Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Back to the Well

wacky senko.jpgEvery fisherman has his or her“go to” lure. This lure is one that will produce fish in almost any environment regardless of the conditions. The “go to” may not catch the biggest fish in the lake but it will most certainly lead to fish in the boat. For me, this little lure is a wacky rigged Senko. It may not be the fanciest presentation out there, but I’ll hook into something every time out there. As you can see in the picture, the basic presentation of this lure shows the hook being held in place by a rubber band around the worm. This little tweak improved upon the original presentation of actually hooking the worm straight through the worm body. The hooking of the actual worm instead of using the rubber band would result in the hook pulling straight through the worm and losing that worm on almost every hookup or even on missed hits.  That small adjustment to the presentation of using that rubber band has made the presentation of this bait even more effective.

Every educator should have their “go to” tool just the same. This should be a tool that produce results each and every time.  Not only is it effective in its most basic form, but with small adjustments and enhancements it can take on a whole new life.  For me, a tool I suggest to take this role of the “go to”  is Google Slides. Students, as well as teachers can utilize this tool in many different capacities. As a simple presentation tool it is very easy for most students to use. Many students have begun using this is a resource starting in early elementary grades. Just like the little rubber band on the wacky rig, we can add small components to make Slides even more advantageous. The just released Explore button helps you design your presentation with ease based upon the content you put in each slide. You can mask images and make them take on a variety of shapes. Adding transitions and animations can give your presentation an almost movie like feel. These are just a few of the ways to step up educators and students use of Google Slides.

I wanted to go into more detail about one of my favorite ways to make your use of Slides a little different and more exciting. I refer to it as making your presentation interactive. Having  worked with classes on developing things like an “Interactive Renaissance Museum” and an “Interactive Art Gallery” there is much potential in implementing this type of activity across the curriculum. My next project using this type of interactive presentation development will be with teachers and students making a “choose your own adventure” story. The students really enjoy these projects and both students and teachers are pleased with the end product. Providing opportunities for students to be creators of information is such a big focus when thinking about technology integration and this type of activity is such a great vehicle for students to show off their creativity.

Here are two (Renaissance Museum, Virtual Museum) of the examples I put together when explaining this concept to teachers and students. Below you will find a video tutorial explaining the development of the Virtual Museum.