because I want to challenge anyone who might play my games. Now we have KODU on our memory sticks we can access it at home it is amazing.
I attended a Kodu workshop with Microsoft, I enjoyed Kodu because it was an easy, interesting and engaging way for me to create games it used lots of colours and the design was cool. The character (Kodu) was adorable. It was amazing making him turn pink! I liked the fact that you had to use lots of computer keys in the game. It was interesting to program the Kodu, their simple sentences used some confusing language! I loved the fact that we could use it at home as well as school. It had a wide variety of characters suitable for boys and girls. Overall I was ecstatic that I could make create and design my own using the Kodu software.
Thanks to all the Digital Leaders at Cadoxton Primary School , I look forward to hearing a lot more from you in the future.