November 2, 2012, 11:01 am
As I’ve written about before on ProfHacker, I am striving to go paperless at conferences and in the classroom. Aside from saving paper, I simply prefer carrying less with me wherever I go. An iPad or other tablet makes this increasingly possible, but there’s one use for the iPad at conferences and in the classroom that I’ve consistently been disappointed by: running presentations from the iPad.
It’s a breeze to hook up the iPad to a projector with a VGA or HDMI connector, and I love the way the iPad 2 and newer mirrors itself on an external screen. But I always run into the same problems trying to show a PowerPoint deck from the iPad (I work primarily on a Windows PC, so Keynote isn’t an appealing option, especially with a $9.99 price tag).
The first problem is inconsistent formatting of imported slideshows when I use Office suite-type apps like Office2 HD. I can work around…
April 19, 2011, 3:00 pm
A measure of how bad presentations in academia can be is the sheer number of tips and strategies we’ve suggested on ProfHacker, in a recurring series called Challenging the Presentation Paradigm. One of these techniques I’ve used in my classes for several years is the Pecha Kucha format. With 20 slides at 20 seconds per slide, a Pecha Kucha is, as Jason writes, necessarily “SHORT, INFORMAL, and CREATIVE.”
However, as I’ve found out the hard way, a Pecha Kucha format does not necessarily mean students will avoid text-heavy slides, one of the major causes of DBP (Death By PowerPoint). That’s why I’ve begun implementing what I call the 1/1/5 rule for all student presentations. Here’s how I describe the 1/1/5 rule to my students:
In addition to the time constraint of the Pecha Kucha, your presentation must also follow the 1/1/5 rule. That is, you must have at least one image per slide,…
January 24, 2011, 3:00 pm
One of the realities of our economic hard times is that faculty are being asked to do more with less. The place where this hits many of us the hardest is our classrooms, where we’re teaching more students than ever.
In some cases we face chronic enrollment increases, in which class sizes might expand by one or two students progressively every year. In other cases we face acute enrollment hikes, in which a class that was once 27 students is suddenly capped at 40 students, a 50 percent increase in class size.
I faced the latter scenario in 2009, and I face it again in the Spring 2011 semester, teaching a class that is substantially—even dauntingly—larger than my usual classes. Both a year ago and today I find myself pondering the same questions: How should my pedagogy change to meet this new teaching context? Or should it?
My classes are student-centered, hands-on, and…
November 2, 2009, 2:45 pm
A couple of years ago, I found myself teaching a section of a class that mandated a PowerPoint presentation. (That is, to keep my section aligned with the others, I had to require such a presentation.) Such presentations have some common problems: they’re too long; the student doesn’t seem interested in the topic; there’s too much information on each slide; and they’re under-rehearsed–the last two problems join forces and encourage the student to simply read aloud from the slides. Plus, you know, PowerPoint is evil. So, I was looking around for an alternative.
At about the same time, the presentation style known as “pecha kucha” emerged. Pecha kucha solves the death-by-Powerpoint problem by introducing constraints: 20 slides, set to auto-advance every 20 seconds. You wouldn’t want to make up your mind about, say, the viability of the public option in US healthcare via such a method, …