Wednesday, 14 September 2011 it really evil?

imagesSo I like so many of us out there have just about had enough of being presented with something on a screen and having it read word for word to me.  It is really an insult on my intelligence as I am:
  1. 34 years old and can read
  2. Quite well educated (I went to university)
  3. Easily bored and distracted.
There have been so many occasions when I have been to a seminar or presentation, and the person at the front flashes up a slide full of text and then proceeds to read it word for word off the screen.  What are they thinking?  Do they think that I can not read?  I may be not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am capable of reading.  One of the first things that I said to my kids this year was 'PowerPoint is evil - use it wisely'.  We thought that we had found a solution in Prezi but my employer decided to block it (and rightfully so if the terms and conditions state it is for use by over 18 years) and we were stuck.  The reliance of the 'right click generation' on Powerpoint is huge and I am constantly trying to steer kids away from using it.

We have a lull in time between genres.  At the start of this term, we were working on poetry and it was an outstanding success.  Later on this term we will be working on Argumentative Essay writing (which the kids seem to enjoy) and have a period of time at our school where we come up with different genres to explore.

I really wanted to get the kids writing 'Choose Your Own Adventures' stories that I used to love as a kid.  When I asked the kids if they have ever wrote one, the blank faces staring back at me from my digital natives were concerning.  We explored some examples of these stories and the kids started to get into it.  Of course they wanted to produce it digitally and I had a brain wave at the exact time as one of my kids.

"Mr Proud - you are always telling us that Powerpoint is evil but couldn't we use it to create hyperlinks between slides and produce our stories using it?" one of them asked.  I thought about it for a minute and stated "Yes that sounds good."  As quick as a flash one of my bright sparks pipped up with "Didn't you tell us that PowerPoint was evil?  You must have been wrong.  It can't be evil if we can use it in this way!"  I quickly climbed back into my hole and mumbled something under my breath about being a content creator and get on with your work.

So there you go - my personal journey into this evil land is happening as we speak.  I will share some of the examples with you when they are finished.  Their planning looks fantastic and they are taking great joy in proving me wrong.

Is PowerPoint evil?  Not in this circumstance........I guess!

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