I try to give my students choice. I don’t tell them how many slides their presentations have to have; I tell them they have to give a presentation, and I give them questions to answer. They usually choose PowerPoint first, because that is how they have been taught you do a presentation. Then they realize the group project would be lots easier if they built slides in their Google Drive, so they go in that direction. As I move around the room watching what they are doing I will mention occasionally that IF (lots of emphasis on ‘IF’) they are using slides they should be sure to not to have too many words on the slides. This usually causes a commotion in the groups, and the paragraphs are moved to speaker notes. I think “yea!”
A few kids pick up on the ‘if’ in the statement. “You mean we don’t have to do a PowerPoint?” I reply “Nope. I never said that. You have to present, how you do that is up to you.”
Then things get interesting. Most kids stick with the Google slides option, but a few kids will go into that other software; starts with a ‘P’, ends with an ‘i’ and has a ‘rez’ in the middle. The kids love it. I get sea sick easily, and am not so much of a fan. A poor PowerPoint beats a poor Prezi any day.
So today some kids were working on a Prezi. So I said it. “Do you guys know how much I hate Prezi?”
“Yea, Mr. Hall, we know. But you don’t get to choose, we do. We have a plan. So don’t you have something else to do, we’re busy over here.”
I love that not only are my students picking their tools based on what they want to accomplish, but they have the confidence to tell me they are right, and to go away. Its going to be a fun year!