Project: Students will
present their project work through power point presentation
as opposed to the more traditional scrapbook format.
Method: I started this
computer project after the module had begun. This meant a
change in the teaching strategies I was using. I had been
using "Breakthrough" by Michael Shevlin and Patricia Noonan
Walsh. (ISBN 0 952471000) as a basic text. This involved teaching
strategies such as Group work, simulation, role-playing and
discussion. The students were enjoying the programme but the
content was rather nebulous for power point, particularly
because we were now on a fairly tight time-scale.
My new objective was to equip
the students with information that they could edit, in preparation
for work on their power point presentations. My classroom
work became more information based and I inclined towards
To make it more interactive and
stimulating(!) for the students, I prepared handouts to accompany
the class content. These were partially completed. Students
then filled in the extra information during the course of
The information I used came mainly
from Fact Sheets developed within the CARA programme, published
by Health Education Bureau and St. Michael's House Research,
Once the material was covered,
I spent a class explaining power point and the type of editing
that they would now need to do. We spent the next three classes
editing. Students selected an area they were interested in,
and then decided the amount of material that would appear
on each slide.
The editing process was most beneficial.
It accessed a type of learning that their previous project
work often evaded. In scrapbook projects, the students found
it hard to resist lifting chunks of material and using it
verbatim. Sections of their work were mere transcription.
Sometimes, projects even contained photocopied information
(very pleasantly presented, mind you) but there was a strong
possibility that the material had not even been read, let
Active editing was done.
Some clued into the framework that the handouts provided.
They used these for the bullet content and saved their own
added information for the commentary.
When we finally got to the computer
room, students were ready and motivated. Many had used power
point before, all seemed fairly at home working on computers.
Their level of competency was reassuring and comforting for
the not so computer literate teacher! Template works excellently.
Plenty of peer teaching went on. There was some trouble saving
material on the desktops, but students sorted these out.
Students particularly liked animation.
They were very engrossed
in their work. The programme allows plenty of room for creativity
between choosing material; the editing process; selecting
background, clip art and animation.
The plan now, is that these slide
shows will be available on Transition Year Evening for students
to show to their parents. They are not so keen on this idea.
Private work is fine but the public forum intimidates them.
It is drawing on a whole new range of skills. Nonetheless,
they will present their slide shows to each other and provide
their own narration. Hopefully we will glean a couple of confident,
fluent presenters from the pack, who will be willing and able
to present their projects to the parents.
I include a sample of
the kind of handouts I used and the commentary that accompanied