Too Many Choices

At the beginning of each year, we have a parent orientation where all the classroom, learning support, Japanese and the specialists teachers give a presentation about their programs for the year.  The specialists are given a 30 minute block for 6 teachers to present their courses.  Five minutes isn’t much time to cover all the things I do in my course from who I am to assessment to what kind of junk I want sent in for projects.

When I present this information I have some slides running with images of various art projects or kids working.  I have done it this way for time and eternity.  I know it basically by heart.  However, for the parents who come every year, this must be excruciating to sit through year after year.

I have thought about doing a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, but the reality is that in 5 minutes I am only going to get through a few slides and if I pack them full of information they will be too hard to read.  Keeping it simple is very important, but this is not going to give my presentation the pizazz it needs to impress the parents at start the year.  Also, the process does not seem that exciting to me either.

So what should I do.  In this day and age there are many different tools that you can use.  Each have there own strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, they offer the user a chance to create a solid presentation.  In some ways there are too many choices.

A couple of weeks ago our school rolled out Macbooks to all of its teachers.  They are helping us learn to use them by offering afternoon workshops.  One was on iMovie  (lesson plan to get started).  Our librarian created a simple preview style video with a StarWars theme.  For the message he was giving this was very effective and to the point.  It lasted a couple of minutes, it communicated what we needed to know, entertained us a bit and allowed enough time for questions.  It got the job done quickly and efficiently.

I have also thought about an RSA style animation.  Ever since Kim showed us the example we saw at the beginning of the year I have been captivated by it.  I loved how the animation was created through drawing/doodling.  I thought it presented information in a informative and entertaining way without getting bogged down or boring.  However, my searches on Google for a simple RSA style animation program did not turn up anything useful.  From what I read it seems like a more time intensive way to create a presentation than I thought.  If anybody has something like it that works I would really like to know about it.

Lastly, it might be fun to create a Pecha Kucha type format with all the specialists for the parents.  Each teacher shows 20 slides while talking about them for 20 seconds.  This allows a lot of freedom for the presenter, keeps things simple and to the point.  The only thing it may be missing is the festive atmosphere and drink service.

With so many choices, I know that I can make an interesting presentation for the parents, but I want something that allows for some creativity and my personality to come through.  Any of the ones that I briefly mentioned would work nicely.

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One response to “Too Many Choices

  1. Would all of the teachers have to do the same format? Or could you try something out on your own without requiring your colleagues to do the same? I love the idea of trying to change the format, and although we’re spoilt for choice, I know you’ll find something you like. But, it might be tough to expect others to change if they’re currently happy with what they already do. If you could take a risk and explore some ideas as a “guinea pig” maybe you could end up with different themed presentation styles each year. That would be fun!

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